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Collisions in confined waters, such as rivers and canals, often occur with a pilot in attendance. In many cases the collision can be attributed to the lack of proper communication between the Master and pilot, or unauthorised interference by the pilot. Constant attention to the pilot’s navigation is therefore the best advice to prevent a collision occurring. If the Master is in any doubt about any of the pilot’s recommendations as to speed in reduced visibility, coming from either the pilot or the Vessel Traffic Service System (VTSS) ashore, the Master should not hesitate to intervene.

Collisions in confined waters may also be caused by the incorrect identification of other vessels when using VHF. Clear and concise communication between vessels is essential, and where applicable stating the vessel’s name, call sign and position as identified by the AIS. Another cause for collisions in confined waters is loss of control of the vessel