RULE 10 - COLREGs TRAFFIC SEPARATION

 

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Rule 10 of the Collision Regulations deals with the behaviour of vessels in or near traffic separation schemes adopted by the Organization. By regulation 8 of Chapter V (Safety of Navigation) of SOLAS, IMO is recognized as being the only organization competent to deal with international measures concerning the route-ing of ships.

 

The effectiveness of traffic separation schemes can be judged from a study made by the International Association of Institutes of Navigation (IAIN) in 1981. This showed that between 1956 and 1960 there were 60 collisions in the Strait of Dover; twenty years later, following the introduction of traffic separation schemes, this total was cut to only 16.

In other areas where such schemes did not exist the number of collisions rose sharply. New traffic separation schemes are introduced regularly and existing ones are amended when necessary to respond to changed traffic conditions. To enable this to be done as quickly as possible the MSC has been authorized to adopt and amend traffic separation schemes on behalf of the Organization.

Rule 10 states that ships crossing traffic lanes are required to do so "as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow." This reduces confusion to other ships as to the crossing vessel's intentions and course and at the same time enables that vessel to cross the lane as quickly as possible.

Fishing vessels "shall not impede the passage of any vessel following a traffic lane" but are not banned from fishing. This is in line with Rule 9 which states that "a vessel engaged in fishing shall not impede the passage of any other vessel navigating within a narrow channel or fairway. "In 1981 the regulations were amended. Two new paragraphs were added to Rule 10 to exempt vessels which are restricted in their ability to manoeuvre" when engaged in an operation for the safety of navigation in a traffic separation scheme" or when engaged in cable laying.

In 1987 the regulations were again amended. It was stressed that Rule 10 applies to traffic separation schemes adopted by the Organization (IMO) and does not relieve any vessel of her obligation under any other rule. It was also to clarify that if a vessel is obliged to cross traffic lanes it should do so as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of the traffic flow. In 1989 Regulation 10 was further amended to clarify the vessels which may use the "inshore traffic zone."

 

(a) This Rule applies to traffic separation schemes adopted by the Organization and does not relieve any vessel of her obligation under any other Rule.

 

(b) A vessel using a traffic separation scheme shall:

 

(i) proceed in the appropriate traffic lane in the general direction of traffic flow for that lane;
(ii) so far as practicable keep clear of a traffic separation line or separation zone;
(iii) normally join or leave a traffic lane at the termination of the lane, but when joining or leaving from either side shall do so at as small an angle to the general direction of traffic flow as practicable.

 

(c) A vessel shall, so far as practicable, avoid crossing traffic lanes but if obliged to do so shall cross on a heading as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow.

 

(d) :

 

(i) A vessel shall not use an inshore traffic zone when she can safely use the appropriate traffic lane within the adjacent traffic separation scheme. However, vessels of less than 20 metres in length, sailing vessels and vessels engaged in fishing may use the inshore traffic zone.

 

(ii) Notwithstanding sub-paragraph (d) (i), a vessel may use an inshore traffic zone when en route to or from a port, offshore installation or structure, pilot station or any other place situated within the inshore traffic zone, or to avoid immediate danger.

 

(e) A vessel other than a crossing vessel or a vessel joining or leaving a lane shall not normally enter a separation zone or cross a separation line except:

 

(i) in cases of emergency to avoid immediate danger;
(ii) to engage in fishing within a separation zone.

 

(f) A vessel navigating in areas near the terminations of traffic separation schemes shall do so with particular caution.

 

(g) A vessel shall so far as practicable avoid anchoring in a traffic separation scheme or in areas near its terminations.

 

(h) A vessel not using a traffic separation scheme shall avoid it by as wide a margin as is practicable.

 

(i) A vessel engaged in fishing shall not impede the passage of any vessel following a traffic lane.

 

(j) A vessel of less than 20 metres in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the safe passage of a power-driven vessel following a traffic lane.

 

(k) A vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre when engaged in an operation for the maintenance of safety of navigation in a traffic separation scheme is exempted from complying with this Rule to the extent necessary to carry out the operation.

 

(l) A vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre when engaged in an operation for the laying, servicing or picking up of a submarine cable, within a traffic separation scheme, is exempted from complying with this Rule to the extent necessary to carry out the operation.

 

 

Part A - General (Rules 1-3) & Part B- Steering and Sailing Section 1 - Conduct of vessels in any condition of visibility (Rules 4-10)

 

Rule 1 states that the rules apply to all vessels on the high seas and connected waters.
Rule 2 covers the responsibility of the master, owner and crew to comply with the rules.
Rule 3 includes definitions of applicable water craft (vessels).
Rule 4 says the section applies in any conditions of visibility.
Rule 5 every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing.
Rule 6 deals with safe speed.

Rule 7 risk assumptions shall not be made on scanty (radar) information.
Rule 8 covers action to be taken to avoid collision.
Rule 9 vessels proceeding along a narrow channel should keep to starboard.
Rule 10 deals with the behaviour of vessels in or near traffic separation schemes. 

Sections II & III Conduct of Vessels in Sight of one another

 

Part C - LIGHTS & SHAPES (Rules 20-31)

Part D - SOUND AND LIGHT SIGNALS - DEFINITIONS (Rules 32-37)

Part E - EXEMPTIONS - Rule 38

Part F - Convention compliance verification provisions Rules 39 - 41

 

Annex I - Positioning and technical details of lights and shapes

Annex II - Additional signals for fishing vessels fishing in close proximity
Annex III - Technical details of sounds signal appliances
Annex IV - Distress signals indicating distress and need of assistance

 

 

 

 

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

4 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SR

United Kingdom
+44 (0) 20 7735 7611

 

 

 

LINKS & REFERENCE

 

http://www.solarnavigator.net/boats/collision_at_sea_regulations_colregs.htm

https://www.bluebird-electric.net/COLREGS_International_Regulations_for_Preventing_Collisions_at_Sea_1972.htm

http://www.solarnavigator.net/boats/collision_at_sea_regulations_colregs.htm

https://www.bluebird-electric.net/COLREGS_International_Regulations_for_Preventing_Collisions_at_Sea_1972.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  THE IMO'S RULES OF THE ROAD (REGULATIONS) FOR SHIPS AT SEA TO AVOID COLLISIONS AND BE SAFE

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