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Proclamation 391—Enforcement of an Act to Prevent Collisions at Sea

December 31, 1896


By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Whereas an act of Congress entitled "An act to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea" was approved August 19, 1890, the said act being in the following words:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following regulations for preventing collisions at sea shall be followed by all public and private vessels of the United States upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith navigable by seagoing vessels:

PRELIMINARY.

In the following rules every steam vessel which is under sail and not under steam is to be considered a sailing vessel, and every vessel under steam, whether under sail or not, is to be considered a steam vessel.

The words" steam vessel" shall include any vessel propelled by machinery.

A vessel is "under way" within the meaning of these rules when she is not at anchor or made fast to the shore or aground.

RULES CONCERNING LIGHTS, ETC.

The word "visible" in these rules when applied to lights shall mean visible on a dark night with a clear atmosphere.

ARTICLE I. The rules concerning lights shall be complied with in all weathers from sunset to sunrise, and during such time no other lights which may be mistaken for the prescribed lights shall be exhibited.

ART. 2. A steam vessel when under way shall carry

( a ) On or in front of the foremast, or if a vessel without a foremast, then in the fore part of the vessel, at a height above the hull of not less than 20 feet, and if the breadth of the vessel exceeds 20 feet, then at a height above the hull not less than such breadth, so, however, that the light need not be carried at a greater height above the hull than 40 feet a bright white light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 20 points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light 10 points on each side of the vessel--namely, from right ahead to 2 points abaft the beam on either side--and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 5 miles.

(b) On the starboard side a green light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 10 points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to 2 points abaft the beam on the starboard side, and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 2 miles.

(c) On the port side a red light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 10 points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to 2 points abaft the beam on the port side, and of such a character as to be visible it a distance of at least 2 miles.

(d) The said green and red side lights shall be fitted with inboard screens projecting at least 3 feet forward from the light, so as to prevent these lights from being seen across the bow.

(e) A steam vessel when under way may carry an additional white light similar in construction to the light mentioned in subdivision (a). These two lights shall be so placed in line with the keel that one shall be at least 15 feet higher than the other and in such a position with reference to each other that the lower light shall be forward of the upper one. The vertical distance between these lights shall be less than the horizontal distance.

ART. 3. A steam vessel when towing another vessel shall, in addition to her side lights, carry two bright white lights in a vertical line one over the other, not less than 6 feet apart, and when towing more than one vessel shall carry an additional bright white light 6 feet above or below such light, if the length of the tow measuring from the stern of the towing vessel to the stern of the last vessel towed exceeds 600 feet. Each of these lights shall be of the same construction and character and shall be carried in the same position as the white light mentioned in article 2 (a), excepting the additional light, which may be carried at a height of not less than 14 feet above the hull.

Such steam vessel may carry a small white light abaft the funnel or aftermast for the vessel towed to steer by, but such light shall not be visible forward of the beam.

ART. 4. (a) A vessel which from any accident is not under command shall carry at the same height as a white light mentioned in article 2 (a), where they can best be seen, and if a steam vessel in lieu of that light, two red lights in a vertical line one over the other, not less than 6 feet apart, and of such a character as to be visible all around the horizon at a distance of at least 2 miles, and shall by day carry in a vertical line one over the other, not less than 6 feet apart, where they can best be seen, two black balls or shapes each 2 feet in diameter.

(b) A vessel employed in laying or in picking up a telegraph cable shall carry in the same position as the white light mentioned in article 2 (a), and if a steam vessel in lieu of that light, three lights in a vertical line one over the other, not less than 6 feet apart. The highest and lowest of these lights shall be red and the middle light shall be white, and they shall be of such a character as to be visible all around the horizon at a distance of at least 2 miles. By day she shall carry in a vertical line one over the other, not less than 6 feet apart, where they can best be seen, three shapes not less than 2 feet in diameter, of which the highest and lowest shall he globular in shape and red in color and the middle one diamond in shape and white.

(c) The vessels referred to in this article when not making way through the water shall not carry the side lights, but when making way shall carry them.

(d) The lights and shapes required to be shown by this article are to be taken by other vessels as signals that the vessel showing them is not under command and can not, therefore, get out of the way.

These signals are not signals of vessels in distress and requiring assistance. Such signals are contained in article 31.

ART. 5. A sailing vessel under way and any vessel being towed shall carry the same lights as are prescribed by article 2 for a steam vessel under way, with the exception of the white lights mentioned therein, which they shall never carry.

ART. 6. Whenever, as in the case of small vessels under way during bad weather, the green and red side lights can not be fixed, these lights shall be kept at hand, lighted and ready for use, and shall on the approach of or to other vessels be exhibited on their respective sides, in sufficient time to prevent collision, in such manner as to make them most visible and so that the green light shall not be seen on the port side nor the red light on the starboard side, nor, if practicable, more than 2 points abaft the beam on their respective sides.

To make the use of these portable lights more certain and easy the lanterns containing them shall each be painted outside with the color of the light they respectively contain and shall be provided with proper screens.

ART. 7. Steam vessels of less than 40 and vessels under oars or sails of less than 20 tons gross tonnage, respectively, when under way shall not be obliged to carry the lights mentioned in article 2 (a), (b), and (c) , but if they do not carry them they shall be provided with the following lights:

First. Steam vessels of less than 40 tons shall carry

(a) In the fore part of the vessel or on or in front of the funnel, where it can best be seen, and at a height above the gunwale of not less than 9 feet, a bright white light constructed and fixed as prescribed in article 2 (a) and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 2 miles.

(b) Green and red side lights constructed and fixed as prescribed in article 2 (b) and (c) and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least I mile, or a combined lantern showing a green light and a red light from right ahead to 2 points abaft the beam on their respective sides. Such lanterns shall be carried not less than 3 feet below the white light.

Second. Small steamboats, such as are carded by seagoing vessels, may carry the white light at a less height than 9 feet above the gunwale, but it shall be carried above the combined lantern mentioned in subdivision 1 (b).

Third. Vessels under oars or sails of less than 20 tons shall have ready at hand a lantern with a green glass on one side and a red glass on the other, which on the approach of or to other vessels 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.

The vessels referred to in this article shall not be obliged to carry the lights prescribed by article 4 (a) and article 11, last paragraph.

ART. 8. Pilot vessels when engaged on their station on pilotage duty shall not show the lights required for other vessels, but shall carry a white light at the masthead, visible all around the horizon, and shall also exhibit a flare-up light or flare-up lights at short intervals, which shall never exceed fifteen minutes.

On the near approach of or to other vessels they shall have their side lights lighted ready for use and shall flash or show them at short intervals to indicate the direction in which they are heading; but the green light shall not be shown on the port side nor the red light on the starboard side.

A pilot vessel of such a class as to be obliged to go alongside of a vessel to put a pilot on board may show the white light instead of carrying it at the masthead, and may instead of the colored lights above mentioned have at hand ready for use a lantern with a green glass on the one side and a red glass on the other, to be used as prescribed above.

Pilot vessels when not engaged on their station on pilotage duty shall carry lights similar to those of other vessels of their tonnage.

ART. 9. Fishing vessels and fishing boats when under way and when not required by this article to carry or show the lights therein named shall carry or show the lights prescribed for vessels of their tonnage under way.

(a) Vessels and boats when fishing with drift nets shall exhibit two white lights from any part of the vessel where they can best be seen. Such lights shall be placed so that the vertical distance between them shall be not less than 6 feet and not more than 10 feet, and so that the horizontal distance between them measured in a line with the keel shall be not less than 5 feet and not more than 10 feet. The lower of these two lights shall be the more forward, and both of them shall be of such a character as to show all around the horizon and to be visible at a distance of not less than 3 miles.

(b) Vessels when engaged in trawling, by which is meant the dragging of an apparatus along the bottom of the sea--

First. If steam vessels, shall carry in the same position as the white light mentioned in article 2 (a) a tricolored lantern so constructed and fixed as to show a white light from right ahead to 2 points on each bow and a green light and a red light over an arc of the horizon from 2 points on either bow to 2 points abaft the beam on the starboard and port sides, respectively, and not less than 6 nor more than 12 feet below the tricolored lantern a white light in a lantern so constructed as to show a clear, uniform, and unbroken light all around the horizon.

Second. If sailing vessels of 7 tons gross tonnage and upward, shall carry a white light in a lantern so constructed as to show a clear, uniform, and unbroken light all around the horizon, and shall also be provided with a sufficient supply of red pyrotechnic lights, which shall each burn for at least thirty seconds and shall be shown on the approach of or to other vessels in sufficient time to prevent collision.

In the Mediterranean Sea the vessels referred to in subdivision (b) 2 may use a flare-up light in lieu of a pyrotechnic light.

All lights mentioned in subdivision (b) 1 and 2 shall be visible at a distance of at least 2 miles.

Third. If sailing vessels of less than 7 tons gross tonnage, shall not be obliged to carry the white light mentioned in subdivision (b) 2 of this article, but if they do not carry such light they shall have at hand, ready for use, a lantern showing a bright white light, which shall on the approach of or to other vessels be exhibited where it can best be seen in sufficient time to prevent collision; and they shall also show a red pyrotechnic light, as prescribed in subdivision (b) 2, or in lieu thereof a flare-up light.

(c) Vessels and boats when line fishing with their lines out and attached to their lines, and when not at anchor or stationary, shall carry the same lights as vessels fishing with drift nets.

(d) Fishing vessels and fishing boats may at any time use a flare-up light in addition to the lights which they are by this article required to carry and show. All flare-up lights exhibited by a vessel when trawling or fishing with any kind of dragnet shall be shown at the after part of the vessel, excepting that if the vessel is hanging by the stern to her fishing gear they shall be exhibited from the bow.

(e) Every fishing vessel and every boat when at anchor shall exhibit a white light visible all around the horizon at a distance of at least 1 mile.

(f) If a vessel or boat when fishing becomes stationary in consequence of her gear getting fast to a rock or other obstruction, she shall show the light and make the fog signal prescribed for a vessel at anchor, respectively. (See article 15 (d), (e), and last paragraph.)

(g) In fog, mist, falling snow, or heavy rain storms drift-net vessels attached to their nets, and vessels when trawling, dredging, or fishing with any kind of dragnet, and vessels line fishing with their lines out shall, if of 20 tons gross tonnage or upward, respectively, at intervals of not more than one minute make a blast--if steam vessels, with the whistle or siren, and if sailing vessels, with the fog horn--each blast to be followed by ringing the bell.

(h) Sailing vessels or boats fishing with nets or lines or trawls when under way shall in daytime indicate their occupation to an approaching vessel by displaying a basket or other efficient signal where it can best be seen.

The vessels referred to in this article shall not be obliged to carry the light prescribed by article 4 (a) and article 11, last paragraph.

ART. 10. A. vessel which is being overtaken by another shall show from her stern to such last-mentioned vessel a white light or a flare-up light.

The white light required to be shown by this article may be fixed and carried in a lantern, but in such case the lantern shall be so constructed, fitted, and screened that it shall throw an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 12 points of the compass--namely, for 6 points from right aft on each side of the vessel--so as to be visible at a distance of at least 1 mile. Such light shall be carried as nearly as practicable on the same level as the side lights.

ART. II. A vessel under 150 feet in length when at anchor shall carry forward, where it can best be seen, but at a height not exceeding 20 feet above the hull, a white light in a lantern so constructed as to show a clear, uniform, and unbroken light visible all around the horizon at a distance of at least 1 mile.

A vessel of 150 feet or upward in length when at anchor shall carry in the forward part of the vessel, at a height of not less than 20 and not exceeding 40 feet above the hull, one such light, and at or near the stern of the vessel, and at such a height that it shall be not less than 15 feet lower than the forward light, another such light.

The length of a vessel shall be deemed to be the length appearing in her certificate of registry.

A vessel aground in or near a fairway shall carry the above light or lights and the two red lights prescribed by article 4 (a).

ART. 12. Every vessel may, if necessary in order to attract attention, in addition to the lights which she is by these rules required to carry, show a flare-up light or use any detonating signal that can not be mistaken for a distress signal.

ART. 13. Nothing in these rules shall interfere with the operation of any special rules made by the government of any nation with respect to additional station and signal lights for two or more ships of war or for vessels sailing under convoy, or with the exhibition of recognition signals adopted by ship owners, which have been authorized by their respective governments and duly registered and published.

ART. 14. A steam vessel proceeding under sail only, but having her funnel up, shall carry in daytime forward, where it can best be seen, one black ball or shape 2 feet in diameter.

SOUND SIGNALS FOR FOG, ETC.

ART. 15. All signals prescribed by this article for vessels under way shall be given--

1. By "steam vessels," on the whistle or siren.

2. By "sailing vessels" and "vessels towed" on the fog horn.

The words "prolonged blast" used in this article shall mean a blast of from four to six seconds' duration.

A steam vessel shall be provided with an efficient whistle or siren, sounded by steam or by some substitute for steam, so placed that the sound may not be intercepted by any obstruction, and with an efficient fog horn, to be sounded by mechanical means, and also with an efficient bell. (In all crises where the rules require a bell to be used a drum may be substituted on board Turkish vessels or a gong where such articles are used on board shall seagoing vessels.) A sailing vessel of 20 tons gross tonnage or upward shall be provided with a similar fog horn and bell.

In fog, mist, falling snow, or heavy rain storms, whether by day or night, the signals described in this article shall be used as follows, viz:

(a) A steam vessel having way upon her shall sound at intervals of not more than two minutes a prolonged blast.

(b) A steam vessel under way, but stopped and having no way upon her, shall sound at intervals of not more than two minutes two prolonged blasts, with an interval of about one second between them.

(c) A sailing vessel under way shall sound at intervals of not more than one minute, when on the starboard tack one blast, when on the port tack two blasts in succession, and when with the wind abaft the beam three blasts in succession.

(d) A vessel when at anchor shall at intervals of not more than one minute ring the bell rapidly for about five seconds.

(c) A vessel at anchor at sea, when not in ordinary anchorage ground and when in such a position as to be an obstruction to vessels under way, shall sound, if a steam vessel, at intervals of not more than two minutes, two prolonged blasts with her whistle or siren, followed by ringing her bell, or if a sailing vessel, at intervals of not more than one minute, two blasts with her fog horn, followed by ringing her bell.

(f) A vessel when towing shall, instead of the signals prescribed in subdivisions (a) and (c) of this article, at intervals of not more than two minutes sound three blasts in succession, namely, one prolonged blast followed by two short blasts. A vessel towed may give this signal, and she shall not give any other.

(g) A steam vessel wishing to indicate to another "The way is off my vessel; you may feel your way past me" may sound three blasts in succession--namely, short, long, short--with intervals of about one second between them.

(h) A vessel employed in laying or picking up a telegraph cable shall on hearing the fog signal of an approaching vessel sound in answer three prolonged blasts in succession.

(i) A vessel under way which is unable to get out of the way of an approaching vessel through being not under command or unable to maneuver as required by these rules shall on hearing the fog signal of an approaching vessel sound in answer four short blasts in succession.

Sailing vessels and boats of less than 20 tons gross tonnage shall not be obliged to give the above-mentioned signals, but if they do not they shall make some other efficient sound signal at intervals of not more than one minute.

SPEED OF SHIPS TO BE MODERATE IN FOG, ETC.

ART. 16. Every vessel shall in a fog, mist, falling snow, or heavy rain storms go at a moderate speed, having careful regard to the existing circumstances and conditions. A steam vessel hearing, apparently forward of her beam, the fog signal of a vessel the position of which is not ascertained shall, so far as the circumstances of the case admit, stop her engines and then navigate with caution until danger of collision is over.

STEERING AND SAILING RULES.

PRELIMINARY.--RISK OF COLLISION,

Risk of collision can, when circumstances permit, be ascertained by carefully watching the compass bearing of an approaching vessel. If the bearing does not appreciably change, such risk should be deemed to exist.

ART. 17. When two sailing vessels are approaching one another so as to involve risk of collision, one of them shall keep out of the way of the other as follows, namely:

(a) A vessel which is running free shall keep out of the way of a vessel which is closehauled.

(b) A vessel which is closehauled on the port tack shall keep out of the way of a vessel which is closehauled on the starboard tack.

(c) When both are running free with the wind on different sides, the vessel which has the wind on the port side shall keep out of the way of the other.

(d) When both are running free with the wind on the same side, the vessel which is to the windward shall keep out of the way of the vessel which is to leeward.

(e) A vessel which has the wind aft shall keep out of the way of the other vessel.

ART. 18. When two steam vessels are meeting end on or nearly end on, so as to involve risk of collision, each shall alter her course to starboard, so that each may pass on the port side of the other.

This article only applies to cases where vessels are meeting end on or nearly end on in such a manner as to involve risk of collision, and does not apply to two vessels which must, if both keep on their respective courses, pass clear of each other.

The only cases to which it does apply are when each of the two vessels is end on or nearly end on to the other; in other words, to cases in which by day each vessel sees the masts of the other in a line or nearly in a line with her own, and by night to cases in which each vessel is in such a position as to see both the side lights of the other.

It does not apply by day to cases in which a vessel sees another ahead crossing her own course, or by night to cases where the red light of one vessel is opposed to the red light of the other, or where the green light of one vessel is opposed to the green light of the other, or where a red light without a green light or a green light without a red light is seen ahead, or where both green and red lights are seen anywhere but ahead.

ART. 19. When two steam vessels are crossing, so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way of the other.

ART. 20. When a steam vessel and a sailing vessel are proceeding in such directions as to involve risk of collision, the steam vessel shall keep out of the way of the sailing vessel.

ART. 21. Where by any of these rules one of two vessels is to keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course and speed.

ART. 22. Every vessel which is directed by these rules to keep out of the way of another vessel shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other.

ART. 23. Every steam vessel which is directed by these rules to keep out of the way of another vessel shall on approaching her, if necessary, slacken her speed or stop or reverse.

ART. 24. Notwithstanding anything contained in these rules every vessel overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the overtaken vessel.

Every vessel coming up with another vessel from any direction more than 2 points abaft her beam--that is, in such a position with reference to the vessel which she is overtaking that at night she would he unable to see either of that vessel's side lights--shall be deemed to be an overtaking vessel, and no subsequent alteration of the bearing between the two vessels shall make the overtaking vessel a crossing vessel within the meaning of these rules or relieve her of the duty of keeping clear of the overtaken vessel until she is finally past and clear.

As by day the overtaking vessel can not always know with certainty whether she is forward of or abaft this direction from the other vessel, she should if in doubt assume that she is an overtaking vessel and keep out of the way.

ART. 25. In narrow channels every steam vessel shall, when it is safe and practicable, keep to that side of the fairway or mid-channel which lies on the starboard side of such vessel.

ART. 26. Sailing vessels under way shall keep out of the way of sailing vessels or boats fishing with nets or lines or trawls. This rule shall not give to any vessel or boat engaged in fishing the right of obstructing a fairway used by vessels other than fishing vessels or boats.

ART. 27. In obeying and construing these rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances which may render a departure from the above rules necessary in order to avoid immediate danger.

SOUND SIGNALS FOR VESSELS IN SIGHT OF ONE ANOTHER.

ART. 28. The words "short blast" used in this article shall mean a blast of about one second's duration.

When vessels are in sight of one another, a steam vessel under way in taking any course authorized or required by these rules shall indicate that course by the following signals on her whistle or siren, namely:

One short blast to mean, "I am directing my course to starboard."

Two short blasts to mean, "I am directing my course to port."

Three short blasts to mean, "My engines are going at full speed astern."

NO VESSEL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TO NEGLECT PROPER PRECAUTIONS.

ART. 29. Nothing in these rules shall exonerate any vessel or the owner or master or crew thereof from the consequences of any neglect to carry lights or signals, or of any neglect to keep a proper lookout, or of the neglect of any precaution which may he required by the ordinary practice of seamen or by the special circumstances of the case.

RESERVATION OF RULES FOR HARBORS AND INLAND NAVIGATION.

ART. 30. Nothing in these rules shall interfere with the operation of a special rule duly made by local authority relative to the navigation of any harbor, river, or inland waters.

DISTRESS SIGNALS.

ART. 31. When a vessel is in distress and requires assistance from other vessels or from the shore, the following shall be the signals to be used or displayed by her either together or separately, namely:

In the daytime--First. A gun fired at intervals of about a minute.

Second. The international code signal of distress indicated by N C.

Third. The distance signal, consisting of a square flag, having either above or below it a ball or anything resembling a ball.

Fourth. Rockets or shells as prescribed below for use at night. Fifth. A continuous sounding with any fog-signal apparatus. At night--

First. A gun fired at intervals of about a minute

Second. Flames on the vessel (as from a burning tar barrel, oil barrel, etc.).

Third. Rockets or shells bursting in the air with a loud report and throwing stars of any color or description, fired one at a time at short intervals.

Fourth. A continuous sounding with any fog-signal apparatus.

SEC. 2. That all laws or parts of laws inconsistent with the foregoing regulations for preventing collisions at sea, for the navigation of all public and private vessels of the United States upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith navigable by seagoing vessels, are hereby repealed.

SEC. 3. That this act shall take effect at a time to be fixed by the President by proclamation issued for that purpose.

And whereas an act of Congress entitled "An act to amend an act approved August 19, 1890, entitled 'An act to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea,' "was approved May 28, 1894, the said act being in the following words:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That article 7 of the act approved August 19, 1890, entitled "An act to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea," be amended to read as follows:

"ART. 7. Steam vessels of less than 40 and vessels under oars or sails of less than 20 tons gross tonnage, respectively, and rowing boats, when under way, shall not be required to carry the lights mentioned in article 2 (a), (b), and (c), but if they do not carry them they shall be provided with the following lights:

"First. Steam vessels of less than 40 tons shall carry--

"(a) In the fore part of the vessel or on or in front of the funnel, where it can best be seen, and at a height above the gunwale of not less than 9 feet, a bright white light constructed and fixed as prescribed in article 2 (a) and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 2 miles.

"(b) Green and red side lights constructed and fixed as prescribed in article 2 (b) and (c) and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at lease 1 mile, or a combined lantern showing a green light and a red light from right ahead to 2 points abaft the beam on their respective sides. Such lanterns shall be carried not less than 3 feet below the white light.

"Second. Small steamboats, such as are carried by seagoing vessels, may carry the white light at a less height than 9 feet above the gunwale, but it shall be carried above the combined lantern mentioned in subdivision I (b).

"Third. Vessels under oars or sails of less than 20 tons shall have ready at hand a lantern with a green glass on one side and a red glass on the other, which on the approach of or to other vessels 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.

"Fourth. Rowing boats, whether under oars or sail, shall have ready at hand a lantern showing a white light, which shall be temporarily exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

"The vessels referred to in this article shall not be obliged to carry the lights prescribed by article 4 (a) and article 11, last paragraph."

That article 9 be hereby repealed.

That article 21 be amended to read as follows:

"ART. 21. Where by any of these rules one of two vessels is to keep out of the way the other shall keep her course and speed.

"NOTE.--When in consequence of thick weather or other causes such vessel finds herself so close that collision can not be avoided by the action of the giving-way vessel alone, she also shall take such action as will best aid to avert collision." (See articles 27 and 29. )

That article 31 be amended to read as follows:

"DISTRESS SIGNALS.

"ART. 31. When a vessel is in distress and requires assistance from other vessels or from the shore, the following shall be the signals to be used or displayed by her, either together or separately, namely:

" In the daytime"

First. A gun or other explosive signal fired at intervals of about a minute.

"Second. The international code signal of distress indicated by N C.

"Third. The distance signal, consisting of a square flag, having either above or below it a ball or anything resembling a ball.

"Fourth. A continuous sounding with any fog-signal apparatus. "At night--

" First. A gun or other explosive signal fired at intervals of about a minute.

"Second. Flames on the vessel (as from a burning tar barrel, oil barrel, etc.). "Third. Rockets or shells throwing stars of any color or description, fired one at a time at short intervals.

"Fourth. A continuous sounding with any fog-signal apparatus."

And whereas it was provided by section 3 of the said act of August 19, 1890, that it should take effect at a time to be fixed by the President by proclamation issued for that purpose; and

Whereas the President did, in virtue of the authority vested in him by the said section 3 of the act of August 19, 1890, issue a proclamation on the 13th day of July, 1894, declaring the 1st day of March, 1895, as the day on which the said act approved August 19, 1890, as amended by the act approved May 28, 1894, should take effect; and

Whereas an act of Congress entitled "An act relating to lights on fishing vessels" was approved August 13, 1894, the said act being in the following words:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That article 10 of the act approved March 3, 1885, entitled "An act to adopt the 'Revised international regulations for preventing collisions at sea,'" so far as said article relates to lights for fishing vessels, is hereby reenacted and continued in force, anything in the act approved May 28, 1894, entitled "An act to amend an act approved August 19, 1890, entitled 'An act to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea,'" to the contrary notwithstanding.

And whereas the said article of the act approved March 3, 1885, entitled "An act to adopt the 'Revised international regulations for preventing collisions at sea,"' reenacted by the said act of August 13, 1894, is as follows:

ART. 10. Open boats and fishing vessels of less than 20 tons net registered tonnage when under way and when not having their nets, trawls, dredges, or lines in the water shall not be obliged to carry the colored side lights; but every such boat and vessel shall in lieu thereof have ready at hand a lantern with a green glass on the one side and a red glass on the other side, and on approaching to or being approached by another vessel 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.

The following portion of this article applies only to fishing vessels and boats when in the sea off the coast of Europe lying north of Cape Finisterre:

(a) All fishing vessels and fishing boats of 20 tons net registered tonnage or upward when under way and when not having their nets, trawls, dredges, or lines in the water shall carry and show the same lights as other vessels under way.

(b) All vessels when engaged in fishing with drift nets shall exhibit two white lights from any part of the vessel where they can be best seen. Such lights shall be placed so that the vertical distance between them shall be not less than 6 feet and not more than 10 feet and so that the horizontal distance between them measured in a line with the keel of the vessel shall be not less than 5 feet and not more than 10 feet. The lower of these two lights shall be the more forward, and both of them shall be of such a character and contained in lanterns of such construction as to show all round the horizon on a dark night with a clear atmosphere for a distance of not less than 3 miles.

(c) All vessels when trawling, dredging, or fishing with any kind of dragnets shall exhibit from some part of the vessel where they can be best seen two lights. One of these lights shall be red and the other shall be white. The red light shall be above the white light and shall be at a vertical distance from it of not less than 6 feet and not more than 12 feet, and the horizontal distance between them, if any, shall not be more than 10 feet. These two lights shall be of such a character and contained in lanterns of such construction as to be visible all round the horizon on a dark night with a clear atmosphere, the white light to a distance of not less than 3 miles and the red light of not less than 2 miles.

(d) A vessel employed in line fishing with her lines out shall carry the same lights as a vessel when engaged in fishing with drift nets.

(e) If a vessel when fishing with a trawl, dredge, or any kind of dragnet becomes stationary in consequence of her gear getting fast to a rock or other obstruction, she shall show the light and make the fog signal for a vessel at anchor.

(f) Fishing vessels and open boats may at any time use a flare-up in addition to the lights which they are by this article required to carry and show. All flare-up lights exhibited by a vessel when trawling, dredging, or fishing with any kind of dragnet shall be shown at the after part of the vessel, excepting that if the vessel is hanging by the stern to her trawl, dredge, or dragnet they shall be exhibited from the bow.

(g) Every fishing vessel and every open boat when at anchor between sunset and sunrise shall exhibit a white light visible all round the horizon at a distance of at least 1 mile.

(h) In a fog a drift-net vessel attached to her nets, and a vessel when trawling, dredging, or fishing with any kind of dragnet, and a vessel employed in line fishing with her lines out shall at intervals of not more than two minutes make a blast with her fog horn and ring her bell alternately.

And whereas an act of Congress entitled "An act to postpone the enforcement of the act of August 19, 1890, entitled 'An act to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea,"' was approved February 23, 1895, the said act being in the following words:

Whereas the President, in accordance with the proposition of Great Britain to enforce on March 1, 1895, the "Revised international regulations for preventing collisions at sea," and on the representations of that Government that those regulations had received the general approval of the several foreign maritime powers, pursuant to section 3 of the act ot August 19, 1890, entitled "An act to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea," issued on July 13, 1894, his proclamation fixing March 1, 1895, as the time when the provisions of said act, as amended, embodying said revised international regulations, shall take effect; and

Whereas the Government of Great Britain has withdrawn from the position communicated to this Government on April 25, 1894, that no time should be lost in carrying those regulations into effect, and on January 16, 1895, announced to this Government that the Government of Great Britain now finds it impossible until Parliament has been consulted to fix a date for bringing the regulations into force, and earnestly requests this Government to consent to a temporary postponement of the enforcement of said regulations; and

Whereas it is desirable that the "Revised international regulations for preventing collisions at sea" shall be put into force simultaneously by the maritime powers:

Therefore,

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That said act of August 19, 1890, take effect not on March 1, 1895, but at a subsequent time, to be fixed by the President by proclamation issued for that purpose.

And whereas the President did, in virtue of the authority vested in him by the said act of February 23, 1895, issue a proclamation on the 25th day of February, 1895, giving notice that the said act of August 19, 1890, as amended by the act of May 28, 1894, would not go into force on March 1, 1895, the date fixed in his said proclamation of July 13, 1894, but on such future date as might be designated in a proclamation of the President to be issued for that purpose; and

Whereas an act of Congress entitled "An act to amend an act approved August 19, 1890, entitled 'An act to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea,'" was approved June 10, 1896, the said act being in the following words:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That article 15 of the act approved August 19, 1890, entitled "An act to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea," be amended to read as follows:

"ART. 15. All signals prescribed by this article for vessels under way shall be given--

" First. By 'steam vessels,' on the whistle or siren.

"Second. By 'sailing vessels' and ' vessels towed,' on the fog horn.

"The words 'prolonged blast' used in this article shall mean a blast of from four to six seconds' duration.

"A steam vessel shall be provided with an efficient whistle or siren, sounded by steam or some substitute for steam, so placed that the sound may not be intercepted by any obstruction, and with an efficient fog horn to be sounded by mechanical means, and also with an efficient bell. (In all cases where the rules require a bell to be used a drum may be substituted on board Turkish vessels or a gong where such articles are used on board small seagoing vessels.) A sailing vessel of 20 tons gross tonnage or upward shall be provided with a similar fog horn and bell.

"In fog, mist, falling snow, or heavy rain storms, whether by day or night, the signals described in this article shall be used as follows, namely:

"(a) A steam vessel having way upon her shall sound at intervals of not more than two minutes a prolonged blast.

"(b) A steam vessel under way, but stopped and having no way upon her, shall sound at intervals of not more than two minutes two prolonged blasts with an interval of about one second between.

"(c) A sailing vessel under way shall sound at intervals of not more than one minute, when on the starboard tack one blast, when on the port tack two blasts in succession, and when with the wind abaft the beam three blasts in succession.

"(d) A vessel when at anchor shall at intervals of not more than one minute ring the bell rapidly for about five seconds.

"(e) A vessel when towing, a vessel employed in laying or in picking up a telegraph cable, and a vessel under way which is unable to get out of the way of an approaching vessel through being not under command or unable to maneuver as required by the rules shall, instead of the signals prescribed in subdivisions (a) and (c) of this article, at intervals of not more than two minutes sound three blasts in succession, namely, one prolonged blast followed by two short blasts. A vessel towed may give this signal, and she shall not give any other.

"Sailing vessels and boats of less than 20 tons gross tonnage shall not be obliged to give the above-mentioned signals, but if they do not they shall make some other efficient sound signal at intervals of not more than one minute."

SEC. 2. That said act of August 19, 1890, as amended, shall take effect at a subsequent time to be fixed by the President by proclamation issued for that purpose.

And whereas it was provided by section 2 of the act approved June 10, 1896, that the said act of August 19, 1890, as amended should take effect at a subsequent time to be fixed by the President by proclamation issued for that purpose:

Now, therefore, I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States of America, do hereby, in virtue of the authority vested in me by section 3 of the act of August 19, 1890, and by section 2 of the act of June 10, 1896, proclaim the 1st day of July, 1897, as the day on which the said act approved August 19, 1890, as amended by the act approved May 28, 1894, by the act approved August 13, 1894, and by the act approved June 10, 1896, shall take effect.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 31st day of December, 1896, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-first.

GROVER CLEVELAND.

By the President:

RICHARD OLNEY, Secretary of State.

Grover Cleveland, Proclamation 391—Enforcement of an Act to Prevent Collisions at Sea Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/205999

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