Yes. Reducing the speed of the vessel will give the Officer of the Watch (OOW) more time to think and act.
Reducing the vessel’s speed has a two fold advantage. It not only allows the OOW greater time to assess the situation and make a clear headed decision, but in the unfortunate case of a collision, the damage sustained and inflicted will be reduced.
OOWs should be encouraged to operate the telegraph when they feel it is needed, based on traffic density, visibility, environmental effects and other factors mentioned in Rule 6 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
We have published a number of collision case studies where excessive speed was a key contributor.
Case study: Pilotage
Case study: Collision with fishing vessel
Case study: Task overload