Mercantes y Pesqueros

De vez en cuando, los anglosajones suelen emitir notas de prensa recordando el RIPA y las obligaciones entre barcos. Esta tiene de protagonista a los pesqueros y a los mercantes, aunque puede ser facilmente ampliable a domingueros y deportivos.

Rule 18 of the COLREG, in simple terms, requires all vessels, except those ?not under command? or ?restricted in their ability to manoeuvre?, to keep out of the way of a ?vessel engaged in fishing?.
Although a trading vessel may be required to take avoiding action in certain circumstances, the skippers of fishing vessels need to be aware that:

  • large vessels cannot turn quickly and certainly cannot make rapid speed reductions. In confined waters such as the northern section of the Great Barrier Reef they may be confined by the narrowness of the charted route and the proximity of navigational dangers.
  • in certain visibility or sea state conditions, or in the presence of some radar propagation effects the bridge team on the large vessel may not detect the smaller craft either visually or on radar. It is recommended that fishing vessels, especially of fiberglass or timber construction, at least fit radar reflectors.

Under the COLREG, vessels are only considered to be engaged in fishing when fishing with ?nets, lines or trawls or other fishing apparatus which restrict manoeuvrability?. Fishing vessels are not considered to be engaged in fishing when ?trolling lines or other fishing apparatus which do not restrict manoeuvrability?.
In addition to complying with the COLREG, the following basic precautions should be taken:

  • maintaining a radar watch and listening on VHF radio Channel 162 and DSC Channel 70 where fitted;
  • ensuring that the required fishing or trawling lights and shapes are not obscured;
  • ensuring that the required fishing or trawling lights and shapes are extinguished or hauled down when no longer engaged in fishing; and
  • avoiding erratic and unpredictable manoeuvres when in the vicinity of a large vessel.

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