Article

Dusky dolphins cavort at sunset

You guessed it…Rule 5 again.  The skipper of a yacht on a sunset cruise out of the Otago Yacht Club on New Zealand's south island was enjoying the sight of three Dusky dolphins surfing in the yacht's bow wave.  As the skipper is videotaping on the bow, he becomes aware of seagull cries.  He turns around and sees an oncoming fishing vessel.  Racing back to the cockpit, he disengages the autohelm and turns hard to starboard. 

The skipper of the trawler Sans Peur has seen the yacht a half mile away, heading directly for him, and assumed that it is coming to have a closer look at a working fishing boat.  Assuming the yacht will pass on his port side, at 100 metres he puts the helm hard over to starboard.  At this point he sees the man at the bowsprit of the yacht run aft. 

The skipper of the yacht was at fault for failing to keep a proper lookout, but the skipper of the trawler also ignored Rule 34 by failing to sound a warning at the rapidly closing yacht.  Fortunately the only damage was a bent bowsprit and damaged net.

Source: Maritime Safety Authority of New Zealand

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