Author Topic: Passing distances of modern shipping  (Read 2461 times)

Offline Erik Boer

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Passing distances of modern shipping
« on: March 17, 2008, 02:39:17 PM »
Last trip I spend plenty time in the busy north eastern waters where it is normal that ships are passing each other at 0.7 NM maximum. I think this is introduced by the containerships. With a big difference in speed ( example 15 knots/ 24 knots) this is relatively safe but why is everybody doing this nowadays and they doing it also when there is plenty space to pass on 1 NM, in my opinion a safe distance. Please help me out why this is happening?

Offline CedricH

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Re: Passing distances of modern shipping
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 06:51:34 PM »
Hi,

I think this 0.7 (or 0.5) NM is still valid.
Generaly it goes this way: ships have, on their radar, a projection of where they will be in 10 minutes. This is also indicated for other ship that our ships radar has in sight. The rule is that the lines that indicate this projection can never cross each other.

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Cedric
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Offline Captain John K

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Re: Passing distances of modern shipping
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2008, 01:57:54 PM »
I've had more than one close call with containerships doing this. On my current vessel, a 835' Drillship, it's particularly dangerous since we can't easily see behind us.


I like to give 2 miles under normal conditions but I've never been on a ship that was under an immense time pressure like commercial container ships often are.
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Offline Chris Allport

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Re: Passing distances of modern shipping
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2008, 11:16:18 AM »
Hi guys,

This is a deadly serious subject and not one to be treated in a lighthearted manner. There is plenty of legal precedent of what is an unacceptable passing distance for ships whether ancient or modern, however over the ages no one has clearly defined a figure for a safe passing distance. The key is to avoid a 'close quarters situation' and certainly any passing distance of less than 1 nm is clearly approaching this legal interpretation. I've just been looking at Captain Richard Cahill's guidance in his book " Collisions and their Causes"  and he has a stab at defining a safe distance. It has always been the ordinary practice of seamen to be prudent and take the safest course of action to avoid a close quarters situation developing. For what it's worth,  my advice would be nothing closer than 1 nm, any closer and you are taking unnecessary risks with you ship and the lives of fellow seafarers. If you want a more detailed explaination read Captain Cahill's excellent book.  Regards,  Chris Allport

Offline Arnes

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Re: Passing distances of modern shipping
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2008, 03:14:23 PM »
When I was a new mate in 70's, captain told me make a route from Norway to Rotterdam; not passing any platforms closer than 1,5 n.m. Already then it was impossible. He wanted to be on bridge 8 hours before pilot, now I'm on a ship of similar size; my mate take pilot when necessary, and go alongside. The years I was mate, I seldom see captain on bridge; normally they sleep when we go alongside, some say the don*t speek too good english, so they stay away. So I can sleep, and wake up to immigrations etc.
But now the mate can take care of that also: as me and the mate go 6-to-6 watches, it is no difference who is on the bridge.
In my company, a quite large one, we go 6-6 watches, mate go alongside;take pilot etc; and opposite.Regarding passing distance; it is impossible to say in a forum. We always get closer to another vessel when we approach a separation zone, and then I don't have any problems with abt. 0,2 miles. 'But normally I like at least 0,5miles for safe trading; if less I use VHF.
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Rgds. Arne

 

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