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A Guide to the Collision Avoidance Rules, 7th Edition 2011


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A Guide to the Collision Avoidance Rules, 7th Edition 2011

Preface to the Seventh Edition

The seventh edition incorporates amendments to Annex IV of the Collision Regulations adopted by 25th Assembly of the International Maritime Organization in 2007 and United Interpretations of Annex I, adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee of IMO in 2008.

Some new collision cases have been added and some have been deleted as considered no longer relevant to present day circumstances. Some of the early extracts from court judgments have been retained as they still appear to be applicable.

Previous edition of this have included comparisons with former rules and explanation of changes made by the 1960 Conference. There have deleted as they have become less relevant.

The opportunity has been taken to review, and make some changes to, the comments on the Rules.


A Guide to the Collision Avoidance Rules is the essential reference to the safe operation of all vessels at sea. Published continuously since 1965, this respected and expert guide is the classic text for all who need to practically and legally understand and comply with ‘The Rules’. This seventh edition includes the full text of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, with practical discussion of the implications of the rules included alongside all updates seen over the years, including the most recent amendments which came into force in December 2007.

The books sets out the ‘COLREGs’ with clear explanation of their meaning, and gives detailed examples of how the rules have been used in practice by seafarers, as well as excerpts from court judgments to illustrate how they have been interpreted in practice.

Written for seagoing engineers, navigating officers, senior crew, cadets and those in training, plus ship operators, marine lawyers and anyone concerned with the safe operation of shipping, this is an essential reference at sea and on shore.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Collisions and the Courts
  • History of the Collision Regulations
  • Part A - General (Rules 1-3)
  • Part B - Steering and Sailing Rules (Rules 4-19)
  • Part C - Lights and Shapes (Rules 20-31)
  • Part D - Sound and Lights Signals (Rules 32-37)
  • Part E – Exemptions
  • Annexes to the Rules
  • Annex I - Details of lights and shapes
  • Annex II - Additional signals for fishing vessels
  • Annex III - Details of sound signal appliances
  • Annex IV - Distress signals International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers
  • Table for Use in Assessing Risk of Collision
  • Manoeuvres to avoid Collision (including Manoeuvring Diagram)
  • Manoeuvring Information
  • Ships Referred to in the Text
  • Index