Contents
 
Boy's Manual of Seamanship and Gunnery

Admiralty Notice Respecting Lights and Fog Signals


To be carried and used by Seagoing Vessels to prevent Collision.

STEAM VESSELS

(1871)

All sea-going steam vessels, when under steam, shall, between sunset and sunrise, exhibit the following lights :

1. A bright white light at the foremast head
  A green light on the starboard side
  A red light on the port side

2. The masthead light shall be so constructed as to be visible on a dark night, with a clear atmosphere, at a distance of at least five miles, and shall show a uniform and unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 20 points of the compass, and it shall be so fixed as to throw the light ten points on each side of the ship - viz. from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on either side.

3. The green light on the starboard side and the red light on the port side shall be so constructed as to be visible on a dark night, with a clear atmosphere, at a distance of at least two miles, and show a uniform and unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of ten points of the compass, and they shall be so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on the starboard, and on the port sides respectively.

4. The side lights are to be fitted with inboard screens, projecting at least 3 ft. forward from the light, so as to prevent the lights from being seen across the bow.

5. Steam vessels under sail only are not to carry their masthead light.

SAILING VESSELS.

1. All sea-going sailing vessels, when under weigh, or being towed, shall, between sunset and sunrise, exhibit a green light on the starboard side, and a red light on the port side of the vessel, and such lights shall be so constructed as to be visible on a dark night, with a clear atmosphere, at a distance of at least two miles, and shall show a uniform and unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of ten points of the compass, from right ahead to two points abaft the beam, on the starboard and on the port sides respectively.

"When you see three lights ahead,
Port you; helm, and show your red."

2. The coloured lights shall be fixed, whenever it is practicable so to exhibit them, and shall be fitted with inboard screens projecting at least 3 ft. forward from the light, so as to prevent the lights being seen across the bow.

3. When the coloured lights cannot be fixed (as in the case of small vessels in bad weather), they shall be kept on deck between sunset and sunrise, and on their proper sides of the vessel, ready for instant exhibition, and shall be exhibited in such a manner as can be best seen on the approach of, or to any other vessel or vessels, in sufficient time to avoid collision, and so that the green light shall not be seen on the port side, nor the red light on the starboard side.

Sailing pilot vessels shall not carry the lights required for other sailing vessels, but shall carry a white light at the masthead, visible all round the horizon, and shall also exhibit a flare-up light every fifteen minutes.

Open fishing boats, and other open boats, shall not be required to carry the side lights required for other vessels, but shall, if they do not carry such lights, carry a lantern having a green slide on the one side, and a red slide on the other side, and on the approach of, or to other vessels, such lantern shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision, so that the green light shall not be seen on the port side, nor the red light on the starboard side.

Fishing vessels and open boats when at anchor, or attached to their nets and stationary, shall exhibit a bright white light.

Fishing vessels and open boats shall, however, not be prevented from using a flare-up in addition, if considered expedient.

VESSELS AT ANCHOR.

All sea-going vessels, when at anchor in roadsteads or fairways, shall, between sunset and sunrise, exhibit where it can best be seen, but at a height not exceeding 20 ft, above the hull, a white light, in a globular lantern of 8 ins. in diameter, and so constructed as to show a clear, uniform, and unbroken light all round the horizon, at a distance of at least one mile.

FOG SIGNALS.

All sea-going steam vessels, whether propelled by paddles or screws, when their steam is up, and when under weigh, shall, in all cases of fog, use as a fog signal a steam whistle, placed before the funnel, at not less than 8 ft. from the deck, which shall be sounded once at least every five minutes, but when the steam is not up, they shall use a fog horn, or bell, as ordered for sailing ships.

All sea-going sailing vessels, when under weigh, shall, in all cases of fog, use, when on the starboard tack, a fog horn, and when on the port tack, shall ring a bell.

These signals shall be sounded once at least every five minutes.

Sailing pilot vessels are to carry only a white light at the masthead, and are to exhibit a flare-up light every 15 minutes, in accordance with the Trinity House regulations.

The annexed diagrams are intended to illustrate the use of the lights carried by vessels at sea, and the manner in which they indicate to the vessel which sees them the position and description of the vessel which carries them.

First. When both red and green lights are seen.

A sees a red and green light ahead ; A knows that a vessel is approaching her on a course directly opposite to her own, as B.

If A sees a white masthead light above the other two, she knows that B is a steam vessel.

Second. When the red, and not the green light is seen.

A sees a red light ahead or on the bow; A knows that either,

1. A vessel is approaching her on her port bow, as B;

or 2, a vessel is crossing in some direction to port, as D D D.

If A sees a white masthead light above the red light, A knows that the vessel is a steam vessel, and is either approaching her in the same direction as B, or is crossing to port in some direction, as D D D.

Third. When the green, and not the red light is seen.

A sees a green light ahead, or on the bow ; A knows that: either,

1. A vessel is approaching her on her starboard bow, as B;

or 2, a vessel is crossing in some direction to starboard, as DDD.

If A sees a white masthead light above the green light, A knows that the vessel is a steam vessel, and is either approaching her in the same direction as B, or is crossing to starboard in some direction, as D D D.

^ back to top ^