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PILOT RULES FOR THE GREAT LAKES

APPLICABLE TO CONNECTING AND TRIBUTARY

WATERS AS FAR EAST AS MONTREAL

44. All the rules relating to steam vessels passing each other contained in the Pilot Rules for the Great Lakes and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as Montreal, shall also apply to all vessels propelled by gas, fluid, naphtha, or electric motors, and between any of such vessels and steam vessels, navigating these waters.

STEAM VESSELS APPROACHING HEAD AND HEAD

RULE I. - When steamers are approaching each other “head and head," or nearly so, it shall be the duty of each steamer to pass to the right, or port, side of the other; and the pilot of either steamer may be first in determining to pursue this course, and thereupon shall give, as a signal of his intention, one short and distinct blast of his whistle, which the pilot of the other steamer shall answer promptly by a similar blast of his whistle, and thereupon such steamers shall pass to the right, or port, side of each other. But if the course of such steamers is so far on the starboard of each other as not to be considered by pilots as meeting “head and head,” or nearly so, the pilot so first deciding shall immediately give two short and distinct blasts of his whistle, which the pilot of the other steamer shall answer promptly by two similar blasts of his whistle, and they shall pass to the left, or on the starboard, side of each other.

Provided, however, that in all narrow channels where there is a current and in the rivers Saint Mary, Saint Clair, Detroit, Niagara, and Saint Lawrence, when two steamers are meeting, the descending steamer shall have the right of way and shall, before the vessels shall have arrived within the distance of į mile of each other, give the signal necessary to indicate which side she elects to take.

Note.- In the night, steamers will be considered as meeting "head and head" so long as both the colored lights of each are in view of the other.

Two STEAM VESSELS CROSSING

RULE II. – When steamers are approaching each other in an oblique direction, as shown in the diagram of the fourth and fifth situations, so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way of the other, which latter vessel shall keep her course and speed. The steam vessel having the other on her starboard side indicates by one blast of her whistle her intention to direct her course to starboard, and two blasts if directing her course to port, to which the other shall promptly respond; but the giving and answering signals by a vessel required to keep her course shall not vary the duties and obligations of the respective vessels.

SIGNALS MISUNDERSTOOD

RULE III. - If, when steamers are approaching each other, the pilot of either vessel fails to understand the course or intention of the other, whether from signals being given or answered erroneously, or from other causes, the pilot so in doubt shall immediately signify the same by giving several short and rapid blasts of the whistle; and if the vessels shall have approached within } mile of each other, both shall be immediately slowed to a speed barely sufficient for steerageway until the proper signals are given, answered, and understood, or until the vessels shall have passed each other.

Vessels approaching each other from opposite directions are forbidden to use what has become technically known among pilots as “crosssignals” – that is, answering one whistle with two, and answering two whistles with one. In all cases, and under all circumstances, a pilot receiving either of the whistle signals provided in the rules, which for any reason he deems injudicious to comply with, instead of answering it with a cross-signal, must at once observe the provisions of this rule.

APPROACHING A BEND, OR CURVE, IN CHANNEL

RULE IV. - Whenever a steamer is nearing a short bend, or curve, in the channel, where, from the height of the banks or other cause, a steamer approaching from the opposite direction cannot be seen for a distance of į mile, the pilot of such steamer, when he shall have arrived within mile of such curve or bend, shall give a signal by one long blast of the whistle, which signal shall be answered by a similar blast, given by the pilot of any approaching steamer that may be within hearing. Should such signal be so answered by a steamer upon the farther side of such bend, then the usual signals for meeting and passing shall immediately be given and answered; but if the first alarm signal of such pilot be not answered, he is to consider the channel clear and govern himself accordingly.

When boats are moved from their docks, or berths, and other boats are liable to pass from any direction toward them, they shall give the same signal as in case of boats meeting at a bend; but immediately after clearing the berths so as to be fully in sight they shall be governed by Rule I.

GIVING AND ANSWERING SIGNALS RULE V.- The signals, by the blowing of the whistle, shall be given and answered by pilots, in compliance with these rules, not only when meeting "head and head,” or nearly so, but at all times when passing or meeting at a distance within į mile of each other, and whether passing to the starboard or port.

STEAMERS OVERTAKING

RULE VI. - When steamers are running in the same direction, and the pilot of a steamer which is astern shall desire to pass on the right, or starboard, hand of the steamer ahead, he shall give one short blast of the whistle, as a signal of such desire and intention, and shall put his helm to port; or if he shall desire to pass on the left, or port, side of the steamer ahead, he shall give two short blasts of the whistle as a signal of such desire and intention, and shall put his helm to starboard, and the pilot of the steamer ahead shall answer by the same signals; or if he does not think it safe for the steamer astern to attempt to pass at that point, he shall immediately signify the same by giving several short and rapid blasts of the whistle, and under no circumstances shall the steamer astern attempt to pass the steamer ahead until such time as they have reached a point where it can be safely done, when said steamer ahead shall signify her willingness by blowing the proper signals. The boat ahead shall in no case attempt to cross the bow or crowd upon the course of the passing steamer.

Every vessel coming up with another vessel from any direction more than 2 points abaft her beam – that is, in such a position, with reference to the vessel which she is overtaking, that at night she would be unable to see either of that vessel's side lights-shall be deemed to be an overtaking vessel; and no subsequent alteration of the bearing between the two vessels shall make the overtaking vessel a crossing vessel within the meaning of these rules, or relieve her of the duty of keeping clear of the overtaken vessel until she is finally past and clear.

Note.- The foregoing rules are to be complied with in all cases except when steamers are navigating in a crowded channei or in the vicinity of wharfs; under such circumstances steamers must be run and managed with great caution, sounding the whistle as may be necessary, to guard against collision or other accidents.

In construing and obeying these rules, due regard must be had to all dangers of navigation, and to any special circumstances which may exist in any particular case, rendering a departure from them necessary in order to avoid immediate danger.

LIGHTS FOR FERRY BOATS

RULE VII. – All double-ended ferry boats on the Great Lakes and tributaries thereto shall carry a central range of clear, bright, white lights, showing all around the horizon, placed at equal altitudes forward and aft; also such side lights as specified in Rule III, paragraphs (6) and (c), Act of Congress approved February 8, 1895, regulating navigation on the Great Lakes.

Local inspectors in districts having ferry boats shall, whenever the safety of navigation may require, designate for each line of such boats a certain light, white or colored, which shall show all around the horizon, to designate and distinguish such lines from one another, which light shall be carried on a flagstaff amidships, 15 feet above the white range light.

WHISTLE SIGNALS IN FOG

RULE VIII. - When steamers are running in a fog or thick weather, except steamers with a raft in tow, it shall be the duty of the pilot to cause three distinct blasts of the whistle to be sounded at intervals not exceeding 1 minute. A steamer with a raft in tow shall sound at intervals of not more than 1 minute a screeching, or Modoc, whistle for from 3 to 5 seconds.

A steam vessel hearing, apparently not more than 4 points from right ahead, the fog signal of another vessel shall at once reduce her speed to bare steerageway, and navigate with caution until the vessels shall have passed each other.

LIGHTS FOR SMALL VESSELS AND RAFTS

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RULE IX.–Tugs under 30 tons register (net) and small steamers navigating Lake Ontario and the Saint La'vrence River, except open boats, shall carry the red and green lights prescribed by law for other lake steamers; and, in addition thereto, a central range of two white lights, the after light being carried at an elevation of at least 15 feet above the light at the head of the vessel; and, when towing other vessels, shall carry an additional white light aft not less than 3 feet vertically below the after range light.

Except as provided for in the preceding paragraph of this Rule, steam tugs under 30 tons register (net), whose principal business is harbor towing, shall carry the red and green side lights carried by other steamers; and, at the foremast head, or, if the steamer have no foremast, then on top of the pilot house, a white light so constructed as to show a uniform and unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 20 points of the compass, and so fixed as to throw the light 10 points on each side of the vessel, namely, from right ahead to 2 points abaft the beam on either side, and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 3 miles; and when towing, except when towing a raft, shall carry an additional white light hung not less than 3 feet vertically above the foremast headlight. When towing a raft, the two headlights shall be hung horizontally not less than 4 feet apart.

Open boats on the Great Lakes and their tributaries east as far as Montreal shall not be obliged to carry the side lights required for other vessels, but shall, if they do not carry such lights, carry a lantern having a green slide on one side and a red slide on the other side; and on the approach of or to other vessels, such lantern shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision, and in such a manner that the green light shall not be seen on the port side, nor the red light on the starboard side.

RULE X. - Barges or canal boats in tow of a steamer shall carry the red and green side lights, which shall be placed in the same manner as required on other vessels being towed.

All scows without rudders or other means of guidance being towed by hawser behind steam vessels on any navigable waters of the United States shall carry a regulation white light at each end of each scow (such lights to be carried not less than 6 feet above the deck), as shown in diagram No. 4, Department Circular No. 27, dated February 13, 1894. When scows are towed two or more abreast, they shall carry the regulation white lights as shown in diagram No. 7, Department Circular No. 27, 1894.

RULE XI. - Produce boats, canal boats, fishing boats, rafts, or other water craft navigating any bay, harbor, or river, by hand power, horsepower, sail, or by the current of the river, or which shall be anchored or moored in or near the channel or fairway of any bay, harbor, or river, and not otherwise provided for, shall carry one bright white light forward, not less than 6 feet above the deck.

Rafts shall carry, in each case, on a pole not less than 6 feet high, a bright white light, visible all around the horizon, as follows:

Rafts of one crib and not more than two in length shall carry one such light. Rafts of three or more cribs in length shall carry one such light at each end of the raft. Rafts of more than one crib abreast shall carry one such light on each outside corner of the raft, making four lights in all.

Bag or boom rafts navigating or anchored in the fairway of any bay, harbor, or river, shall carry a bright white light at least 12 feet high at each end of the raft, and one of such lights on each side midway between the forward and after end.

DIAGRAMS 45. The diagrams shown in Fig. 14 are intended to illustrate the working of the foregoing system of colored lights, and are to be used by pilots, in connection with the rules, as sailing directions on meeting or nearing other steamers.

First Situation In this situation (a) the two colored lights will be visible to the pilot of each steamer, which will indicate their direct approach “head and head” toward each other. In this situation it is a standing rule that both shall put their helms to port and pass to the right, each having previously given one blast of the whistle.

Second Situation In this situation (6) the green light only will be visible to the pilot of each steamer. They are, therefore, passing to starboard, which is rulable in this situation, each pilot having previously signified his intention by two blasts of the whistle.

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