Avoiding of Crossing Ahead only applies to a Crossing Ahead where Risk Exists.

Bolton continues – “In the collision avoidance regulations, the avoiding of the crossing ahead only applies to a crossing ahead where risk exists. It doesn’t apply at large distances, before risk applies or where the bearing is appreciably changing. Risk is smaller or greater depending on the size, maneuverabillity & rate of approach of the vessels. The entire Rule 22 doesn’t mention any point or particular stage – it’s all a matter of assessment. There’s no point at which these regulations take effect. Collision regulations are about 1 component of good seamanship & that’s distinguished from sea manners which are customary & non-mandatory in vessel operation & navigational practices. Application of good seamanship could’ve adjusted the encounter to permit the vessels to pass under more favourable circumstances. If accompanied by prudent seamanship practices, collision regulations allow for most physical conditions & special circumstances excuse conformance to rules.”
Judge Davis – “And you’re saying that the situation that you found yourself in was one of special circumstances ?”
Bolton -“I say very definitely it has to be brought into the calculations because of the ferry normally being on an regular run. If it wasn’t for it being on an irregular run, perhaps we would’ve had no problem whatsoever. So in crossing, ‘If the course which is reasonably to be attributed to either vessel if it would keep her clear of the other, the question therefore always turns on the reasonable inference to be drawn to a vessel’s future course from her position at a particular moment & this greatly depends on the nature of the locality where she is at the moment. ‘situational ambiguity’ – Does the approach represent a risk of collision ?. Collision Regulations permit a Stand-on vessel to maneuver before the situation becomes extreme. The crossing rule is derived from the head-on & overtaking rules & does an approach fall within the rule ? When the regulation 1st applies is when the risk exists. This comes from Farwell’s Rules of the Nautical road by Allen Craig.”  Available now by clicking here –  Farwell’s Rules of the Nautical Road
Judge Davis -“Well it is not in evidence Mr Bolton …I have no idea as to the authenticity of what you’ve copied or read, I’m simply being invited to take your word for it.”
Bolton – “Unfortunately this book on the Internet is encryprypted & not able to be copied for the Court” (Ordered but hadn’t arrived)
Judge Davis – “… to some extent you are saying to me the rules do apply but you’re inviting me to look at different rules & give them different weight from that which Mr Young or Mr Davies is going to ask me to look at. Can you see the dilemma that I face ?”
Bolton – “Yes. It is in the liberty which those rules give us for certain special circumstances which apply in this case because it is customary for the ferry to take a regular run & me being a recreational boat owner not wanting to impede the progress of a normal commercial operation … you can take every confidence from this authoritative text because these are the finest minds in the world from the Admiralty who are determining these liability situations”

If Classique had turned starboard as B Young suggested,
she would’ve gone closer to the shallows of Browns Reef –
she has a substantial keel with deeper draft than the ferry.
She would also have turned towards the expected course of the ferry
which would normally be turning port to round Browns Island

Classique’s preferred course was to continue ahead leaving
room astern for the ferry to go round Browns Island
or at least keep a straight course astern of Classique

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