38 CAUTION WITH REGARD TO SHIPS APPROACHING FORMATIONS, CONVOYS, AIRCRAFT CARRIERS AND OTHER WARSHIPS AT SEA AND AIRCRAFT CARRIERS AT ANCHOR


Formations and Convoys

1  The attention of shipowners and mariners is called to the danger to all concerned which is caused by single vessels approaching a formation of warships or merchant vessels in convoy, so closely as to involve risk of collision, attempting to pass ahead of, or through such a formation or convoy.

2  Mariners are therefore warned that single vessels should adopt early measures to keep out of the way of a formation or convoy.

3  Although a single vessel is advised to keep out of the way of a formation or convoy, this does not entitle vessels sailing in company to proceed without regard to the movements of the single vessel.

Vessels sailing in a formation or convoy should accordingly keep a careful watch on the movements of any single vessel approaching the formation or convoy and should be ready, in case the single vessel does not keep out of the way, to take such action as will best aid to avert collision.

Aircraft carriers

4  Attention is drawn to the uncertainty of the movements of aircraft carriers, which must usually turn into the wind when aircraft are taking off or landing. While operating aircraft, aircraft carriers will show the lights or shapes as prescribed by Rule 27(b) of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations.  Aircraft carriers may display red or white flight deck lighting during night flying operations.

5  Mariners are warned that by night, aircraft carriers have:

(a) their steaming lights placed permanently off the centre line of the ship and at considerably reduced horizontal separation.

(b) Alternative positions for their side lights:

(i) on either side of the hull,

(ii) on either side of the island structure, in which case the port bow light may be as much as 30.5 m (100 ft.) from the port side of the ship.

6  Certain aircraft carriers exhibit anchor lights as follows:

Four white lights located in the following manner: -

In the forward part of the vessel at a distance of not more than 1.5 m (5 ft.) below the flight deck, two lights in the same horizontal plane, one on the port side and one on the starboard side. In the after part of the vessel at a height of not less than 4.6 m (15 ft.) lower than the forward lights, two lights in the same horizontal plane, one on the port side and one on the starboard side.

Each light is visible over an arc of at least 180°. The forward lights visible over a minimum arc from one point on the opposite bow to one point from right astern on their own side, and the after lights from one point on the opposite quarter to one point from right ahead on their own side.

Ships which operate helicopters

7  Mariners are warned that certain ships of the Maritime Command operate helicopters and cannot manoeuvre freely when helicopters are taking off or landing. Such ships are fitted with hangars and landing platforms, and when operating at night use red or white flood lighting.

8  By night, such ships in addition to the lights prescribed in Rule 27(b) of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations may exhibit the following lights:

(a) Red aircraft warning lights on the foremast, visible 360°. The lights will be on continuously when a helicopter is in the vicinity of the ship.

(b) A cluster of six red, green, or yellow lights, mounted on the after side of the helicopter hangar, visible from red 090° to green 090° through the stern. These lights will be used intermittently as required when helicopters are landing.

(c) Subdued white flight-deck illumination lights. These lights will present a general white glow to other ships.

(d) White, high intensity, flight deck flood lights, fitted on the after side of the hangar, visible from red 090° to green 090° through the stern may be used after the helicopter has landed.

(Red deck lights and flood lights may be used instead of white.)

(e) Lighting associated with Helicopter Operation may be shown in addition to masthead lights, side lights and overtaking light, at the discretion of the officer in tactical command (OTC).

Replenishment-at-Sea

9  Canadian and Allied Warships in conjunction with auxiliaries frequently exercise Replenishment-at-Sea. While doing so the two or more ships taking part are connected by jack-stays and hoses. They display the signals prescribed by Rule 27(b) of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations.

10  Mariners are warned that while carrying out these exercises the ships are restricted both in manoeuvrability and speed. Other vessels are to keep well clear in accordance with Rules 2 and 18 of the above Regulations.

11 Lights and shapes carried by North Atlantic Treaty Organization Mine Countermeasures Vehicles.

Mariners are warned that Canadian, Allied Warships and Helicopters engaged in mine countermeasure activities, cannot manoeuvre freely whilst so engaged. These ships/aircraft may be encountered singly or in formation. Attention is directed to the lights and shapes displayed during these operations:

a. Minehunters

Ships engaged in minehunting will show the lights or shapes prescribed in Rule 27(f) of Schedule I of theCollision Regulations.  Minehunters normally work in conjunction with small boats and inflatable rubber dinghies from which diving or mine disposal operations are conducted. These may be up to 1,000 metres from the minehunter. When showing the lights or shapes prescribed in Rule 27 (f) of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations,  other vessels should not approach closer than 1,000 metres of the minehunter. When a dinghy is being used to operate divers or conduct mine disposal operations, the minehunters in addition to the lights and shapes prescribed above will:

(1) By Day:

Display Flag 'A' or Flag 'B' of the International Code of Signals as appropriate.

(2) By night:

(a) Signal the letter 'U' by flashing light when approached by other vessels.

(b) Make a warning signal in accordance with Rule 36 of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations if approaching vessels do not take avoiding action.

b. Diving Dinghies

(1) When operating divers or conducting mine disposal operations, the dinghy will be required to:

By day:

Display/be prepared to display Flag 'A' or Flag 'B' of the International Code of Signals as appropriate when approached by other vessels.

(2) By night:

(a) Display/be prepared to display an all-round white light in accordance with Rule 23(c) of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations.

(b) Be prepared to show a signal to attract attention in accordance with Rule 36 of Schedule I of theCollision Regulations.

c. Minesweepers

(1) Ships engaged in minesweeping will show the lights or shapes prescribed in Rule 27(f) of Schedule I of the Collision Regulations.  Other vessels should not approach closer than 1,000 metres from the minesweeper.

(2) In addition, the minesweepers may carry the following Station-Keeping Lights:

Two vertical white lights, dimmer controlled, visible from 020° before the beam on either side to right astern. In smaller minesweepers, where the lower light may not be visible through the whole area, it may be necessary to carry two lower lights, one on each side, visible from 020° before the beam to right astern.

d. Helicopters

The helicopter shall be equipped with a quick flashing amber light to indicate that gear is being towed.

Authority: Department of National Defence (NDHQ)