Nap Tyme should clearly have given way, but there may be some readers who are unfamiliar with the complexities of the rules of navigation at sea (rather than on inland waters, where other rules may apply). For those few, and for the even fewer who might be interested, here is my basic understanding of those rules affecting the collision in the video:
- It is the duty of every operator of a vessel to keep a proper look-out.
- Local laws may over-ride other regulations. (e.g harbor regulations may give priority to some vessels such as those over 50 meters in length or 500 tons)
- If a vessel is constrained by its draft, and cannot maneuver, other vessels must give way. Such constrained vessels should display the correct day marks or lights under Rule 28.
- If two power-driven vessels are on crossing courses, the vessel with the other vessel on its starboard side should give way. The other vessel must “stand-on” its course, unless collision is imminent. Nap Tyme’s duty to stand-on is here negated by the other rules described above.
There are many complexities to the Rules in terms of which Rule has priority, but the above understanding has been sufficient for me in a lifetime of navigation of sailing cruising yachts and sea kayaks.
In practice, at the first sight of a vessel larger than my kayak I scuttle off into the nearest shallow and/or rocky area. If none is available I make a very large change of course, and wave my paddle vertically in the air. Sometimes I’ll hide behind a large navigation buoy or post, particularly on the inter-coastal waterway. I’ve survived so far, but I’ve been lucky.