Rule 15 Crossing situation
When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel.
Rule 16 Action by give-way vessel
Every vessel which is directed to keep out of the way of another vessel shall, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear.
Rule 15: CROSSING SITUATION
A vessel crossing from your starboard side has right of way. Apply the so called “polite navigation” – the other vessel will be watching you carefully and it will be anxious until it knows you are taking the correct action.
How to make life easy for both ships:
a) Give way early – if you are the give-way vessel, then take early action so the other vessel knows your intentions.
b) Avoid crossing ahead – if possible, always go to starboard and go astern of the other vessel.
c) Be considerate and polite with your traffic fellows – if the other vessel is hampered in any way, then your early action will reassure it.
d) Be positive – especially if you are in any doubt.
e) Do not forget your engine – you always have the option of using your engine as well as your helm. Slowing down will give both ships more time and more space.
Rule 16: ACTION BY GIVE-WAY VESSEL
Rule 16 is one of the shortest rules but it makes life easier for everyone. The basic points are:
a) Do not hesitate – alter course or speed early.
b) Do not make small alterations – only a big alteration of course or speed will show the other vessel exactly what you are doing.
c) Do not assume anything – keep checking the CPA and keep taking compass bearings to make sure your action has the desired effect.
d) KEEP EVERYBODY HAPPY
Following Rule 16 makes life easier for all vessels. If the other vessel is happy with your alteration there is less chance of it doing something unexpected. Treat other vessels as you would like to be treated yourself. Good seamanship includes courtesy and common sense.
ALWAYS GIVE WAY TO A STAND-ON SHIP EARLY, CLEARLY AND COURTEOUSLY.