Georgia Boater Education Course


CHAPTER 5 REVIEW CONTINUED

RULE OF RESPONSIBILITY

Another important concept that we learned was the Rule of Responsibility. As a boat operator, it is your responsibility to operate in a reasonable manner, which means always staying active and alert and respecting the weather, the water, your passengers, your fellow boaters, divers and swimmers, and property owners.

PROPER LOOKOUT AND SAFE SPEED

Two ways that you can meet this responsibility is to keep a proper lookout and always operate at a safe speed. Keeping a proper lookout involves constantly scanning your surroundings and ensuring that you have a clear line of sight around you. While operating at a safe speed means you are never going too fast that you don’t have time to take action to avoid a collision.

COLLISION AVOIDANCE RULES

Speaking of collisions, we then covered the rules for avoiding collisions as well as what to do in a variety of situations when two vessels encounter each other on the water.

In each of these situations, there are specific actions to take that depend on whether you are the stand on or give way vessel.

For example, when two power-driven boats cross paths, it is the boat approaching on the port side that is the give way vessel, which means it is the vessel that must take action to steer clear.

Another rule to remember is that whenever a sailing vessel and a power-driven vessel meet, it is always the sailing vessel that has the right of way, unless the sailing vessel is overtaking the power-driven vessel.

NARROW CHANNELS, DARKNESS & RESTRICTED VISIBILITY

Finally, we talked about some specific examples of navigation rules, such as when you’re boating in a narrow channel or in periods of darkness or restricted visibility. When entering a narrow channel from around a corner, you need to sound a prolonged blast to alert other vessels of your presence. In narrow channels it’s also important to stay as far to your starboard side as possible and to always give way to larger commercial vessels.

When operating in darkness, you’ll need to use your knowledge of navigation lights to determine what to do when encountering another vessel. And in periods of restricted visibility, sound signaling is the key to avoiding collisions.