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REGULATIONS FOR PREVENTING COLLISIONS AT SEA AND PROMOTION, ETC., OF COAST GUARD OFFICERS

THURSDAY, JUNE 27, 1963

U.S. SENATE,

COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 11:45 a.m., room 1202, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., Hon. Senator E. L. Bartlett presiding.

Senator BARTLETT. The committee will be in order. This phase of the hearing will take up S. 1460 and S.1459. (The bills follow:)

[S. 1459, 88th Cong., 1st sess. ] A BILL To authorize the President to proclaim regulations for preventing collisions at sea

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the President is authorized to proclaim the regulations set forth in section 4 of this Act for preventing collisions involving waterborne craft upon the high seas, and in all waters connected therewith. The effective date of such proclamation shall be not earlier than the date fixed by the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization for application of such regulations by governments which have agreed to accept them. Such proclamation, together with the regulations, shall be published in the Federal Register and after the effective date specified in such proclamation such regulations shall have effect as if enacted by statute and shall be followed by all public and private vessels of the United States and by all aircraft of United States registry to the extent therein made applicable. Such regulations shall not apply to the harbors, rivers, and other inland waters of the United States ; to the Great Lakes of North America and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as the lower exit of the Saint Lambert Lock at Montreal in the Province of Quebec, Canada; to the Red River of the North and the rivers emptying into the Gulf of Mexico and their tributaries; nor with respect to aircraft in any territorial waters of the United States.

SEC. 2. Any requirement of such regulations in respect of the number, position, range of visibility, or arc of visibility of the lights required to be displayed by vessels shall not apply to any vessel of the Navy or of the Coast Guard whenever the Secretary of the Navy or the Secretary of the Treasury, in the case of Coast Guard vessels operating under the Treasury Department, or such official as either may designate, shall find or certify that, by reason of special construction, it is not possible for such vessel or class of vessels to comply with such regulations. The lights of any such exempted vessel or class of vessels, however, shall conform as closely to the requirements of the a pplicable regulations as the Secretary or such official shall find or certify to be feasible. Notice of such findings or certification and of the character and position of the lights prescribed to be displayed on such exempted vessel or class of vessels shall be published in the Federal Register and in the Notice to Mariners and, after the effective date specified in such notice, shall have effect as part of such regulations. Professional staff member assigned to this hearing: August J. Bourbon.

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SEC. 3. On the date the regulations authorized to be proclaimed under section 1 hereof take effect, the Act of October 11, 1951 (65 Stat. 406), is repealed and the regulations proclaimed thereunder shall be of no further force or effect. Until such date, nothingherein shall in any way limit, supersede, or repeal any regulations for the prevention of collisions which have heretofore been prescribed by statute, regulation, or rule. Any reference in any other law to the Act of October 11, 1951 (65 Stat. 406), or the regulations proclaimed thereunder, shall be deemed a reference to this Act and the regulations proclaimed hereunder.

SEC. 4. The regulations authorized to be proclaimed under section 1 hereof are the Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1960, approved by the International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea, 1960, held at London from May 17, 1960, to June 17, 1960, as follows:

"REGULATIONS FOR PREVENTING COLLISIONS AT SEA

"PART A. PRELIMINARY AND DEFINITIONS

“Rule 1

“(a) These Rules shall be followed by all vessels and seaplanes upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith navigable by seagoing vessels, except as provided in Rule 30. Where, as a result of their special construction, it is not possible for seaplanes to comply fully with the provisions of Rules specifying the carrying of lights and shapes, these provisions shall be followed as closely as circumstances permit.

"(b) The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with in all weathers from sunset to sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights as cannot be mistaken for the prescribed lights or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out. The lights prescribed by these Rules may also be exhibited from sunrise to sunset in restricted visibility and in all other circumstances when it is deemed necessary. "(c) In the following Rules, except where the context otherwise requires

(i) the word 'vessel' includes very description of water craft, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water;

“(ii) the word ‘seaplane' includes a flying boat and any other aircraft designed to manæver on the water;

“(iii) the term 'power-driven vessel' means any vessel propelled by machinery;

"(iv) every power-driven vessel which is under sail and not under power is to be considered a sailing vessel, and every vessel under power, whether under sail or not, is to be considered a power-driven vessel ;

“(v) a vessel or seaplane on the water is ‘under way' when she is not at anchoi or made fast to the shore, or aground;

(vi) the term 'height above the hull' means height above the uppermost continuous deck;

“(vii) the length and breadth of a vessel shall be her length overall and largest breadth;

“(viii) the length and span of a seaplane shall be its maximum length and span as shown in its certificate of airworthiness, or as determined by measurement in the absence of such certificate;

“(ix) vessels shall be deemed to be in sight of one another only when one can be observed visually from the other;

(x) the word 'visible', when applied to lights, means visible on a dark night with a clear atmosphere;

(xi) the term 'short blast' means a blast of about one second's duration ;

“(xii) the term 'prolonged blast' means a blast of from four to six seconds' duration;

“(xiii) the word 'whistle' means any appliance capable of producing the prescribed short and prolonged blasts ;

"(xiv) the term 'engaged in fishing' means fishing with nets, lines or trawls but does not include fishing with trolling lines.

PART B.-LIGHTS AND SHAPES

“Rule 2

*(a) A power-driven vessel when under way shall carry

“(i) On or in front of the foremast, or if a vessel without a foremast then in the forepart of the vessel, a white light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon 225 degrees (20 points of the compass), so fixed as to show the light 11212 degrees (10 points) on each side of the vessel, that is, from right ahead to 2212 degrees (2 points) abaft the beam on either side, and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 5 miles.

“(ii) Either forward or abaft the white light prescribed in subsection (i) a second white light similar in construction and character to that light. Vessels of less than 150 feet in length shall not be required to carry this second white light but may do so.

"(iii) These two white lights shall be so placed in a line with and over the keel that one shall be at least 15 feet higher than the other and in such a position that the forward light shall always be shown lower than the after one. The horizontal distance between the two white lights shall be at least three times the vertical distance. The lower of these two white lights or, if only one is carried, then that light, shall be placed at a height above the hull of not less than 20 feet, and, if the breadth of the vessel exceeds 20 feet, then at a height above the hull not less than such breadth, so however that the light need not be placed at a greater height above the hull than 40 feet. In all circumstances the light or lights, as the case may be, shall be so placed as to be clear of and above all other lights and obstructing superstructures.

“(iv) On the starboard side a green light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 11242 degrees (10 points of the compass), so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 2242 degrees (2 points) abaft the beam on the starboard side, and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 2 miles.

“(v) On the port side a red light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 11212 degrees (10 points of the compass), so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 2212 degrees (2 points) abaft the beam on the port side, and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 2 miles.

“(vi) The said green and red sidelights shall be fitted with inboard screen projecting at least 3 feet forward from the light, so as to prevent

these lights from being seen across the bows. (b) A seaplane under way on the water shall carry

“(i) In the forepart amidships where it can best be seen a white light, so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 220 degrees of the compass, so fixed as to show the light 110 degrees on each side of the sea plane, namely, from right ahead to 20 degrees abaft the beam on either side, and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 3 miles.

(ii) On the right or starboard wing tip a green light, so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 110 degrees of the compass, so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 20 degrees abaft the beam on the starboard side, and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 2 miles.

(iii) On the left or port wing tip a red light, so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 110 degrees of the compass, so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 20 degrees abaft the beam on the port side, and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 2 miles.

“Rule 3

“(a) A power-driven vessel when towing or pushing another vessel or seaplane shall, in addition to her sidelights, carry two white lights in a vertical line one over the other, not less than 6 feet apart, and when towing and the length of the tow, measuring from the stern of the towing vessel to the stern of the last vessel towed, exceeds 600 feet, shall carry three white lights in a vertical line one over the other, so that the upper and lower lights shall be the same distance from, and not less than 6 feet above or below, the middle light. Each of these lights shall be of the same construction and character and one of them shall be carried in the same position as the white light prescribed in Rule 2(a) (i). None of these lights shall be carried at a height of less than 14 feet above the hull. In a vessel with a single mast, such lights may be carried on the mast.

“(b) The towing vessel shall also show either the stern light prescribed in Rule 10 or in lieu of that light a small white light abaft the funnel or aftermast for the tow to steer by, but such light shall not be visible forward of the beam.

"(c) Between sunrise and sunset a power-driven vessel engaged in towing, if the length of tow exceeds 600 feet, shall carry, where it can best be seen, a black diamond shape at least 2 feet in diameter.

“(d) A seaplane on the water, when towing one or more seaplanes or vessels, shall carry the lights prescribed in Rule 2(b) (i), (ii), and (iii); and, in addition, she shall carry a second white light of the same construction and character as the white light prescribed in Rule 2(b) (i), and in a vertical line at least 6 feet above or below such light.

Rule 4

“(a) A vessel which is not under command shall carry, where they can best be seen, and, if a power-driven vessel, in lieu of the lights prescribed in Rule 2(a) (i) and (ii), two red lights in a vertical line one over the other not less than 6 feet apart, and of such a character as to be visible all round the horizon at a distance of at least 2 miles. By day, she shall carry in a vertical line one over the other not less than 6 feet apart, where they can best be seen, two black balls or shapes each not less than 2 feet in diameter.

“(b) A seaplane on the water which is not under command may carry, where they can best be seen, and in lieu of the light prescribed in Rule 2(b) (i), two red lights in a vertical line, one over the other, not less than 3 feet apart, and of such a character as to be visible all round the horizon at a distance of at least 2 miles, and may by day carry in a vertical line one over the other 'not less than 3 feet apart, where they can best be seen, two black balls or shapes, each not less than 2 feet in diameter.

"(c) A vessel engaged in laying or in picking up a submarine cable or navigation mark, or a vessel engaged in surveying or underwater operations, or a vessel engaged in replenishment at sea, or in the launching or recovery of aircraft when from the nature of her work she is unable to get out of the way of approaching vessels, shall carry, in lieu of the lights prescribed in Rule 2(a) (i) and (ii), or Rule 7(a) (i), three lights in a vertical line one over the other so that the upper and lower lights shall be the same distance from, and not less than 6 feet above or below, the middle light. The highest and lowest of these lights shall be red, and the middle light shall be white, and they shall be of such a character as to be visible all round the horizon at a distance of at least 2 miles. By day, she shall carry in a vertical line one over the other not less than 6 feet apart, where they can best be seen, three shapes each not less than 2 feet in diameter, of which the highest and lowest shall be globular in shape and red in colour, and the middle one diamond in shape and white.

“(d) (i) A vessel engaged in minesweeping operations shall carry at the fore truck a green light, and at the end or ends of the fore yard on the side or sides on which danger exists, another such light or lights. These lights shall be carried in addition to the light prescribed in Rule 2 to be visible

or Rule 7(a) (i), as appropriate, and shall be of such a character as all round the horizon at a distance of at least 2 miles. By day she shall carry black balls, not less than 2 feet in diameter, in the same position as the green lights.

“(ii) The showing of these lights or balls indicates that it is dangerous for other vessels to approach closer than 3,000 feet astern of the minesweeper or 1,500 feet on the side or sides on which danger exists.

(e) The vessels and seaplanes referred to in this Rule, when not making way through the water, shall show neither the coloured sidelights nor the stern light, but when making way they shall show them.

(f) The lights and shapes prescribed in this Rule are to be taken by other vessels and seaplanes as signals that the vessel or seaplane showing them is not under command and cannot therefore get out of the way.

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