International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea
You should not only pay attention to your own safety, but also obey the Rules of the Road during water sports activities. Some of the basic rules and common situations are as follows:
- When encountering another boat, pay attention to the tacks of both boats if they will cause a collision. If you cannot determine whether it is safe, just assume that there might be a collision.
- When two boats are on the same tack and continued sailing may lead to a possible collision, the windward boat should keep clear of the leeward boat.
- When two boats are on the opposite tacks and continued sailing may lead to a possible collision, the boat on the port tack should keep clear of the one on the starboard tack.
- When one boat is overtaking another, the faster boat must keep clear of the one being overtaken.
- Power boats should give way to boats driven by wind or manual force. The latter should give way to vessels out of control, vessels with limited control and fishing boats.
- The boat that has the priority for continued sailing should keep its course and speed. But be prepared to give way to avoid collision if another boat does not alter its course in time.
- If in doubt, always give way first for the sake of safety.