Category Archives: COLREGS

The range of ship’s navigation lights

​This post starts of with the simple facts of COLREG 22 and then delves deeper and deeper into definitions; deep into the world of lux, lumens and candelas.

Sunset in the Med

The range of Navigation lights

What Rule states the visibility of Navigation lights?

Rule 22-visibility of lights

Note: This Rule states that navigation lights shall have an intensity as specified in Section 8 of Annex I to the COLREGS.

What is the range of Navigation lights in a vessel of 50 meters or more in length?

  • Masthead light- 6 miles
  • Sidelight-3 miles
  • Sternlight-3 miles
  • Towing light-3 miles
  • A white, red, green or yellow all-round light-3 miles

What is the range of Navigation lights in a vessel of 12 meters or more in length but less than 50 meters in length?

  • Masthead light, 5 miles; except that where the length of the vessel is less than 20 meters, 3 miles
  • Sidelight- 2 miles
  • Sternlight-2 miles;
  • Towing light-2 miles;
  •  White, red, green or yellow all-round light-2 miles

What is the range of Navigation lights in a vessel of less than 12 meters in length?

  • Masthead light- 2 miles
  • Sidelight- 1 mile
  • A sternlight- 2 miles
  • Towing light-2 miles
  • White, red, green or yellow all-round light- 2 miles

What is the range of Navigation lights of an inconspicuous, partly submerged vessel or object being towed?

White all-round light- 3 miles.

Waiting for the amplitude

The intensity of Navigation lights

The intensity required to achieve the minimum range is derived from a formula given in Section 8 of Annex I to the Colregs.

The intensity formula

1=3.43 × 1 06×T × D2 × K-D

What do the parts of the Navigation light intensity formula mean?

I is luminous intensity in candelas under service conditions

The candela is the SI unit of luminous intensity.  It is the luminous power per unit solid angle emitted by a point light source in a particular direction.

Or to be more accurate, it  is the luminous intensity, in a given direction, of a source that emits monochromatic radiation of frequency 540×1012 hertz and that has a radiant intensity in that direction of 1/683 watt per steradian.

The steradian is a square radian, and is the SI unit of solid angle.

T is threshold factor 2 × 10-7 lux

The lux is the SI unit of illuminance and luminous emittance, measuring luminous flux per unit area.It is equal to one lumen per square metre. It is used as a measure of the intensity, as perceived by the human eye.

The lumen is  the SI unit of luminous flux, a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source.

D is range of visibility (luminous range) of the light in nautical miles

The luminous range is the maximum distance at which a light can be seen, as determined by the luminous intensity of the light, the atmospheric transmission factor and the threshold of illuminance on the eye of the observer.

Ship's at anchor off Gibraltar

 K is atmospheric transmissivity.

Atmospheric transmissivity is he ratio of the directly transmitted flux incident on a surface after passing through unit thickness of the atmosphere to the flux that would be incident on the same surface if the flux had passed through a vacuum.

The value of K shall be 0.8, corresponding to a meteorological visibility of approximately 13 nautical miles.


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When to show Navigation lights

Ferry mast

Turn on the Navigation Lights

Bit of backtracking in this post, back to the fundamental question of when to turn the navigation lights on. 

What COLREG  Rule states when navigation lights should be shown?

Rule 20

​When must Navigation lights be shown?

  • Sunset to Sunrise-During the day
  • Sunrise to Sunset-During the night
  • In restricted visibility
  • May be exhibited in all other circumstances when it is deemed necessary.

What other lights can be shown from sunset to sunrise?

No other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights as:

  • Cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in the COLREGS
  • Do not impair their visibility or distinctive characterer
  • Do not Interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out

What is Restricted Visibility?

This is  any condition in which visibility is restricted by:

  • Fog
  • Mist
  • Falling snow
  • Heavy rainstorms
  • Sandstorms
  • Any other similar causes.

See COLREG Rule 3


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Navigation lights defined

Down another level, down past the Rule list, down through the power-driven vessel rule, down to some definitions.

A quick guide to Navigation light definitions

Where are the definitions for Navigation lights?

Section C  of the COLREGS, Rule 21.

Here are those definitions condensed down to some easy to remember facts.

What is a masthead light?A Masthead Light

  •  White light
  •  Placed over the fore and aft centerline of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225 degrees
  • So fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of the vessel

What are Sidelights?

  • Green light on the starboard side and a red light on the port side Port Sidelight
  • Each showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 112.5 degrees
  • So fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on its respective side.

In a vessel of less than 20 meters in length the sidelights may be combined in one lantern carried on the fore and aft center-line of the vessel.

When did the Red and Green sidelights come into use?

In 1848 the UK issued  regulations requiring steam vessels to display red and green sidelights as well as a white masthead light. This was a follow on from an act of 1846 that became the basis of the current IMO COLREGS.

 

What is a Sternlight?Sternlight on a bunker tanker

  • White light
  • Placed as nearly as practicable at the stern
  • Showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 135 degrees
  •  So fixed as to show the light 67.5 degrees from right aft on each side of the vessel

What is a Towing light?

  • Yellow light
  • Same characteristics as the sternlight

 

What is an all-round light?

  •  A light Showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 360All-round lights degrees

What is a Flashing light?

  • A light flashing at regular intervals at a frequency of 120 flashes or more per minute

Why are the arcs of navigation not given in rounded numbers of degrees?

The arcs of navigation lights are based on the traditional mariners compass. In this each ‘point’ is 1/32 of a circle, which is 11.25 degrees.  The change in arch between Masthead lights/Sidelights and the sternlight occures at 2 points abaft the beam, that is 22.5 degrees.

The Navigation Light Definitions and the Rest of The COLREGS

Two vessel situations are defined within the Rules by the aspects of their navigation lights; a crossing situation is implied by being neither of these.

Overtaking-Rule 13

A vessel overtaking when coming up with another vessel from a direction Power Driven Vessel from Asternmore than 22.5 degrees abaft her beam, that is, in such a position that at night she would be able to see only the sternlight of that vessel but neither of her sidelights.

Head on (Power-driven vessels)-Rule 14Power Driven vessel end on

A head on situation exists when a vessel sees the other ahead or nearly ahead and by night she could see the masthead lights of the other in a line or nearly in a line and/or both sidelights, and by day she observes the corresponding aspect of the other vessel.

 


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Navigation Lights-Power Driven Vessels

It is time to start a new series of posts, a series that returns to explore COLREGS. The series of posts will start its  dive into the Navigation Light Rules with the most common set of lights seen deep sea, a power-driven vessel of  50  metres in length underway.

Note: These posts will not reproduce the Rules word perfect, so please refer to copy of the Regulations for the original wording.

Power Driven Vessel Lights

What Rule covers power driven vessels underway?

RULE 23 Power-driven Vessels Underway

It is important to note when interpreting this Rule two of the definitions in Rule 3, namely

  • That Power-driven vessel means any vessel propelled by machinery
  • Underway means that a vessel is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground

What is contained in Rule 23?

  • (a) What a power driven Vessel Underway must exhibit
  • (b) What an air cushion vessel should exhibit
  • (c) What a power driven vessel of less than 12 metres in length should exhibit

What lights must a power driven vessel underway show?Power Driven vessel end on

  • Masthead light forward
  • A second masthead light abaft of and higher than the forward one; a vessel of less than 50 meters in length shall not be obliged to exhibit such light but may do so
  • sidelights
  • A stern light

The lights of smalI power driven vessels

Of less than 12 meters in length

May insted of the masthead lights and side lights lights exhibit an all-round white light and sidelights.

Of less less than 7 meters in length whose maximum speed does not exceed 7 knots

May exhibit an all round white light instead of masthead, side and stern lights, but shall, if practicable, also exhibit sidelights.

How may the positioning of the lights of a power driven vessel less than 12 meters in length differ?

The masthead light or all-round white light may be displaced from the fore and aft centerline of the vessel if centerline fitting is not practicable, as long as the sidelights are combined in one lantern which shall be carried on the fore and aft centerline of the vessel or located as nearly as Power Driven Vessel from Asternpracticable in the same fore and aft line as the masthead light or the all-round white light.

The size requirements list simplified

  • 50m: Two masthead lights required
  • 12m: May combine masthead and stern lights in all round light
  • 7m/7knts: May replace all the lights with an all round light

The next post will look at the meanings of the key terms in Rule 23.


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COLREGS and Navigation lights

It is time for a change of tack across on the Navregs blog, to leave the SOLAS V  posts to one side for a bit and delve down into a subject area not covered for a while, the COLREGS. This time it is lights.

The posts will start at the generic level, and then descend into more and more detail, and see where it finally reaches the bottom of the regulatory pile.

Power Driven Vessel Lights

Which Rules cover navigation lights?

Here is a list the COLREG rules defining the lights vessels must show. Part C of the Rules is the section covering navigation lights. As the posts build in this series, so this list will have links added to form a useful index.

  • Rule 20 Application
  • Rule 22 Visibility of lights
  • Rule 23 Power driven vessels underway
  • Rule 24 Towing and Pushing
  • Rule 25 Sailing Vessels Underway and vessels Under oars
  • Rule 26 Fishing Vessels
  • Regulation 27 Vessels Not Under Command or Restricted in Their Ability To Manoeuvre
  • Rule 28 Vessels constrained by their draft
  • Rule 29 Pilot Vessels
  • Rule 30 Anchored Vessels and Vessels aroun
  • Rule 31 Seaplanes

The Annexes

Much of the technical specifications of navigation lights is contained within ANNEX I.

  • ANNEX I-Positioning and technical details of lights and shapes
  • ANNEX II-Additional Signals for fishing vessels fishing in close proximity

What is contained within the Navigation light Rules?A Masthead Light

And here is a list of the contents of those Rules, and some additional rules from the rest of the COLREGS with navlight related topics.

Rule 1 Application

  • (C) Additional lights and shapes
  • (E) Vessels of special constuction or purpose

Part C lights and shapes

Rule 20 Application

  •  (a) Requirement to comply with  in all weathers.
  •  (b) Requirement to comply with at night.
  • (c) When to require with  part during the day
  •  (e) The lights  shall comply with the provisions of Annex I

Rule  21 DefinitionsPort Sidelight

  • (a) Masthead light
  • (b) Sidelights
  • (c) Sternlight
  • (d) Towing  light
  • (e) All -Round light
  • (f) Flashing light

Rule 22 Visibility of lights

  • (a) Vessels of 50 metres or more in length
  • (b) Vessels  of 12 metres or more in length but less than 50 metres in length
  • (c) Vessels of less than 12 metres in length
  • (d) Lights on inconspicuous towed vessels or objects

Rule 23 Power driven vessels underway

  • (a) What a power driven Vessel Underway must exhibit
  • (b) What an air cushion vessel should exhibit
  • (c) What a power driven vessel of less than 12 metres in length should exhibit

Rule 24 Towing and Pushing

  • (a) What a power driven vessel when towing must exhibitAll-round lights
  • (b) What a vessel pushing ahead as a composite unit shall exhibit
  • (c) What a vessel pushing ahead of towing alongside shall exhibit
  • (d) Requirement to comply with Rule 23(a}(ii) in addition
  • (e) What a vessel or object being towed should exhibit
  • (f) What a group of vessels being towed should exhibit
  • (g) What inconspicuous or partly submerged objects or vessels should exhibit.
  • (h) When a towed vessel cannot exhibit these lights
  • (i) What can be displayed by vessels towing a vessel in distress or need of assistance

Rule 25 Sailing Vessels Underway and vessels Under oars

  • (a) What a sailing vessel underway should exhibit
  • (b) What a sailing vessel of less than 20 metres in length
  • (c) Additional lights that may be shown by sailing vessels
  • (d) What sailing vessels of less than 7 metres in length and vessels under oars shall show

Rule 26 Fishing Vessels

  • (a) Requirement that a vessel engaged in fishing should comply with only this RuleFishing Vessel lights
  • (b) What a vessel engaged in trawling shall exhibit
  • (c) What a vessel engaged in fishing other then trawling shall exhibit
  • (d) When the additional signals in Annex II can be used
  • (e) What a vessel not engaged in fishing shall exhibit

Regulation 27 Vessels Not Under Command or Restricted in Their Ability To Manoeuvre

  • (a) What a vessel not under command shal exhibit
  • (b) What a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre shall exhibit
  • (c) What a towing vessel when restricted in her ability to manoeuvre should exhibit
  • (d) What a vessel engaged in dredging or underwater operations shall exhibit
  • (e) What a small vessel engaged in diving may exhibit
  • (f) What a vessel engaged in mine clearance shall exhibit
  • (g) The requirements for vessels less than 12 metres in length
  • (h) These lights do not mean distress

Rule 28 Vessels constrained by their draft

Rule 29 Pilot Vessels

  • (a) What a pilot vessel engaged in pilot duty shall exhibit
  • (b) What a pilot vessel not engaged in pilot duty shall exhibit

Rule 30 Anchored Vessels and Vessels around

  • (a) What a vessel at anchor shall exhibit
  • (b) What a vessel of less than 50 metres in length may exhibit when at anchor
  • (c) What a vessel of over a 100 metres in length shall exhibit in addition

Rule 31 Seaplanes

What lights a seaplane shall exhibit

Rule 36 Signals to attract Attention

Rule 38 Exemptions

The following expemtions are still in force:

  • The repositioning of lights as a result of conversion from Imperial to metric units and rounding off measurement figures
  • The repositioning of masthead lights on vessels of less than 150 meters in length, resulting from theprescriptions of Section 3(a) of Annex I
  •  The repositioning of all-round lights resulting from the prescription of Section 9(b) of Annex I

The Annexes

Navigation lights from the bulk of the  Annexes of the COLREGS. ANNEX I contains all the detail of what, where, and how the lights should be fitted.

ANNEX I

POSITIONING AND TECHNICAL DETAILS OF LIGHTS AND SHAPES

  • 1. Definition
  • 2. Vertical positioning and spacing of lights
  • 3. Horizontal positioning and spacing of lights
  • 4. Details of location of direction-indicating lights for fishing vessels, dredgers
  • and vessels engaged in underwater operations
  • 5. Screens for sidelights
  • 7. Colour specification of lights
  • 8. Intensity of lights
  • 9. Horizontal sectors
  • 10. Vertical sectors
  • 11. Intensity of non-electric lights
  • 12. Manoeuvring light
  • 13. High Speed Craft
  • 14. Approval

ANNEX II

Additional Signals for fishing vessels fishing in close proximity

  • 1. General
  • 2. Signals for trawlers
  • 3. Signals for purse seiners

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SOLAS V and Navigational Bridge Design

Container Ship Bridge at Portsmouth

A Handy Summary

This series of posts on SOLAS V, Safety of navigation now explores a group of regulations concerned with the navigational bridge. 

What Regulation covers Navigational Bridge Design?

SOLAS Regulation 15 – ‘Principles Relating to Bridge Design, Design and Arrangement of Navigational Systems and Equipment and Bridge Procedures.‘ The principles in this Regulation must be taken into account when complying with the following SOLAS regulations:

  • 19-Carriage requirements for shipborne navigational systems and equipment
  • 22-Navigation bridge visibility
  • 24-Use of heading and/or track control systems
  • 25-Operation of main source of electrical power and steering gear
  • 27-Nautical charts and nautical publications
  • 28-Records of navigational activities and daily reporting

These regulations will be covered in later posts.

What are the principles of Navigational Bridge Design?

Bridge of a Fyffe ship

Bridge design must:

Appraisal-Facilitate the tasks to be performed by the bridge team and the pilot in making full appraisal of the situation and in navigating the ship safely under all  conditions.

Bridge Resources-Promote effective and safe bridge resource management.

Information access-Enable the bridge team and the pilot to have convenient and continuous access to essential information.

Information presentation-Present information in a clear and unambiguous manner, using standardized symbols for controls and displays.

Status indication-Indicate the operational status of automated functions and integrated components and systems.

Decision making-Allow for expeditious, continuous and effective information processing and decision-making by the bridge team and the pilot.

Distractions-Prevent or minimize excessive or unnecessary work and any conditions or distractions on the bridge which may cause fatigue or interfere with the vigilance of the bridge team and the pilot.

Human error-Minimize the risk of human error and detecting such error, if it occurs, through monitoring and alarm systems, in time for the bridge team and the pilot to take appropriate action.

Click here for the UK MCA guidance on Regulation 15, and the text of the regulation> 

Rule 5 of the Collision Regulations

These design principles support the most important rule in the COLREGS, Rule 5

“Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight an

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d hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and or the risk of collision.”

Where to look for more detailed information

The broad principles of Regulation 15 will be expanded with some practical detail in tne next post when I dig into Circular 982.


Further Reading

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COLREG Part F-some new Rules

Collision Regulations Rules 39, 40 and 41

Verification of Compliance

GormleyHead

A quick pause before commencing the next topic on ship certification to have a look at a change in the Collision Regulations introduced in January 2016.  This change introduced a complete new section to the rules; section F.  Section F is concerned with flag state implementation of the Convention, and will have no direct impact on vessels at sea.

Power Driven Vessel Lights

COLREG Blog update- Since this post was published a new COLREG series of posts has started,  exploring the regulations that surround Navigation lights. 

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PART F – VERIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE CONVENTION

Rule 39 Definitions

(a) Audit means a systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which audit criteria are fulfilled.

(b) Audit Scheme means the IMO Member State Audit Scheme established by the Organization and taking into account the guidelines developed by the Organization.

(c) Code for Implementation means the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code) adopted by the Organization by resolution A.1070(28). (d) Audit Standard means the Code for Implementation.

Rule 40 Application

Contracting Parties shall use the provisions of the Code for Implementation in the execution of their obligations and responsibilities contained in the present Convention.

Rule 41 Verification of compliance

(a) Every Contracting Party shall be subject to periodic audits by the Organization in accordance with the audit standard to verify compliance with and implementation of the present Convention.

(b) The Secretary-General of the Organization shall have responsibility for administering the Audit Scheme, based on the guidelines developed by the Organization.

(c) Every Contracting Party shall have responsibility for facilitating the conduct of the audit and implementation of a programme of actions to address the findings, based on the guidelines developed by the Organization.

(d) Audit of all Contracting Parties shall be:

(i) based on an overall schedule developed by the Secretary-General of the Organization, taking into account the guidelines developed by the Organization; and

(ii) conducted at periodic intervals, taking into account the guidelines developed by the Organization.

References


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Top ten MGNs for officer of the watches

image

UK Marine Guidance Notices  (MGNs) are excellent sources of information for anyone studying for Officer of Watch examinations, even for those not sailing under the British flag. Here are the top ten of the Notices covering OOW topics.

Follow the links to read the notice.

The top ten UK Marine Guidence notes for the officer of the watch.  (Feb 2016)

1 MGN 315 (M) – Keeping a Safe Navigational Watch on Merchant Vessels

2 MGN 369 (M+F) – Navigation: Navigation in Restricted Visibility

3 MGN 379 (M+F) – Navigation: Use of Electronic Navigation Aids

4 MGN 137 (M+F) – Look-out During Periods of Darkness and Restricted Visibility

5 MGN 357 (M+F) – Night-time lookout – Photochromic Lenses and Dark Adaptation

6 MGN 199 (M) – Dangers of interaction

7 MGN 299 (M+F) – Interference with Safe Navigation through Inappropriate Use of Mobile Phones

8 MGN 372 (M+F) – Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREIs): Guidance to Mariners Operating in the Vicinity of UK OREIs

9 MGN 364 (M+F) – Navigation: Traffic Separation Schemes – Application of Rule 10 and Navigation in the Dover Strait

10 MGN 301 (M+F) – Manoeuvring Information on Board Ships

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OOW Question-Fitness for Duty-The Answer

image

Question: Who can be an officer of the watch (OOW)

Answer: An officer in charge of a navigational watch shall be qualified in accordance with the requirements of STCW 95. Under no circumstances is it permitted for an un-qualified person to take charge of a navigational watch

Note-It is the responsibility of the owner or operator, and Master to ensure that every navigational watchkeeping officer is appropriately qualified with respect to the size of the vessel and limitations in the area of operation.

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OOW Question- Who can be the officer of a watch?

image

These series of questions now move on to the subject of fitness for duty as officer of the watch.

Question: Who can be an officer of the watch (OOW)?

A bit of Revision

Rule 7 Risk of Collision
(a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist.

 

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