Rule 1 (Application)

Rule 1 states that the rules from Section I apply to all vessels upon the high seas and in all connected waters navigable by seagoing vessels; furthermore, it states that nothing in COLREGs should interfere with other rules made by local authorities but asks them to conform as closely as possible to COLREGs, and not to create confusion (i.e., lights, shapes or whistle signals similar to those authorized within COLREGs). 

This rule also deals with vessels of special construction that cannot comply fully with the provisions of any of the COLREGs concerning the characteristics of lights or shapes or sound-signaling appliances, and asks Governments to comply with COLREGs as closely as possible. 

This rule also states that the IMO may adopt traffic separation schemes for COLREGs. 

Import Point And Terminology Encounter On Colreg Rule 1

Studying the Colreg at first appeal may be difficult, especially because some terminologies may create confusion or may not be interpreted as they should be. 

While reading the first Section, we encounter the word “High seas.” It is important to remember that the High sea in the Colreg terminology means all the waters outside the territorial water. 

Another term encounter is a seagoing vessel– it means all ships, regarding their size.

Going ahead with our in-depth study of Colreg rule 1, we encounter the phrase “ special rules made by an appropriate authority.” It is the main duty of OOW in charge of the voyage planning to take care of and check with attention if the areas where the ship is going to transit will be affected by special rules. 

It is important to know all the special rules that are in force in a port, and this is one of the first things that must be asked of a pilot as soon as they come on board, and it is also their main duty to share with all the team to keep a high level of situational awareness.

What is the Difference Between COLREG rule1 B to COLREG Rule 1 C?

b) Nothing in these Rules shall interfere with the operation of special rules made by an appropriate authority for roadsteads, harbors, rivers, lakes, or inland waterways connected with the high seas and navigable by seagoing vessels. Such special rules shall conform as closely as possible to these Rules.

c) Nothing in these Rules shall interfere with the operation of any special rules made by the Government of any State with respect to additional station or signal lights, shapes or whistle signals for ships of war and vessels proceeding under convoy, or with respect to the additional station or signal lights or shapes for fishing vessels engaged in fishing as a fleet. These additional station or signal lights, shapes or whistle signals shall, so far as possible, be such that they cannot be mistaken for any light, shape, or signal authorized elsewhere under these Rules.

Colregs rules 1b and 1c may create much confusion amongst officers and seafarers. Also, if by nature may look similar, there are important distinctions to make. In particular, rule 1b of colreg says that authorities may adopt special rules, but they have to be as close as possible to all the rules that are listed on the Colreg. On the other hand, rule 1c refers to a warship or ship proceeding under convoy. It says that the sound or light signals they adopt shall not be different from any other sound or signals found in the Colreg convention.