TSS question

steffen

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When crossing from Nieuwpoort, Belgium to Ramsgate you cross the TSS where it has a large separation zone splitting the NE going lane in two: the Sandettie bank. I plan to cross the NE going lane to the Sandettie North buoy and then go 5 miles south to cross the rest of the NE lane and the SW going lane.
Where it is required to cross the TSS at right angles, is it allowed to sail SW in the separation zone?
 

AndrewB

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No!

The separation zone is part of the TSS. You must sail across as fast as practicable with your heading as near right-angles as practicable to the direction of flow.

Having said that, don't be too suprised if you see fishing boats anchored in the separation zone - but it isn't legal. Small boats are given a fair bit of rope, but have been prosecuted for flagrant breeches.

PS Note that ships using the shipping lane approaching on your port side as you cross will (usually) give way unless constrained by their draft, etc. This often causes confusion.
 
G

Guest

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Re: No!

The TSS is a system that is designed to keep opposing vessels apart and not hamper passage. It is principally intended for shipping of significant size, NOT for yachts, but you are still 'governed' by it.

An error is often made in assuming that a Law actually exists to enforce TSS, this is not the case except in Territorial Waters and mostly US / Japanese waters. Disregard of the TSS will go heavily against you in any Marine Enquiry in the event of any incident.
It is like the IMO Reccommendations .... not law, but Courts accept them as strong recc'd and literally as law.

You can do as you ask in your posting, but be careful .... why can you not cross completely in one go ????

Secondly The Int. Rules for Prevention of Collision Regulations still apply over-ruling the TSS and any other local 'bits & pieces'.

Finally your insurance co. would have a hard time of it if anything ever happened and would null & void quicker than a bullet from a gun !!!!!
 

AndrewB

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IRPCS Rule 10.

Rule 10, governing TSS's is given at http://liiwarwick.warwick.ac.uk/uscode/unframed/33/2010.html

Prosecutions can and are brought against vessels in the Dover Straight (within territorial waters of Britain and France) for flouting rule 10 (b), regardless of whether an accident occurred. Even yachts have been punished.

Note section (e) regarding navigation in the separation zone.

(Incidentally, there is a well-known conflict between the other requirements of IRPCS and rule 10(j) requiring small boats 'not to impede' in a TSS, which remains a cause of confusion).
 
G

Guest

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Steffen. I crossed from N'port to R'gate this year. When you get to the TSS just cross at right angles and do it in one hit don't muck about, if you get your enterance right you can cross in one go and come out just north of the Goodwins. Beware because your talking about the Hinder roundabout and traffic passing you on the horizon as a nasty habit of suddenly changing direction and passing you again. Best of luck
 

peterb

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Re: IRPCS Rule 10.

As with all other rules, Rule 10 needs to be read very carefully. The requirement to cross with a heading at right-angles to the traffic flow is covered in 10(c), but this specifies only vessels 'crossing traffic lanes'. The separation zone is not a traffic lane, and hence should not come under this restriction.
 

david_steward

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Re: We do...

It regularly as our base is Ramsgate and Belgium is one of our weekend hops (Fast powerboat). We do exactly as you propose with no problems whatsoever.

Fastest crossing Ramsgate to Nieuwpoort 2 1/2 Hours .

Good Luck.

Dave S
 

steffen

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Re: IRPCS Rule 10.

That is exactly my interpretation Peter. They made it a separation zone because its a "shallow" bank and the only vessels you probably see are fishing vessels. It is actually in the middle of the NE bouond lane.
 

bedouin

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Re: Tell that to Dalton Grant!

Who famously got fined £15,000 for sailing Club Med very fast the wrong way down one.
 

AndrewB

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Re: IRPCS Rule 10.

I'm quite sure that in practice there would be no objection to what you propose. Bear in mind though that the lane immediately north of Sandettie is currently a cause of concern as a result of a disproportionate number of 'incidents', often involving fishing vessels. Also that the Sandettie bank can cut up pretty rough, specially during an ebb tide with a N or NE wind, F5+. It is best avoided in those conditions.

Believe me, Dover CG takes a dim view of yachts messing about in the separation zone further west in the Dover Straight, even if there has never been a prosecution. Rule 10(e) is clear that yachts may only enter a separation zone in order to cross. Maybe Peter B. would like to come over and put them straight - after all, they cite rule 10 on VHF to ships and yachts at least half-a-dozen times daily!
 

peterb

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Re: IRPCS Rule 10.

The question is not whether yachts can enter the separation zone for purposes other than crossing, but whether in crossing the separation zone their heading needs to be at rightangles to the general direction of traffic flow. Rule 10(c) is specific in only requiring the rightangled heading in crossing the traffic lanes. Since the only traffic flow in the separation zone should be crossing traffic, it makes little sense to apply the rightangled rule while in that zone.

Incidentally, the requirement of 10(j) for small craft not to 'impede the passage' of power driven vessels only applies to vessels following a traffic lane. If you meet a crossing ferry then theoretically the normal rules of Sections II or III apply (although "might is right" might be more practical.

Dover CG probably do take a dim view of yachts playing about in the separation lane. But probably the reason there has never been a prosecution is that the CG know that it would not stand up in court.
 

steffen

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Re: IRPCS Rule 10.

"Might has right" is the top rule in my book. I am on holiday and anybody in a hurry has my blessing and right of way as far as i am concerned. I play this rule in normal road traffic as well and it serves me perfectly.
 

AndrewB

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\'Might is right\' and rule 10(j).

Apologies for prolonging this debate unduely, but there is an important point here.

If 'might is right' means you always give way regardless of the rules, this is not, as you seem to imply, helpful to ships.

Of course, all vessels have a duty to prevent accidents, so you can't stand on regardless. But a situation where both vessels give way simultaneously is a nuisance at best, and dangerous at worst.

Most ships in the traffic lanes DO give way to yachts where they would be obliged to under rule 15 - sailing yachts are regarded as being under power, regardless. (Except of course ships that are 'restricted in ability to manoevre', something the CG relays in safety information broadcasts, but is rarely taken in by yachts).

In practice ships start to give way at a distance where it is almost imperceptible to the yacht, and smaller ships and ferries will aim to cut in fairly close behind.

If the yacht then slows down or makes a modest course change the ship has to slow down, uncertain, or make another course change. Then the ship behind that has to take evasive action. Chaos! In practice, with a dithering yacht it is the faster-moving ship that ultimately takes the responsibility for ensuring there is no collision.

In my view the ambiguity in 10(j) is far from satisfactory. (Can you 'impede the safe passage' of a vessel following the shipping lanes by following the normal COLREG rules, as required by rule 10(a)?) Even the CG won't provide advice other than that you should "obey the COLREGS".
 

quaelgeist2

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Re: No! - yes ?

Just a small comment on the local bits and pieces.
Under most continental jurisdictions, the (local) specialised/particular law or regulation supersedes any (international) general rules/regulation.
That means in practice, that German, Dutch, etc, Coastguard couldn't care less if -within the respective coastal waters - there are local trafic regulations contravening the IRPCS.
And they are known to hand out fines if blatantly ignoring the local rules.
(I usually don't abide either, but you'd know what you do still)
all the best
christian
 
G

Guest

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Re: \'Might is right\' and rule 10(j).

The gist of the rules are : to cross at or as near right angles as practicable and in good speed.
Further to avoid them unless necessary.

The points made by many on this posting are very good and even when not in agreement, show the different interpretations that have been part of the scene since the re-write of the rules back in the late 60's early 70's.

When I was a cadet learning the rules ... we had both the old and new to learn !!!! Most were the same, but some had subtle changes that brought in areas of debate ..... the worst one is the stand-on vessel to take avoiding action in the event other vessel fails to give way ....the clause / paragraph is really open to interpretation in many ways !!!!!
Anyway ..... the best advise is to get across as quick as poss. and don't hinder the traffic flow. When making a course alteration ..... make it big and bold so that there is no confusion and is clearly seen.
 
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