By Marilyn Raia
Who doesn’t like to walk by a harbor and listen to the cacophony of sounds coming from the vessels passing by? Like the lights on a vessel, the various sounds coming from a vessel’s bell, whistle, and gong give information to others about the vessel’s size, course, and operations. Federal law dictates what type of bell, whistle, and gong should be on a vessel as well as when, where, and how they should be used. This article provides some sound signal basics.
Where the Sound Signal Rules are Found
Like the rules for vessel lighting (see Pacific Maritime Magazine, January 2013), the rules for sound signals are found in two places: the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (known as the “Colregs” or “International Rules”) and the Inland Navigational Rules Act of 1980 (known as the “Inland Rules”). The former is an international treaty adopted in 1972… (More)