Boat Collision Injury and Right of Way

Boat collisions happen every year, mainly because of operator inattention and ignorance of rules. Not knowing the right of way rules can be dangerous to yourself and everyone boating around you. Reviewing the Navigation Rules, regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard, can easily prevent collisions.

  •  Right of Way
  • Give-way vessel: vessel that does not have the right of way
  • Stand-on vessel: vessel that does have right of way
  • If the skipper of an approaching boat doesn’t know the right of way rules, then a series of warning horns can be made to make them aware of what is going on around them.
    • 2 horns for approaching port side
    • 5 horns for danger or on coming vessel

Many individual rules apply to avoiding collisions, like Rule 17(b). The rule states, “When from any cause, the vessel required to keep her course and speed finds herself so close that collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, she shall take such action as will best aid to avoid collision.” It is considered the “ultimate rule” in boating. Another important rule is Rule 8(a, c). These rules state that, (a) “Any action taken at avoid collision shall be taken in accordance with Rules 4-29 and shall if the circumstances of the case admit, be positive, made in ample time and with due regard to the observance of good seamanship.” (b) “Any alteration of course and/or speed to avoid collision shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be large enough to be readily apparent to another vessel observing visually or by radar; a succession of small alterations of course and/or speed should be avoided.”

If you or your loved one have been injured or killed because of a responsible party’s negligent acts, seek immediate legal counsel. If you have been hurt, you have the right to seek compensation. For a free no risk consultation call now 1-800-264-3455, or fill out our contact form for a free initial consultation. Meet with our attorneys by appointment in your location in Mid-Missouri, St. Louis, and Kansas and throughout Missouri.

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