2015 New York Safe Boating - 50
RULES OF THE ROAD
It was getting dark as Stephen steered his 40 foot sport fisherman out of the harbor. Stephen had enjoyed
taking his friends on this voyage to attend their 25th college reunion. They'd had a great weekend, and
everyone but Stephen and Vinnie were "sleeping it off" on the voyage home.
Feeling drowsy himself and needing a nap, Stephen called down to Vinnie to take over the helm. "Hey Vinnie,
can you spell me at the wheel for a while? It's easy, the helm is on auto pilot, and you don't have to do a thing.
The radar is on; just watch out for other boats and their lights-boats have red lights on their left side (port),
green lights on their right side (starboard) and white lights on back and on top. I just want to lie down for a
Some time later, Stephen woke with a start. Vinnie was shouting his name from the bridge. When Stephen got
up, Vinnie explained. "You told me about red and green lights and also to look for white lights, but what's a
"A yellow light means a boat is towing a barge," Stephen explained. "Why?"
"Well, one just passed us on the left," Vinnie replied.
Stephen pushed Vinnie away from the helm, switched off the auto pilot, and turned to see a tall dark black
shape with a faint red and green light on top of it-astern of them. Stephen hit the throttles and turned the
rudder hard to starboard, and yelled to Vinnie to wake their friends and get everyone to don their lifejackets.
After a few tense moments Stephen looked over his shoulder-all was clear. He took a deep breath, slacked
off on the wheel and backed off on the throttles a bit. He'd managed to get his boat out of danger, just in the
nick of time.
His friends arrived back on the bridge, PFDs in hand, obviously confused about what had just happened. "We
were between a tug and the barge it was towing," Stephen explained, "and the barge almost ran us down."
What factors should be considered when determining the safe speed of the boat? _________________________
When is an operator required to maintain a proper lookout? ___________________________________________
3. What is the primary indicator that risk of collision exists between two vessels? ____________________________
When must navigation lights be displayed? ___________________________________________________________
What actions should the give way and stand on boat each take?_________________________________________
What are the important sound signals a boater should know and what do they mean?_______________________
Answers on page 82