The Role Of COLREGs In Preventing Maritime Accidents

VWB Blog 10 months ago 20

Whose duty is it to move out of harm’s way? Who would be at fault if there was an accident or even a close call? To avoid a collision, who ought to take what action and when?

The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, or COLREGs as they are generally known, are the “road rules” for ships and other boats at sea. They specify –

  • How vessels should behave in all visibility conditions
  • In sight of one another
  • In reduced visibility

The guidelines were put in place to help understand how to prevent a collision with,

  • A stand-on vessel
  • A give-way vessel
  • A vessel near another vessel

If you wish to learn more about avoiding collisions at sea, log on to

Guidelines By COLREGs For Avoiding Collisions

Find below collision regulations by COLREGs that must be fully understood and followed by all boats utilizing the waterways.

Keep a vigilant eye. Always keep a watchful eye and ear out for any threats. To aid in the early discovery of other vessels nearby, be conscious of the marine surroundings and implement extra measures in inclement weather, with limited visibility, and at night.

Clearly State Your Aims

Your actions should be purposeful and explicit to make your objectives obvious to other skippers. Take it seriously that the skipper on the other boat will follow the regulations. Be ready to act at any moment to prevent a collision.

Narrow Visibility

All vessels should employ sound signals to convey their whereabouts in situations with poor sight. Use sensible thinking, slow down or halt your boat, and prepare to react quickly. Be very careful when driving in low-light conditions.

Audible Signals

You must be knowledgeable about sound signals and know what to do when you hear one. Light signals may go together with sound signals.

Identify Collision Danger And Take Appropriate Action

Evaluate whether there is a possibility of collision with other boats using all available tools. Timely proactive intervention (modifying even speed or even course) is required to reduce the danger of an accident if it is there.

Rules Of Collision

The COLREGs or IRPCS provide unambiguous indications while passing, nearing, overtaking, and giving way to prevent collisions with other boats. They are the rules of the road for boats.

To Sum Up

Failure to abide by the COLREGs is a crime that, depending on how serious it is, has a maximum sentence of a two-year term in jail and an infinite punishment. A violation of the regulations, such as driving the opposite way in a separating lane, is not always a collision.

Written By