Rule 35 - Sound signals in restricted visibility

In or near an area of restricted visibility, whether by day or night, the signals prescribed in this Rule shall be used as follows:

(a)     A power-driven vessel making way through the water shall sound at intervals of not more than 2 minutes one prolonged blast.

(b)     A power-driven vessel underway but stopped and making no way through the water shall sound at intervals of not more than 2 minutes two prolonged blasts in succession with an interval of about 2 seconds between them.

(c)      A vessel not under command, a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre, a vessel constrained by her draught, a sailing vessel, a vessel engaged in fishing and a vessel engaged in towing or pushing another vessel shall, instead of the signals prescribed in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this Rule, sound at intervals of not more than 2 minutes three blasts in succession, namely one prolonged followed by two short blasts.

(d)     A vessel engaged in fishing, when at anchor, and a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre when carrying out her work at anchor, shall instead of the signals prescribed in paragraph (g) of this Rule sound the signal prescribed in paragraph (c) of this Rule.

(e)     A vessel towed or if more than one vessel is towed the last vessel of the tow, if manned shall at intervals of not more than 2 minutes sound four blasts in succession, namely one prolonged followed by three short blasts. When practicable, this signal shall be made immediately after the signal made by the towing vessel.

(f)      When a pushing vessel and a vessel being pushed ahead are rigidly connected in a composite unit they shall be regarded as a power-driven vessel and shall give the signals prescribed in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this Rule.

(g)     A vessel at anchor shall at intervals of not more than one minute ring the bell rapidly for about 5 seconds.  In a vessel of 100 metres or more in length the bell shall be sounded in the forepart of the vessel and immediately after the ringing of the bell the gong shall be sounded rapidly for about 5 seconds in the after part of the vessel.  A vessel at anchor may in addition sound three blasts in succession, namely one short, one prolonged and one short blast, to give warning of her position and of the possibility of collision to an approaching vessel.

(h)     A vessel aground shall give the bell signal and if required the gong signal prescribed in paragraph (g) of this Rule and shall, in addition, give three separate and distinct strokes on the bell immediately before and after the rapid ringing of the bell.  A vessel aground may in addition sound an appropriate whistle signal.

(i)      A vessel of 12 metres or more but less than 20 metres in length shall not be obliged to give the bell signals prescribed in paragraphs (g) and (h) of this Rule. However, if she does not, she shall make some other efficient sound signal at intervals of not more than 2 minutes.

(j)      A vessel of less than 12 metres in length shall not be obliged to give the above‑mentioned signals but, if she does not, shall make some other efficient sound signal at intervals of not more than 2 minutes.

(k)     A pilot vessel when engaged on pilotage duty may in addition to the signals prescribed in paragraphs (a), (b) or (g) of this Rule sound an identity signal consisting of four short blasts.

There are ten paragraphs to this Rule, summed up below.

 

Signal

Interval

(a) Power-driven vessel making way
(‘Here I come, sounding one’)

        
1 long

(2mins)

(b) Power-driven vessel stopped in water

                      
2 long

(2 mins)

(c) NUC, RAM, CBD, SAIL, EIF, TOW
Long-short-short is the same as Morse Code D (think ‘D for danger’)

        
1 long, 2 short

(2 mins)

(d) RAM and EIF at anchor
(when anchored, these vessels may be surrounded by gear and obstructions)

        
1 long, 2 short

(2 mins)

(e) Towed Vessel, if manned
The tug signal alone does not indicate the presence of a tow. Rule 2(a) ‘precautions’ would require that, in fog, the towed vessel should be manned for this purpose especially if it is over 200 metres. Conversely, a tug made fast to a vessel is really not much different to an outboard engine; the tug should keep silent and the vessel should sound its own signal for making way or not making way as appropriate.

         ▪ ▪
1 long, 3 short

(2 mins)

(f) Composite unit pushing ahead (same as PDV).


1 long

(2mins)

(g) Vessel at anchor below 100 metres

5 sec. bell ring

(1 min)

     100 metres or more

5 sec. bell ring (forward) followed by 5 sec. gong (aft)

 

     Optional whistle to warn approaching vessel
Use it when other vessels come too close, bell/gong might not be loud enough


Short-Long-Short

 

(h) Aground: same as ‘anchored’ plus 3 strokes before and after bell ring.



3 distinct strokes on the bell before and after rapid ringing

(1 min)

May also sound an ‘appropriate’ whistle signal such as the signal for U. Short-short-long is Morse Code for the letter ‘U’. Whistle signals often correspond to the single-letter flag signals which you will meet in the Section 9. Signal letter ‘U’ means ‘You are running into danger’, whether it be signalled by flag, sound or light.

Short-Short-Long

      

 

 

(i) Vessel 12m to 20m – no bell signals required at anchor or aground.

Efficient sound signal – eg   and anchor and  when aground

2 mins

     (j) Less than 12 metres: As above, or 

Efficient sound signal

(2 mins)

     (k) Pilot vessel: Same as for PDV however may also sound 4 short blasts as an optional identity signal

(PDV)
▪ ▪ optional

 



 
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