Look Out!!

Report Text:

I was on my yacht, and was single handed.    The weather was fair with a decent wind to sail under full main and headsail.   At approximately 1100, just south of the west bound traffic lane I observed a yacht which was heading on approx 020°.  I continued to observe the yacht and assessed we were on a collision course.  As I, on starboard tack, was the “stand-on” vessel, I maintained my course.  I checked the yacht with binoculars, and could not see any crew on deck, I therefore assessed a collision was inevitable.  I changed course to pass down the port side and astern of the yacht.  As we drew level, at 1133 I sighted the crew who were sheltering under the spray hood, facing aft, and either reading or sleeping.  I hailed them very loudly, and questioned which part of the collision regulations they did not understand.  They reacted, but did not reply.

CHIRP Comment:

The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea are predicated on the fundamental requirement that all vessels must keep a proper lookout. If you think you are looking around the horizon every five minutes, the real interval may actually be much more than that. Remember that a ship going at 20 knots may be getting closer to you by two miles every six minutes.