Whilst many of the provisions relate to Power boats (power-driven vessels as they are called in the rules), some key extracts of the INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS FOR PREVENTING COLLISIONS AT SEA, 1972 relate to Paddleboarding. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, nor a legal opinion. Our aim is to make people aware of some of the provisions which apply from the regulation in the interest of keeping our waterways safe.
The Definition of vessel under Rule 3(a):
The word “vessel” includes every description of water craft, including non-displacement craft, WIG craft and seaplanes, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.
Overtaking under Rule 13:
(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Rules of Part B, Sections I and II, any vessel overtaking any other vessel shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken.
(b) A vessel shall be deemed to be overtaking when coming up with another vessel from a direction more than 22.5 degrees abaft her beam, that is, in such a position with reference to the vessel she is overtaking, that at night she would be able to see only the sternlight of that vessel but neither of her sidelights.
(d) Any subsequent alteration of the bearing between the two vessels shall not 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.
Narrow Channels (such as Estuaries, Harbours, Channels, etc.) under Rule 9:
(a) A vessel proceeding along the course of a narrow channel or fairway shall keep as near to the outer limit of the channel or fairway which lies on her starboard side as is safe and practicable.
(b) A vessel of less than 20 metres in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway.
Starboard side is the right-hand side of a ship or aircraft as one faces forward.
Under Rule 18: Responsibilities between Vessels, one provision should be noted:
(d) (i) Any vessel other than a vessel not under command or a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid impeding the safe passage of a vessel constrained by her draught.
And for lights and Sound equipment, rules 25 and 33:
Rule 25 Sailing Vessels Underway and Vessels Under Oars
(d) (ii) A vessel under oars may exhibit the lights prescribed in this Rule for sailing vessels, but if she does not, she shall have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.
Rule 33 Equipment for Sound Signals — International
(a) A vessel of 12 metres or more in length shall be provided with a whistle, a vessel of 20 metres or more in length shall be provided with a bell in addition to a whistle, and a vessel of 100 metres or more in length shall, in addition, be provided with a gong, the tone and sound of which cannot be confused with that of the bell. The whistle, bell and gong shall comply with the specification in Annex III to these Regulations. The bell or gong or both may be replaced by other equipment having the same respective sound characteristics, provided that manual sounding of the prescribed signals shall always be possible.
(b) A vessel of less than 12 metres in length shall not be obliged to carry the sound signalling appliances prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule but if she does not, she shall be provided with some other means of making an efficient sound signal.
Equipment for Sound Signals — Canadian Modification
(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), in the Canadian waters of a roadstead, harbour, river, lake or inland waterway, a vessel shall carry the sound signalling appliances prescribed in paragraph (a) for a vessel of 12 metres or more in length, if it is
(i) less than 12 metres in length,
(ii) ordinarily used for the purpose of pushing or pulling any floating object, and
(iii) not employed solely in yarding or warping operations.