Look out for trawler booms

A trawler with extended booms was underway at 8 knots, 45 m behind a houseboat traveling at 5 knots in the same direction and in line with charted navigation leads.  Leaving his helm on autopilot, the master of the trawler went aft to stow gear, advising his deckhand to keep a lookout.  Returning to the wheelhouse, he observed the trawler on a collision course with the houseboat and put the engine astern…too late!  An extended boom on the trawler’s port side caught the upper deck rails on the starboard side of the houseboat.  What regulations were breached … do you know?

The master of the fishing ship failed to comply with Rule 13 (Overtaking) and the crew member failed to comply with Rule 5 (Lookout).  In addition, continued operation of the fishing ship’s autopilot while in a close quarters situation reduced the options for avoiding a collision.  Did you choose the right rules?

Source: Marine Incidents Annual Report 1998, Queensland Transport

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