You should always make your movements clear and deliberate so that
other masters can see your intentions. Never assume the master of
another boat will observe the rules – always be prepared to take action
to avoid a collision.
The Colregs give clear indication about passing, approaching, giving way and overtaking to avoid collisions with other boats. They are the traffic laws on the water.
Rivers and channels
Approaching head on to another boat
Power-driven boats crossing
Sailing boats and power-driven boats
Copyright State of Queensland
Keep a Lookout
A good lookout through sight and sound must be kept at alltimes.
The master is responsible for keeping a lookout for dangers. Be aware
of the boating environment, especially in bad weather, restricted
visibility and darkness.
Special sound signals exist for vessels to indicate their manoeuvring intentions when they are in sight of one another.
1 short blast – I am altering course to starboard
2 short blasts – I am altering course to port
3 short blasts – I am operating engines astern (stopping)
5 or more short blasts – I am unsure of your intentions and I doubt whether you are taking sufficient action to avoid collision
Code Flag A
Operation in Pilotage Areas
Recreational vessels often operate in shipping ports and channels. Small craft operators must be aware that large ships cannot alter course or speed quickly and often their draft restricts them to a very specific course. In addition, it is difficult to even observe small craft from the bridges of certain ships.