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Thread: Danger on the Severn (Know your stuff - or else)

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    Default Danger on the Severn (Know your stuff - or else)

    You might well find this of interest, particularly those of you who like me, enjoy canoeing / sailing on open waters where commercial vessels are present. The following was a bulletin sent out from Lydney Yacht Club to it's members (received from Gloucester Harbour Trustees). The offending vessel was from another nearby sailing club.

    Steve C

    Improving safety:


    The importance of keeping a good look-out and an appreciation of international and local regulations


    From time to time we receive reports of incidents (fortunately few) which suggest that some leisure sailors occasionally forget certain aspects of basic seamanship and fail to consider the relevant International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea and the purpose of local bye-laws and other directions.
    The port at Sharpness is thriving and membership of local sailing club is buoyant, which means that commercial vessels and leisure craft may encounter each other day or night in the channel on any day of the week.
    We therefore wish to remind club members that the channel from King Road to Sharpness is a designated “narrow channel” and, as such, observance of Rules 9 and 18 are particularly important. Equally important is the need to keep a good lookout as required by Rule 5. Whether racing or not, these rules apply. In short, any idea that “steam gives way to sail” in this area is quite simply irrelevant.


    A recent example of a potentially serious incident is summarised below.


    Gloucester Harbour Trustees received a report from a senior Pilot on 5 August 2011 whilst on passage to Sharpness Docks.

    The report revealed the occurrence of a dangerous close-quarters situation between a 3400 ton commercial ship with a draft of 5.3m proceeding at 9.4 knots and a dinghy in the area between the Counts Beacon and Narlwood Lights.

    The pilot observed that the small dinghy with two persons on board on his starboard bow was on a collision course.
    One prolonged blast was made to attract attention to ‘remind the vessel of its obligation under Rule 5 of the International Collision Regulations’. The dinghy was observed to take no action and therefore continued to impede the ship’s passage in contravention of Rule (9b) and 9(d). Five short blasts (meaning I am in doubt about your action taken to avoid collision) were then made indicating the pilot’s serious concern for his vessel.
    A potential risk of collision was imminent and the ship was obliged to reduce speed (which adversely affects steerage) and alter course to starboard, which meant taking the vessel close to the Narlwood Rocks, sounding one blast (I am altering course to starboard). The dinghy disappeared under the flare of the ship’s bow with only the tip of the mast showing. She then appeared to tack onto starboard so as to re-cross the ship’s bow, which necessitated a further 5 short blasts on the ship’s whistle. The dinghy was then observed to tack onto port and the captain was then instructed to bring his ship back to port and a correct course.
    This situation was serious and indicated that a proper lookout was not being maintained on the dinghy. Had a collision occurred it could have easily resulted in loss of life and would have been reported to the Marine Accident and Investigation Board for a full inquiry.
    Whilst we recognise that dinghies and other craft frequently race and cruise across, and in the designated deep water narrow channel, it is basic seamanship that requires crews of such craft to be aware of any commercial shipping that may be leaving or entering Sharpness Docks, and are therefore on passage in the deep water channel. This is easily done by contacting Sharpness radio on VHF 13 or by telephone to 01453 511968.
    We would anticipate it to be a matter of good practice within any sailing club to fully brief all crews before dinghies and cruisers at the commencement of organised events. This does not preclude the fact, that if you are sailing as an individual, and not as part of an organised event, that you should still ascertain what shipping movements may be taking place. It is fundamental seamanship that when in ‘narrow channels’ all members of the crew aboard a sailing vessel (or other small craft) should keep a constant lookout for commercial shipping and KEEP WELL CLEAR.


    We seriously recommend that all leisure sailors, whether in dinghies or small cruisers, make it their business to make themselves aware of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (and local regulations) and have a full knowledge of the various sound signals that ships do make. Local yacht clubs have a good safety record over many years, and nobody would want an incident ‘due to a lack of basic seamanship knowledge’ to mar that record.

    In the light of the above incident we wish to make two recommendations to the Club. The first is that the Club Programme should clearly specify that for races in, and across the deep water channel, the Officer of the Day must contact Sharpness Radio (VHF 13) before such an event, and include their response in a comprehensive briefing to all participants. The second relates to the club “Sailing Instructions” which should include a requirement to obey the International Rules for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea, the designation of the Channel as a ‘narrow channel’ and the particular need to take heed of Rule 9. We recommend that the above steps are taken to include appropriate references for the avoidance of any doubt in future.
    We wish you all happy and safe sailing for many years to come.

    Mike Johnson. GHT Harbourmaster

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    That doesn't affect me, as I don't sail in such waters. However, lacking knowledge and assuming a large craft will make way for you, just because you happen to be under sail, is not going to cut anyone's mustard if you cause an accident. Or indeed, if you impede a commercial vessel in any way.

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

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    Looks like a Darwin Award is in the offing....
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


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    Kind of makes me think. Its like cycling on a motorway, jumping from lane to lane and expecting the traffic to stop for you

    Just out of curiosity what are the rules?
    SF Peterborough 14'
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe.ford View Post
    Kind of makes me think. Its like cycling on a motorway, jumping from lane to lane and expecting the traffic to stop for you

    Just out of curiosity what are the rules?
    I certainly don't know all the rules, but when ever in doubt of what to do I always ​ make my intentions clear.

    In general power gives way to sail -

    However, in places like the Severn where the deep water channel is extremely narrow that rule goes out the window. There's no way a big ship can leave the channel without going aground. The dinghy could have easily sailed away from the navigation channel well in advance of the ship catching it up. Also whereas a dingy can turn on a sixpence a big ship takes an age to turn or slow down. Good old common sense ought to have prevented that incident. I just can't believe what they did, they could have easily died.

    Steve C

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    Sounds like you need a CEVI and VHF pass, bit daft if in a canoe, I am a RYA instructor, so have my passes, but I think it worth while at least knowing the basics of the CEVNI ticket, linky here if you are playing in commercial waterways
    so at least oif you hear it, you know what it means, I couldnt find a link to the easy things it contains for free

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    I'm afraid as far as I remember, POWER DOES NOT GIVE WAY TO SAIL. A little rusty my memory might be, but the avoidance of collision at sea regulations (5) states that the more manoeuvrable vessel gives way first. NB It does not mention - for several reasons - whether it is powered by sail, steam, diesel, or jet engines.

    This clearly means (except to the idiots in the dinghy) that a piddling little dinghy is much more manouverable than a 3500 ton vessel in a restricted navigation.

    To put this into perspective a dinghy or more realistically, a 100 ft sailing vessel in good wind can turn around or at least go about (change course 90 degrees!) in less than a mile without any bother. A 100,000 ton crude oil tanker doing 15 knots cannot even stop within a mile and certainly not ever manage to go about within a mile turning circle.

    Yet every year there are a number of owners of smaller vessels who clearly think that a larger merchant vessel underway is going to be able to get out of the way of a tiny fishing vessel (quite common) which thinks it is immune from the laws of physics.

    As for any merchant ship trying to get out of the way of some pratt in sailing boat in an estuary or narrow navigation you really need to get a grip on real life as the wind, current and vessel speed means that even small alterations of speed or course can have dangerous consequences for the safety of the vessel. The last thing the pilot or captain will want to deal with is some piddly little sailing boat which thinks the world revolves around it!!
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    I'm afraid as far as I remember, POWER DOES NOT GIVE WAY TO SAIL. A little rusty my memory might be, but the avoidance of collision at sea regulations (5) states that the more manoeuvrable vessel gives way first. NB It does not mention - for several reasons - whether it is powered by sail, steam, diesel, or jet engines
    Thanks for that David - I'm happy to stand corrected.

    Either way it's because of the points you mentioned that we always stay well away from the ships. The estuary is massive and there was no reason that I can think of for that dinghy to have been anywhere near the ship at all.


    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    I'm afraid as far as I remember, POWER DOES NOT GIVE WAY TO SAIL. A little rusty my memory might be, but the avoidance of collision at sea regulations (5) states that the more manoeuvrable vessel gives way first. NB It does not mention - for several reasons - whether it is powered by sail, steam, diesel, or jet engines.
    err common sense says that?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    This clearly means (except to the idiots in the dinghy) that a piddling little dinghy is much more manouverable than a 3500 ton vessel in a restricted navigation.
    Those idiots in the dinghies could end up going to the Olyimpics and repesenting YOUR country, I have been sailing for years and between me and my brother, know several Olympic coaches and sailors and grew up with them

    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    To put this into perspective a dinghy or more realistically, a 100 ft sailing vessel in good wind can turn around or at least go about (change course 90 degrees!) in less than a mile without any bother. A 100,000 ton crude oil tanker doing 15 knots cannot even stop within a mile and certainly not ever manage to go about within a mile turning circle.
    I have turned a 60' whitbread boat, from a beat and gybed it in very little water, have you sailed a tanker or looking to pick holes?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    Yet every year there are a number of owners of smaller vessels who clearly think that a larger merchant vessel underway is going to be able to get out of the way of a tiny fishing vessel (quite common) which thinks it is immune from the laws of physics.
    Yes, the average idiot that buys a 'yogurt pot' or 'gin palace' and thinks they know what they are doing should be flogged

    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    As for any merchant ship trying to get out of the way of some pratt in sailing boat in an estuary or narrow navigation you really need to get a grip on real life as the wind, current and vessel speed means that even small alterations of speed or course can have dangerous consequences for the safety of the vessel. The last thing the pilot or captain will want to deal with is some piddly little sailing boat which thinks the world revolves around it!!
    Have to agree there, but....

    as I have been playing in boats since I was 7
    taught by my father who is an off shore yachtmaster
    spent years training with the National Laser Squad (thats an "idiot in a dinghy" to you)
    Taught by some of the best 'pratts in dinghies' in the country
    and I am RYA inland waterways instuctor

    do you not like anyone unless they either have a canoe or work for a living on the waterways?
    oh and I spent the last year and a half teaching on boats!
    Last edited by paul_fox; 9th-October-2011 at 09:46 PM.

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    I always carry a VHF when paddling anywhere at sea or inland Navigations,

    as an open canoeist and sea kayaker I have a few times been made very aware the wake or funny water that can be thrown up by any vessel, and particularly a large ocean going vessel. It can be quite scary to see a steep 3' breaking wave racing towards you!

    I tend to stay well out of the way of anything larger than me.

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    Yep, dont mess with anything big

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    In answer to Paul:-

    Common sense? Not quite sure what you are refering to, but it is common sense if you've any IQ that most large vessels have less manouverability than a laser dinghy.

    Err, actually yes after several years in both the RN and the MN, I have been on the bridge of a super tanker (actually it was 189,000 tons) and I've been on many bridges of many other large ships both RN, RCCN and civilian. And I've been involved in a number of rescues at sea, including pulling yacht crews out of the water. Oh,and I've also sailed smaller 'dinghies' including a dinghy in the Indian Ocean and the med and crewed on larger sailing yachts & vessels.

    I have absolutely nothing against people who sail small, large, tiny, big or ugly vessel, paid or unpaid. Just stick to the rules!!

    I don't really care who these people in these dinghies were or who they'll sail for. They should not put themselves or a larger vessel in danger!

    Just don't take my sometimes abrasive posts as personal attacks upon your good self!!!
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Some links to rules required (you are the master of a vessel,if in charge of it,whether the vessel is a canoe,dinghy ,supertanker or anything in between these extremes)

    http://homepages.rya-online.net/grov...r%20Safety.htm



    http://www.pla.co.uk/display_fixedpa...ite/navigation

    The above is the Port of London regs for the tidal Thames

    http://www.mendezmarine.co.uk/files/...enting__3_.pdf

    A copy of some of the regs.

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    The problem with Prats in or on leisure watercraft not using common sense and following the regulations is that they will inevitably bring more regulation and policing on sensible water sport users.


    If they are cutting across the bows etc of commercial ships,whether wilfully playing chicken or other bravado,or out of ignorance and incompetence,and they get run down-not only do they risk serious injury or death- but the ships officer or master could be removed from his job until cleared by the Inquiry.

    A pity this case was not followed up and the prats in the dinghy( described in the letter Steve publicised) were prosecuted.

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    Hi All
    I am more of a yachty than a canoeist but love this website. There are basic rules to who has right of way as part of regulations for the prevention of collision at sea. Below is the order in precidence top to bottom as far as I can recall (couldnt find a reliable website to cog off)
    Vessels at anchor
    vessels towing
    fishing vessels with their nets out
    vessels maintaining or laying cable
    vessels in restricted and narrow channels
    vessels under sail
    vessels under engine power
    You will note that canoeists arent even mentioned but which one of us is stupid enough too take on any of the above. Jet skis obviously should be at the bottom at least until they develop an engine less irritating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stitchandglue View Post
    ...Jet skis obviously should be at the bottom at least until they develop an engine less irritating.
    And riders less irritating.

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

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    My appologies David, I have had a stressful and emmotional weekend

    Err ok, so yes, a Laser is a small piddley boat compared to what you are used to

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    No bother Paul. Small they may be but size isn't everything!!!
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

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