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    who is required to keep a proper lookout while boating?


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    Keep a Proper Lookout

    Rule 5 requires that every vessel “shall at all times maintain a proper lookout 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.”

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    Keep a Proper Lookout

    As boat captain, it's your responsibility to maintain an unobstructed view from the helm.

    By Steve Griffin Updated: May 13, 2022

    Keeping a lookout ensures the safety of your crew and vessel.


    Remember what Mom taught you, where the sidewalk met the street? “Stop, look and listen before you cross the street. Use your eyes, use your ears, and then use your feet.”

    Change stop to prudent speed, eyes and ears to all available senses and aids, and feet to throttle, and you’ve got a pretty good condensation of Rule 5 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, the granddaddy of boating rules.

    Rule 5 requires that every vessel “shall at all times maintain a proper lookout 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.”

    As boat operator, that’s your responsibility.

    It means maintaining an unobstructed view from the helm, to continuously eye waters off the bow and starboard and port sides, for boats, swimmers and swimming areas, skiers, flags, fish-net and other buoys, floating debris and obstacles such as stumps and bars.

    It means adjusting boat-handling for conditions such as darkness, fog, and boat traffic. Mom told you to stop at the street; on the water, slowing might be a sound strategy when lookout work gets difficult.

    Watch behind too, for a boat that might overtake you.

    You can designate a lookout helper, and he or she can be a real safety asset, but you’re still responsible.

    You just know that if Mom had binoculars, night vision devices, radar, sonar, a VHF radio and other aids to safe street crossing, she’d have included them in the rhyme. If your boat has equipment such as radar, radio or other gear, Rule 5 requires you to use it to help avoid collisions.

    (Common sense dictates that you don’t let other equipment, such as smart phone or stereo, distract you from a proper lookout.)

    Mom’s advice was a solid start, for any boater.

    Rule 5 takes it a step further: in short, it says watch to make sure you don’t hit anything, and that nothing hits you.

    The U.S. Coast Guard is asking all boat owners and operators to help reduce fatalities, injuries, property damage, and associated healthcare costs related to recreational boating accidents by taking personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their passengers. Essential steps include: wearing a life jacket at all times and requiring passengers to do the same; never boating under the influence (BUI); successfully completing a boating safety course; and getting a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) annually from local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons®, or your state boating agency’s Vessel Examiners. The U.S. Coast Guard reminds all boaters to “Boat Responsibly!” For more tips on boating safety, visit www.uscgboating.org.

    Tags: Boat Handling safety tips

    Source : www.boatingsafetymag.com

    Three Major Responsibilities of Every Boater

    Three Major Responsibilities of Every Boater

    Collisions can be prevented easily if every vessel operator fulfills three major responsibilities.

    Practice good seamanship.

    It is the responsibility of every boat or personal watercraft (PWC) operator to take all necessary action to avoid a collision, taking into account the weather, vessel traffic, and limits of other vessels. Such action should be taken in ample time to avoid a collision and at a safe distance from other vessels.

    Keep a proper lookout.

    Failing to keep a sharp lookout is the most common cause of collisions. Every operator must keep a proper lookout, using both sight and hearing, at all times. Watch and listen for other vessels, radio communications, navigational hazards, and others involved in water activities.

    Maintain a safe speed.

    Safe speed is the speed that ensures you will have ample time to avoid a collision and can stop within an appropriate distance. Safe speed will vary depending on conditions such as wind, water conditions, navigational hazards, visibility, surrounding vessel traffic density, and the maneuverability of your boat or PWC. Always reduce speed and navigate with extreme caution at night and when visibility is restricted.

    Source : www.boat-ed.com

    Who Is Required to Keep a Proper Lookout While Boating?

    Do you know who is required to keep a proper lookout while boating? Look no further. Give this short guide a read.

    Who Is Required to Keep a Proper Lookout While Boating? – Answered

    May 2, 2022 by Steven Numbers

    It is always important to look where you’re going, whether you’re walking, driving a car, or even boating. By keeping an eye out for anything in your way, you can avoid any untoward incidents such as a collision. But who is required to keep a proper lookout while boating? In fact, it is the boat operator’s responsibility.

    This article will talk about keeping a lookout on the boat, which is important for boat safety. We’ll discuss who is responsible for avoiding a collision between boats and what things to look out for.

    Keep reading to learn more.

    Table of Contents [hide]

    Who Is Responsible for Boat Lookout

    What to Look for When Keeping a Lookout

    1. Water and weather condition

    2. Information Markers

    3. Other vessels

    4. Communication signals

    5. People in distress


    Who Is Responsible for Boat Lookout

    Keeping a lookout on the boat’s surroundings needs to be done when boating and must be done well. We can have enough time to react to any situation with early detection.

    While larger boats and ships would have a specific person on lookout duty, boat operators are left with the responsibility of keeping a lookout on recreational boats and the like. This is one of the reasons why the helm should have unobstructed visual access to the boat’s surroundings.

    But how does a vessel operator keep a proper lookout?

    Keeping watch does not involve only looking at the boat’s immediate surroundings but using the senses to determine any possible danger to the boat.

    The senses refer mainly to our sense of sight and hearing, though some people can use their other senses for boating, such as smell. Additional vibrations you feel could also mean more shallow waters.

    There are many things we can sense that can help us when boating. It’s all a matter of knowing what to look out for and keeping alert.

    What to Look for When Keeping a Lookout

    Keeping alert and concentrating is essential, but there is more to maintaining a proper lookout using human sight and hearing. That’s why it’s our responsibility to ensure that we have a clear view of our surroundings.

    Of course, we should be mindful of the boat and its condition. The engine performance, any possible accumulation of water in the bilge, and the build-up of gas fumes are all important. However, what should we look for in the area surrounding the boat?

    It’s all about avoiding danger for us and our boat. By looking out for the following things below, we can help avert boating disasters and mishaps.

    1. Water and weather condition

    Forecasts about weather and the water condition are things we need to check up on before any boating activity. However, make sure to look for any changes while we’re already out on the water.

    Because things could change in an instant, any signs of bad weather can tell us to clear out as fast as possible.

    2. Information Markers

    We can only gain so much information by looking at our surroundings.

    Sometimes, things beneath the water, such as rocks, can damage a boat’s hull. This is where information markers come in.

    By looking for information markers such as buoys, we learn important information about the surrounding waters, such as possible dangers or restrictions.

    Keeping ourselves aware of such things helps keep us safe and helps us avoid situations where we may contribute to boating accidents.

    Water markers could also inform us of valuable details regarding certain areas such as safe boating channels and the like.

    Know how to read such information, and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble and worry.

    3. Other vessels

    It takes time to adjust a boat’s speed and position. Beginning your adjustments earlier means a higher likelihood of avoiding crashes and collisions, which means it’s essential to spot other vessels early.

    Be mindful of your surroundings, not just for boats but any watercraft, and try to look out for vessels behind yours too.

    Being able to detect other vessels early allows you to judge each situation carefully. Reacting recklessly is always a way to get into an accident.

    Try to avoid situations where you are forced into making rushed decisions.

    4. Communication signals

    Getting visual confirmation on other vessels is a reliable way of spotting other boats, but it’s not the only way.

    It’s also important to be on the lookout for other means of communication such as radio. We also use signals for situations where visibility may be poor, such as during nighttime or foggy weather.

    Know to look out for flares or keep your ears alert for sounds of bells or horns coming from other vessels. Remember that it is also your responsibility to respond as the situation dictates.

    5. People in distress

    Flares or other distress signals may be used by vessels in danger. However, not everyone facing an emergency would have access to such devices, depending on the situation.

    It’s also important for every boat operator to be alert for people in the water or possibly in a lifeboat.

    Source : www.boatingbasicsonline.com

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