"Study of the rules is a rewarding pastime, practical and
captivating. They constitute a remarkable document with an immense
assigned task - the prevention of collisions between a vast array
of vessels in a vast array of circumstances: vessels barely visible
at 100 yards to vessels the size of horizontal skyscrapers;
drifting without power or traveling at 30 knots or more; following
unmarked lanes or crisscrossing open waters offering nothing more
than an educated guess as to their intended course; in all
conditions of weather, clear or fog, calm or storm; and often with
no common language between their drivers.
"But despite this enormous assignment, they do the job.
Collisions can always be traced to at least one violation of the
Rules. The key to avoiding further proof of this is a thorough
understanding of the Rules and how to apply them, including the
rules on what to do if an approaching vessel does not obey the
- David Burch
"A collision at sea will ruin your whole day."