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MISCELLANEOUS COAST GUARD HEARINGS

ANCHOR LIGHTS AND FOG SIGNALS IN SPECIAL

ANCHORAGE AREAS

TUESDAY, APRIL 23, 1963

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON COAST GUARD, COAST AND

GEODETIC SURVEY, AND NAVIGATION OF THE
COMMITTEE ON MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10:50 a.m., pursuant to previous business, in room 219, Cannon House Office Building, Hon. Edward A. Garmatz (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding:

Mr. GARMATZ. We will continue by considering H.R. 4300 by Chairman Bonner. This bill would amend the inland and western rivers rules concerning anchor lights and fog signals required in special anchorage areas, and for other purposes.

(The bill with Executive Communication 453 and agency reports follow :)

[H.R. 4300, 88th Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To amend the inland and western rivers rules concerning anchor lights and fog

signals required in special anchorage areas, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That article 11 of section 1 of the Act of June 7, 1897, as amended (33 U.S.C. 180), is further amended to read as follows:

"Art. 11. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this article, a vessel under one hundred and fifty feet in length when at anchor shall carry forward, where it can best be seen, a white light in a lantern so constructed as to shown a clear, uniform, and unbroken light visible all around the horizon at a distance of at least two miles.

“(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this article, a vessel of one hundred and fifty feet or upward in length, when at anchor, shall carry in the forward part of the vessel, at a height of not less than twenty feet above the hull, one such light, and at or near the stern of the vessel, and at such a height that it shall be not less than fifteen feet lower than the forward light, another such light.

"(c) The Secretary of the Army may, after investigation, by rule, regulation, or order, designate such areas as he may deem proper as 'special anchorage areas'; such special anchorage areas may from time to time be cha d, or abolished, if after investigation the Secretary of the Army shall deem such change or abolition in the interest of navigation. When anchored within such

an area

"(1) a vessel of not more than sixty-five feet in length shall not be required to carry or exhibit the white light required by this article;

(2) a barge, canalboat, scow, or other nodescript craft of one hundred and fifty feet or upward in length may carry and exhibit the single white light prescribed by paragraph (a) of this article in lieu of the two white lights prescribed by paragraph (b) of this article; and

"(3) where two or more barges, canalboats, scows, or other nondescript craft are tied together and anchored as a unit, the anchor light prescribed

by this article need be displayed only on the vessel having its anchor down.' Sec. 2. Subparagraph (d) of article 15 of section 1 of the Act of June 7, 1897 (33 U.S.C. 191) is amended to read as follows:

“(d) A vessel when at anchor shall, at intervals of not more than one minute, ring the bell rapidly for about five seconds, except that the following vessels shall not be required to sound this signal when anchored in a special anchorage area established pursuant to paragraph (c) of article 11 :

(1) a vessel of not more than sixty-five feet in length; and

“(2) a barge, canalboat, scow, or other nondescript craft.” Sec. 3. The rule numbered 13 in section 4233 of the Revised Statutes, as amended (33 U.S.C. 322), is further amended to read as follows:

"RULE NUMBERED 13. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this rule, a vessel under one hundred and fifty feet in length, when at anchor, shall carry forward, where it can best be seen, a white light in a lantern so constructed as to show a clear, uniform, and unbroken light visible all around the horizon at a distance of at least two miles.

“(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this rule, a vessel of one hundred and fifty feet or upward in length, when at anchor, shall carry in the forward part of the vessel, at a height of not less than twenty feet above the hull, one such light, and at or near the stern of the vessel, at such a height that it shall be not less than fifteen feet lower than the forward light, another such light.

"(c) The Secretary of the Army may, after investigation, by rule, regulation, or order, designate such areas as he may deem proper as 'special anchorage areas'; such special anchorage areas may from time to time be changed, or abolished, if after investigation the Secretary of the Army shall deem such change or abolition in the interests of navigation. When anchored within such an area

“(1) a vessel of not more than sixty-five feet in length shall not be required to carry or exhibit the white light required by this rule;

“(2) a barge, canalboat, scow, or other nondescript craft of one hundred and fifty feet or upward in length may carry and exhibit the single white light prescribed by paragraph (a) of this rule in lieu of the two white lights prescribed by paragraph (b) of this rule; and

“(3) where two or more barges, canalboats, scows, or other nondescript craft are tied together and anchored as a unit, the anchor light prescribed

by this rule need be displayed only on the vessel having its anchor down." SEC. 4. Subparagraph (d) of rule numbered 15 in section 4233 of the Revised Statutes, as amended (33 U.S.C. 331), is further amended to read as follows:

"(d) A vessel when at anchor shall, at intervals of not more than one minute, ring the bell rapidly for about five seconds, except that the following vessels shall not be required to sound this signal when anchored in a special anchorage area established pursuant to paragraph (c) of rule 13:

(1) a vessel not more than sixty-five feet in length; and
(2) a barge, canalboat, scow, or other nondescript craft."

[Executive Communication 453]
THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE TREASURY,

Washington, February 20, 1963.
Hon. John W. McCORMACK,
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

DEAB MR. SPEAKER: There is transmitted herewith a draft of a proposed bill, to amend the inland and western rivers rules concerning anchor lights and fog signals required in special anchorage areas, and for other purposes.

The purpose of this proposed legislation is first, to ameliorate existing statutory requirements of inland and western rivers rules for anchor lights and fog signals with respect to certain classes of vessels when anchored in "special anchorage areas" designated by the Secretary of the Army under authority of 33 U.S.C. 180 and 322, and second, to make the inland and western rivers rules regarding anchor lights uniform.

Under existing provisions of the above rules, vessels at anchor in "special anchorage areas” must, with one exception, carry the same lights and sound the same fog signals as vessels anchored elsewhere. Those under 150 feet in length must carry a single all-around white light in the forward part of the vessel, visible for at least 2 miles under western rivers rules, one mile under inland rules. Those of 150 feet or upward in length must carry a second such light in the afterpart of the vessel, at least 15 feet lower than the forward light. All vessels must, under conditions of fog or reduced visibility, sound the prescribed fog signal. This consists of rapidly ringing a bell for about 5 seconds at intervals of not more than once every minute. The one exception is that vessels of not more than 65 feet in length when anchored in these special anchorage areas need not display any anchor light.

A subcommittee of the Western Rivers Panel of the United States Coast Guard's Merchant Marine Council, upon completion of a recent study of problems facing towboat and barge operators on interior and coastal waters of the United States, recommended that the above requirements be modified in certain particulars. This group points out that “special anchorage areas” which are designated by the Secretary of the Army can be safe, well marked, removed from the immediate vicinity of navigable channels or fairways, and published to mariners generally; that barges, scows, and other nondescript craft would often be tied together and anchored in these areas in groups; that such craft are customarily left unmanned; and that existing lighting and fog signal requirements for vessels of this type when anchored in these special areas can safely be reduced. The Merchant Marine Council carefully studied these recommendations and approved them to the extent reflected in this bill.

The bill would ameliorate existing requirements for vessels at anchor in these special anchorage areas in the following particulars :

(1) Barges, scows, canal boats, and other nondescript craft of 150 feet or upward in length would carry a single anchor light in lieu of the two which are presently required.

(2) When barges, scows, canal boats, or other nondescript craft are tied together and anchored as a group, only the vessel with its anchor down would display an anchor light.

(3) Barges, scows, canal boats, and other nondescript craft of all sizes would be exempt from the requirement of sounding a fog signal.

(4) Vessels of any type not more than 65 feet in length would be exempt from the requirement of sounding a fog signal. Existing provisions of the inland and western rivers rules with respect to anchor lights are divergent in several minor particulars. Under the inland rules, the forward anchor light of a vessel of 150 feet or upwards in length must he displayed at a position not less than 20 nor more than 40 feet above the hull ; under the western rivers rules, only the minimum distance is specified. The inland rules require that a vessel of under 150 feet in length display its single anchor light at a height not exceeding 20 feet above the hull; the western river rules make no such requirement. The inland rules prescribe that the visibility of anchor lights shall be at least 1 mile; the western rivers rules prescribe 2 miles. The proposed bill would eliminate these differences and make both sets of rules uniform in these particulars.

It is believed that these changes will remove an unnecessary burden from the shipping industry without materially reducing safety of navigation.

There is enclosed for your convenient reference a comparative type showing the changes in existing law that would be made by the proposed bill, along with a sectional analysis of the bill.

It would be appreciated if you would lay the proposed bill before the House of Representatives. A similar proposed bill has been transmitted to the President of the Senate.

The Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there is no objection from the standpoint of the administration's program to the submission of this proposed legislation to the Congress. Sincerely yours,

DOUGLAS DILLON. SECTIONAL ANALYSIS OF H.R. 4300 Section 1. This section amends article 11 of the Inland Rules of the Road (33 U.S.C. 180), relating to lights required for vessels at anchor, in the following particulars :

(1) It eliminates the present requirement that the single anchor light carried by a vessel of under 150 feet in length be located at a height not exceeding 20 feet above the hull (conforming to western rivers rules).

(2) It eliminates the present requirement that the forward anchor light carried by a vessel of 150 feet or upwards in length be located at a height not exceeding 40 feet above the hull (conforming to western rivers rules).

(3) It extends the visibility requirement of anchor lights from 1 to 2 miles (conforming to western rivers rules).

(4) It ameliorates existing anchor light requirements with respect to vessels at anchor in "special anchorage areas" designated by the Secretary of the Army, in the following particulars :

(a) Vessels of not more than 65 feet in length are exempt from the requirements of displaying an anchor light.

(b) Barges, scows, canal boats, or other nondescript craft of 150 feet or upwards in length will carry a single anchor light of the type prescribed for vessels of under 150 feet length in lieu of the two which are presently required.

(c) Barges, scows, canal boats, or other nondescript craft which are tied together and anchored as a group need display only a single anchor light of the type prescribed for vessels under 150 feet in length, such

light to be displayed on the vessel which has its anchor down. (5) It deletes the existing provision that the length of a vessel shall be deemed to be the length appearing on her certificate of registry (conforming

to western rivers rules). Section 2. This section amends subsection (d) of article 15 of the Inland Rules of the Road (33 U.S.C. 191), relating to sound signals for fog, by exempting the following classes of vessels from the requirement of sounding fog signals when anchored in "special anchorage areas" established by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to article 11(c):

(1) Vessels of not more than 65 feet in length.

(2) Barges, scows, canal boats, or other nondescript craft. Section 3. This section amends rule No. 13 of the western rivers rules (33 U.S.C. 322), relating to lights required to be carried by vessels at anchor, in the following particulars :

(1) It interjects a new requirement that the forward light carried by a vessel of 150 feet or upward in length be displayed not less than 20 feet above the hull (conforming to the inland rules).

(2) It ameliorates existing anchor light requirements with respect to vessels at anchor in "special anchorage areas” designated by the Secretary of the Army, in the following particulars:

(a) Barges, scows, canalboats or other nondescript craft of 150 feet or upward in length will carry a single anchor light of the type prescribed for vessels of under 150 feet in length in lieu of the two which are presently required.

(6) Barges, scows, canalboats or other nondescript craft which are tied together and anchored as a group need display only a single anchor light of the type prescribed for vessels under 150 feet in length, such

light to be displayed on the vessel which has its anchor down. Section 4. This section amends subsection (d) of rule No. 15, western rivers rules (33 U.S.C. 331), relating to signals for fog, by exempting the following classes of vessels from the requirement of sounding fog signals when anchored in “special anchorage areas" established by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to rule No. 11 :

(1) Vessels of not more than 65 feet in length.

(2) Barges, scows, canalboats, or other nondescript craft. The net results of these amendments are that (1) the inland rules and the western rivers rules are made uniform and consistent in their requirements as to anchor lights and fog signals, and (2) under both sets of rules new and lesser requirements are established with respect to anchor lights and fog signals for certain classes of vessels which are anchored in "special anchorage areas” desig. dated by the Secretary of the Army.

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