Speedboat hits water taxi

A water taxi was proceeding along a narrow channel at 25 knots.  Approaching a sharp bend in the river, the master observed a speedboat approaching from the opposite direction, on the wrong side of the channel…and on a collision course.  The water taxi turned to port.  At the last moment, the speedboat turned hard to starboard, sending it into the starboard side of the water taxi.  The water taxi was pushed onto rocks and sank, the speedboat sustained considerable damage, and both masters were badly injured.  Who was at fault?  What rules apply?  Do you know? 

Due to conflicting reports and a lack of witnesses, it was impossible to determine whether either vessel was actually on the wrong side of the channel.  Under Rule 9 (Narrow Channels), you must keep to the starboard side of a narrow channel.  However, the master of the water taxi, who altered course to port, said that was his only option to avoid colliding with the speedboat.  Rule 2 (Responsibility) states that “due regard shall be had to all dangers of…collision…which may make a departure from these rules necessary to avoid immediate danger”.  The master of the water taxi was not charged.  The master of the speedboat was found to have handled the vessel under the influence of alcohol and was convicted under the Traffic Act.  What would you have done?

Source: Marine Incidents Annual Report 1998, Queensland Transport

News Filter

Latest News

Tank ship sinks supply vessel

No lookout, but one life is saved by a hairbrush.

Ship breaks 5 rules, loses 6 men

Is a succession of small alterations to starboard good enough?

Are your lights safe?

Clear evening, two boats collide...neither saw the other. Why?

A sitting duckā€¦

How far out of the shipping lanes is far enough?

Fishing vessels racing home

Poor knowledge of the Rules leads to a hydrodynamic interaction.
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4