China Maritime Safety Administration released a updated safety guidance for prevention of collision between merchant vessels and fishing vessels in Chinese coastal waters.
n the guideline, MSA reminds merchant vessels and their masters to apply the sea route in avoidance of fishing areas and make due diligence in lookout and safety navigation.
Besides, based on precedent collision accidents, MSA specifically suggests merchant vessels and their masters pay attention to:
- When the fishing off restriction is released in August and September, it is the time when fishing vessels become most active.
- The time when collisions frequently occur is 2300 hrs to 0400 hrs.
- The anchored fishing vessels might not keep regular lookout, exhibit lights and signals, or turn on AIS, and fishing nets or marks may also cause interference to the signals of AIS and radars and the usage of ECDIS.
- Fishing vessels are usually under catching operation at a speed of about 3 knots and is under restricted maneuverability. Early avoidance actions should be taken and passing by at the distance not less than 1 nm is recommended.
- Collision, even slight contact, will possibly cause damage or sinking of a fishing vessel and the merchant vessel might not be aware of such consequence on the bridge. When passing by at a short distance, the crew should take great care to ensure there is no collision, wave damage or vessel suction.
- Vessels bounding for Korea or Japan without calling at any Chinese port are recommended to sail from the waters east of Taiwan Island to keep away from the Chinese coastal waters.
Particular request on emergency rescue
MSA also strongly requests the vessel involving a collision and her crew to stop the engine and conduct emergency rescue after the collision occurs. MSA forbids the vessel to give up rescue and leave the scene. Any hit-and-run vessel could be tracked down by the modern vessel tracking technologies.