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The video of the col­li­sion be­tween Nap Tyme and the Chet­zemoka ferry was pretty jar­ring. We have plied the Puget Sound wa­ters for decades at 6-7.5 knots and have al­ways given the fer­ries and freighters wide berth. AIS has been great help be­cause the ships come along at 11-13 knots and can close the cross­ings very quickly. The Chet­zemoka docks next to the open­ing to the large Ta­coma Yacht club ma­rina and crosses a very busy chan­nel. I think the crew was so used to see­ing boats yield to them, that they could not wrap their mind around the fact this one wasn’t go­ing to un­til it was too late to avoid the col­li­sion. You see what you ex­pect to see.

Rich Hurst Monk 36, Feisty II Ta­coma, Washington

I was in­trigued by your ar­ti­cle and ref­er­ences to the USCG Nav­i­ga­tion Rules & Reg­u­la­tions Hand­book so much so that I down­loaded it for free and started read­ing it my­self.

I have been boat­ing for many years but still con­sider my­self un­der­e­d­u­cated, which, af­ter see­ing so many near misses on the wa­ter, have come to the con­clu­sion most peo­ple on the wa­ter are “in the same boat”.

Be­ing that the larger of the two boats was a ferry, trans­fer­ring per­sons and ve­hi­cles while un­der­way, Rule #3 - Gen­eral Def­i­ni­tions (g, part iii, in par­tic­u­lar) states:

(g) The term ves­sel re­stricted in her abil­ity to ma­neu­ver means a ves­sel which from the na­ture of her work is re­stricted in her abil­ity to ma­neu­ver as re­quired by these Rules and is there­fore un­able to keep out of the way of an­other ves­sel. The term ves­sels re­stricted in their abil­ity to ma­neu­ver shall in­clude but not be lim­ited to:

(i) a ves­sel en­gaged in lay­ing, ser­vic­ing or pick­ing up a nav­i­ga­tion mark, sub­ma­rine ca­ble or pipe­line;

(ii) a ves­sel en­gaged in dredg­ing, sur­vey­ing or un­der­wa­ter op­er­a­tions;

(iii) a ves­sel en­gaged in re­plen­ish­ment or trans­fer­ring per­sons, pro­vi­sions or cargo while un­der­way;

(iv) a ves­sel en­gaged in the launch­ing or re­cov­ery of air­craft;

(v) a ves­sel en­gaged in mine clear­ance op­er­a­tions;

(vi) a ves­sel en­gaged in a tow­ing op­er­a­tion such as se­verely re­stricts the tow­ing ves­sel and her tow in their abil­ity to de­vi­ate from their course.

Per­son­ally, I put the most all of the blame on the smaller boat. A 273-foot ves­sel is def­i­nitely a “ves­sel re­stricted in her abil­ity to ma­neu­ver.”

Fur­ther­more, I had no idea com­mer­cial ves­sels mon­i­tor Chan­nel 13.

Thank you for this ar­ti­cle. I hope many oth­ers start read­ing the Hand­book and start fol­low­ing the rules. John F Koehler Harrisburg, Penn­syl­va­nia

Dear John, I’m glad to see you read­ing through the USCG Rules and Reg­u­la­tions hand­book. It might not be the most en­ter­tain­ing read but it is an im­por­tant one. I think you are right that many boaters aren’t as ed­u­cated as they should be on the rules; here is to hop­ing your lead­er­ship helps oth­ers to­wards a fresh read. As to your in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Rule #3, the lan­guage there is a lit­tle con­fus­ing. The rule ac­tu­ally refers to the trans­fer of per­sons, pro­vi­sions, or cargo be­tween two ships while un­der­way. The best ex­am­ple I can think of is the re­sup­ply of naval ves­sels by sup­ply ships.—BKL

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