'ColRegs' or The 'International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea' is too lengthy a document to reproduce here, and much of it is not relevant to sea kayakers. There are, however, some aspects which are of interest because they explain the way in which other boats may respond to comply with the nautical Highway Code or 'rules of the road.
Some points to be aware of:
Traffic separation lanes are becoming increasingly important features in the regulation and control of shipping. Be aware of any separation zones in the area you intend to paddle. if a collision course is suspected then take early action to avoid it.
Make any alteration to your course early and exaggerated them so that your intentions are clear. In narrow channels keep as near to the outer limit of the lane as is safe to do so. You should not cross a narrow channel if, in doing so, you impede another vessel that can only safely navigate in this channel.
If and when crossing shipping lanes do so at right angles to the general flow of the traffic
To avoid a collision head-on vessels should pass port to port.
The Regulations have a list of who should keep out of the way of whom.
For kayakers the safest choice is to keep out of everybody’s way!
Lights on vessels are Red – Port: Green – Starbord, when viewed from the bridge of the vessel.
Depending on the size of the vessel there may be one or two white lights visible in all directions.
Audible warnings on vessels are :
1 short blast : "I am altering my course to starbord"
2 short blasts – "I am altering my course to Port"
3 short blasts – " I am operating astern propulsion."
5 rapid blasts – vessel approaching is in doubt that sufficient action has been taken by the other to avoid a collision.
Prolonged sound at less than or equal to every 2 minutes – fog horn sound from a vessel underway.
it takes 4 to 6 minutes and a third to threequarters of a mile for a ship to stop after its engines are put astern.
Travelling at 10 knots it takes a ship 6 minutes to travel 1 nautical mile, and at 15 knots it takes only 4 minutes.