Article

Calm morning, but disaster lurks

It’s 5am, clear and calm. You leave the boat ramp in your speedboat with one passenger aboard.  Allowing the vessel to idle, you set your sounder then, without altering course, you accelerate and bring the boat up on the plane.  As the  bow comes up, you cannot see clearly in front.  You indicate to your passenger that you cannot see.  The passenger moves to one side, then, looking ahead, calls out a warning, and jumps overboard.  What happened?  Were any Rules breached? 

When you were setting the sounder, your boat was pushed off course by the current and moved towards the riverbank.  Your speedboat impacted with an anchored fishing boat at about 15 knots, causing $1850 damage to your boat and putting a hole in the fishing boat.  Investigations showed the anchored fishing boat was not showing a proper anchor light, which may have contributed to the accident.  You got off with a $200 fine under the Transport Operations Marine Safety Act. The master of the fishing vessel was issued with an Infringement Notice for failing to display a proper anchor light (Rule 30).  Do you know what light the fishing vessel should have displayed?  What shape must it display during the day?

Source: Marine Incidents Annual Report 1998, Queensland Transport

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