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Rule 20 to 25

PART C—LIGHTS AND SHAPES

  • RULE 20 Application
  • RULE 21 Definitions
  • RULE 22 Visibility of Lights
  • RULE 23 Power-driven Vessels Underway
  • RULE 24 Towing and Pushing
  • RULE 25 Sailing Vessels Underway and Vessels Under Oars

RULE 20 Application


(a) Rules in this Part shall be complied with in all weathers.


(b) The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights as cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out.


(c) The lights prescribed by these Rules shall, if carried, also be exhibited from sunrise to sunset in restricted visibility and may be exhibited in all other circumstances when it is deemed necessary.


(d) The Rules concerning shapes shall be complied with by day.


(e) The lights and shapes specified in these Rules shall comply with the provisions of Annex I to these Regulations.

RULE 21 Definitions

(a) “Masthead light” means a white light placed over the fore and aft centerline of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of the vessel.


(b) “Sidelights” means a green light on the starboard side and a red light on the port side each showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 112.5 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on its respective side. In a vessel of less than 20 meters in length the sidelights may be combined in one lantern carried on the fore and aft centerline of the vessel.

(c) “Sternlight” means a white light placed as nearly as practicable at the stern showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 135 degrees and so fixed as to show the light 67.5 degrees from right aft on each side of the vessel.

(d) “Towing light” means a yellow light having the same characteristics as the “sternlight” defined in paragraph (c) of this Rule.

(e) “All-round light” means a light showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 360 degrees.

(f) “Flashing light” means a light flashing at regular intervals at a frequency of 120 flashes or more per minute.

RULE 22 Visibility of Lights

The lights prescribed in these Rules shall have an intensity as specified in Section 8 of Annex I to these Regulations so as to be visible at the following minimum ranges:


(a) In vessels of 50 meters or more in length:


− a masthead light, 6 miles;
− a sidelight, 3 miles;
− a sternlight, 3 miles;
− a towing light, 3 miles;
− a white, red, green or yellow all-round light, 3 miles.


(b) In vessels of 12 meters or more in length but less than 50 meters in length:

− a masthead light, 5 miles; except that where the length of the vessel is less than 20 meters, 3 miles;
− a sidelight, 2 miles;
− a sternlight, 2 miles;
− a towing light, 2 miles;
− a white, red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles.

(c) In vessels of less than 12 meters in length:

− a masthead light, 2 miles;
− a sidelight, 1 mile;
− a sternlight, 2 miles;
− a towing light, 2 miles;
− a white, red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles.

(d) In inconspicuous, partly submerged vessels or objects being towed:

(a) a white all-round light, 3 miles.

RULE 23 Power Driven Vessels Underway

(a) A power-driven vessel underway shall exhibit:

(i) a masthead light forward;

(ii) a second masthead light abaft of and higher than the forward one; except that a vessel of less than 50 meters in length shall not be obliged to exhibit such light but may do so;

(iii) sidelights; and

(iv) a sternlight.

power driven vessel
Power-driven vessel underway
power driven vessel less than 50 mtrs
Power-driven vessel underway - less than 50 meters in length.

(b) An air-cushion vessel when operating in the non displacement mode shall, in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule, exhibit an all-round flashing yellow light.

air cushion vessel
Air-cushion vessel when operating in the nondisplacement mode - vessel less than 50 meters in length.

(c) A WIG craft only when taking off, landing and in flight near the surface shall, in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule, exhibit a high intensity all-round flashing red light.

(d)

(i) A power-driven vessel of less than 12 meters in length may in lieu of the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule exhibit an all-round white light and sidelights;

(ii) a power-driven vessel of less than 7 meters in length whose maximum speed does not exceed 7 knots may in lieu of the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule exhibit an all-round white light and shall, if practicable, also exhibit sidelights;

(iii) the masthead light or all-round white light on a power-driven vessel of less than 12 meters in length may be displaced from the fore and aft centerline of the vessel if centerline fitting is not practicable, provided that the sidelights are combined in one lantern which shall be carried on the fore and aft centerline of the vessel or located as nearly as practicable in the same fore and aft line as the masthead light or the all-round white light.

Power-driven vessel of less than 7 meters in length whose maximum speed does not exceed 7 knots
Power-driven vessel of less than 7 meters in length whose maximum speed does not exceed 7 knots
Power-driven vessel of less than 12 meters in length.
Power-driven vessel of less than 12 meters in length.

RULE 24 Towing and Pushing

(a) A power-driven vessel when towing shall exhibit:

(i) instead of the light prescribed in Rule 23(a)(i) or (a)(ii), two masthead lights in a vertical line. When the length of the tow, measuring from the stern of the towing vessel to the after end of the tow exceeds 200 meters, three such lights in a vertical line;

(ii) sidelights;

(iii) a sternlight;

(iv) a towing light in a vertical line above the sternlight; and (v) when the length of the tow exceeds 200 meters, a diamond shape where it can best be seen.

towing and pushing
Power-driven vessel towing astern - towing vessel less than 50 meters in length; length of tow exceeds 200 meters.

(b) When a pushing vessel and a vessel being pushed ahead are rigidly connected in a composite unit they shall be regarded as a power-driven vessel and exhibit the lights prescribed in Rule 23.

towing and pushing
Composite unit underway.
towing vessel
Composite unit underway - less than 50 meters in length.

(c) A power-driven vessel when pushing ahead or towing alongside, except in the case of a composite unit, shall exhibit:

(i) instead of the light prescribed in Rule 23(a)(i) or 23(a)(ii), two masthead lights in a vertical line;

(ii) sidelights; and

(iii) a sternlight.

towing vessel
Power-driven vessel pushing ahead or towing alongside—towing vessel less than 50 meters in length.

(d) A power-driven vessel to which paragraph (a) or (c) of this Rule apply shall also comply with Rule 23(a)(ii).

towing vessel
Power-driven vessel towing astern—length of tow 200 meters or less. The after masthead light is optional for vessel less than 50 meters in length.

(e) A vessel or object being towed, other than those mentioned in paragraph (g) of this Rule, shall exhibit:

(i) sidelights;

(ii) a sternlight;

(iii) when the length of the tow exceeds 200 meters, a diamond shape where it can best be seen.

tow
Vessel or object being towed-length of tow exceeds 200 meters.
tow
Vessel being towed—length of tow 200 meters or less.

(f) Provided that any number of vessels being towed alongside or pushed in a group shall be lighted as one vessel:

(i) a vessel being pushed ahead, not being part of a composite unit, shall exhibit at the forward end, sidelights;

(ii) a vessel being towed alongside shall exhibit a sternlight and at the forward end, sidelights.

towing vessel
Vessel being pushed ahead, not being part of a composite unit
Vessel being towed alongside.

(g) An inconspicuous, partly submerged vessel or object, or combination of such vessels or objects being towed, shall exhibit:

(h) if it is less than 25 meters in breadth, one all-round white light at or near the forward end and one at or near the after end except that dracones need not exhibit a light at or near the forward end;

(i) if it is 25 meters or more in breadth, two additional all-round white lights at or near the extremities of its breadth;

(ii) if it exceeds 100 meters in length, additional all-round white lights between the lights prescribed in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) so that the distance between the lights shall not exceed 100 meters;

(iii) a diamond shape at or near the aftermost extremity of the last vessel or object being towed and if the length of the tow exceeds 200 meters an additional diamond shape where it can best be seen and located as far forward as is practicable.

Dracone being towed

(h) Where from any sufficient cause it is impracticable for a vessel or object being towed to exhibit the lights or shapes prescribed in paragraph (e) or (g) of this Rule, all possible measures shall be taken to light the vessel or object towed or at least to indicate the presence of such vessel or object.

(i) Where from any sufficient cause it is impracticable for a vessel not normally engaged in towing operations to display the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) or (c) of this Rule, such vessel shall not be required to exhibit those lights when engaged in towing another vessel in distress or otherwise in need of assistance. All possible measures shall be taken to indicate the nature of the relationship between the towing vessel and the vessel being towed as authorized by Rule 36, in particular by illuminating the towline.

RULE 25 Sailing Vessels Underway and Vessels Under Oars

(a) A sailing vessel underway shall exhibit:

(i) sidelights;

(ii) a stern light.

(b) In a sailing vessel of less than 20 meters in length the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule may be combined in one lantern carried at or near the top of the mast where it can best be seen.

sailing vessel
Sailing vessel underway

(c) A sailing vessel underway may, in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule, exhibit at or near the top of the mast, where they can best be seen, two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower green, but these lights shall not be exhibited in conjunction with the combined lantern permitted by paragraph (b) of this Rule.

sailing vessel
Sailing vessel underway

(d)

(i) A sailing vessel of less than 7 meters in length shall, if practicable, exhibit the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) or (b) of this Rule, 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.

(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.

Sailing vessel underway—less than 7 meters in length

(e) A vessel proceeding under sail when also being propelled by machinery shall exhibit forward where it can best be seen a conical shape, apex downwards.

sailing vessel
Vessel proceeding under sail when also being propelled by machinery. Vessel of less than 12 meters in length is not required to exhibit the dayshape