Adrift

Adrift
Posted 2015, Dec 13 20:59
In your statement about an adrift vessel, you say that it is underway, and "must give way" to a sailboat. However, I have a couple of issue with this: 1) The reference picture shows a sailboat with no sails, which would make it a power boat, so in that case the "sailboat" should give way to the vessel adrift, 2) an adrift vessel can be pointing in any direction, and you could potentially be approaching from the stern, or it may even be drifting away from the sailboat. In either of those cases, the sailboat or powerboat would be an overtaking vessel, and would have to give way. 3) There is a difference between a vessel "under way" and "making way", and while a vessel adrift is considered underway, I think that unless they are in the middle of a narrow channel, or other thoroughfare where they are a hazard, a vessel "making" way (either by sail or power) should always give way.
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Reply 2016, Apr 19 22:00
1 Adrift is under power for a boat. 2. The sailboat is a power boat 3. The sailboat is on the powerboat's starboard side. It sees the sailboats red port side. So it must give way. I.e power boat crossing rules apply here.
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Reply 2018, Dec 25 10:01
In that situation, you did not give way, but rather "avoided a collision". It was the other boats responsibility to give way to you (or fly signals for not under command), but when it became obvious that she wasn't taking appropriate action, it became your responsibility to avoid the collision. It's important to know the difference for liability reasons: Say for example, you jibed in the above mentioned scenario to avoid the collision, a crewman went overboard and is now suing you. You go to court and tell the judge you had to jibe to give way to the other vessel, the crewman will tell the judge (correctly) that you didn't have the responsibility to give way, and you could be found at fault. On the other-hand if you said "Rule 17 A (ii) required me to take action to avoid collision with a vessel not taking appropriate action in compliance with the Colregs", you would be found not at fault. Further more, Rule 17 D expressly states that the boat you had to take action to avoid was not exempted from her obligation to keep out of the way simply because no collision in-fact took place, and thus IS responsible for your crewman going overboard (at least mostly responsible)! Of course if a crewman went overboard, you likely did do something wrong, but avoiding the collision wasn't it.
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