Brief Interpretation on Look-out in Rule 5 of COLREGs 1972
Addtime:2018-01-18     Browse:62    Author:admin

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

 

When interpreting this rule, people are prone to focus on the first half sentence but neglect the importance of the second half stated as “so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision”. The follows are my brief views in this regard.

 

This rule requires the look-out man and navigating officer to at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions, but the effectiveness of this action shall be judged by whether a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision is appraised: such as whether the risk of collision has been appraised correctly by checking the change of the compass bearing of an approaching vessel and its plotted information displayed on ARPA, whether the close-quarters situation has been avoided by one or more effective actions, whether the best aid action to avoid collision or minimize collision damages has been taken when vessels are close to the immediate danger situation. All of the aforesaid factors should be put into account when determine whether a proper look-out has been maintained.

 

If the action(s) of collision avoidance was not timely, apparent, substantial and well clear, it may be judged that the vessel had not appraised the situation sufficiently, and it further demonstrate that the look-out had not achieve due effects, i.e. the vessel had not maintained a proper look-out required by COLREGs 1972.

 

If you have any questions about this article, please contact our firm.

                                                                          

                                                                               By Mr. Wang Hong’an | Master, Maritime Consultant

 

 

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