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Basic Navigation - Who Has The Right of Way

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My last article dealt with proper navigation lighting and in the article I referred to a few rules of the road, specifically when it relates to which boats have the right of way.There seemed to be a lot of discussion on the topic, so I figured I would write about it this week.If you drive a car, then you understand that there are situations where one vehicle has the right of way compared to another.The same concept applies to vessels on the water and understanding the rules is very important.On many occasions, lack of understanding of these rules had led to dangerous situations and sometimes even loss of life.
First, let me provide a few definitions:
COLREGS – Abbreviation for Collision Regulations and is an international set of rules defined to prevent collisions between vessels as sea.It must be noted that some regulations differ slightly on inland waters (lakes and rivers) so it is important to know the rules in the area(s) that you boat.
Give Way Vessel – This is the vessel that is r…

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Basic Marine Navigation Lighting

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Recently, I read an article about another boating accident.This one occurred at night and the two boats involved in the incident apparently collided head on.When I hear about incidents such as this, I often wonder how it happened.Was someone operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs?Was someone just not paying attention?In the case of this most recent incident, one of the boats involved apparently did not have any navigation lights on.The incident resulted in at least three individuals losing their lives.None of the passengers on either vessel were wearing life jackets.We often hear safety reminders about wearing life jackets and boating under the influence but what about navigation lights?
There are a lot of boaters that do not boat at night and therefore, never use their navigation lights.As a result, many of us never give a thought to maintenance and some of us don’t even know what they mean when they are observed out on the water.There are a lot of variations for mar…

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