M Pigneyguy concludes his evidence by answering questions put to him by Bolton.
1: “Wouldn’t you agree that Rule 22.34(4) says regarding the time to sound the 1st series of 5 blasts is IMMEDIATELY you fail to understand the intentions of the other or are in any doubt whether sufficient action is being taken by the other to avoid collision ? (Quoted from the Rule) That at at the time of your 1st concern you are to notify me, not take photographs ?” M Pigneyguy answers “No, that’s not correct at all.”
Question 2: ” So why didn’t Seaway have a horn complying with Appendix 3 of the regulations relating to audibility & frequency, which for a vessel of your size would be audible at a range of a nmile, within my wheelhouse above ambient noise – (the testing of the handheld aerosol by MNZ said “audible at 0.25, faint at 0.5 nmile” with no reference to frequency or decibles) Would you agree that you didn’t have an adequate sounding system ?”
Answer – “I haven’t studied the frequencies, what ever you suggest, so I can’t say yes or no, that’s not within the scope of my knowledge, I’m sorry. Its a loud horn. People on deck had to hold their ears.”
Question 3: ” So why didn’t you use your VHF radio if the horn wasn’t being responded to ?”
Answer – “No-one ever replies esp if they’re in the wrong & it’s a waste of time, time was running out rapidly, it’s not the time to start talking on the radio, I would suggest. People think they’re in the right when they’re completely wrong because they don’t know what they’re doing, they don’t know the rule of the road … end up having an argument on the radio”
Question 4: “Why didn’t you make any record of the postions where you were when you took the photos 1,2 & 3 ? Why no radar, GPS fixes or AIS information(Automatic course recording system) No marking on your chart at the time & no other records verifying where you say you were. You weren’t keeping your course & speed when you say you were & the photos show you weren’t”
Answer : ” It doesn’t actually matter where we were … the fact remains that the course I was steering & the course you were steering put us in a crossing situation. You were the give-way vessel & the relative bearing wasn’t changing … the positions were were important to me … I wouldn’t alter course to port because you were on my port bow … you were getting closer to me, so I stopped the vessel & as a result we didn’t collide with you … I knew where we were, the photographs speak for themselves”
M Pigneyguy believed that with Classique on his port side appearing to be crossing to starboard, then it was determined by Rule 22.15 that a crossing with Risk of Collision applied & that Rule 22.17.2b governed the actions of the ferry as Stand-on vessel – “It must not alter course to port for a vessel on its own port side.”
The error in believing there was Risk of Collision was caused by M Pigneyguy turning towards Classique & using a Relative Bearing but not holding a straight course with the effect that the bearing didn’t appear to be changing much.
If the ferry had kept a straight course, the relative bearing would have changed noticably indicating there was no Risk of Collision, therefore Rule 22.15 would not apply – there would be no Stand-on or Giveway vessels & consequently Rule 22.17.2b would not govern the ferry’s actions.
This is explained in the Manual of Yacht Navigation by J. E. Toghill –
Rule 22.15 does not apply to 2 vessels which must, if both keep on their respective courses, pass clear of each other. This is a fundamental text required in every navigator’s library –
and obtainable by clicking here – Manual of Yacht Navigation