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IRPCS Lights, Shapes and Sound Signals - Colregs
Basic Collision Regulations
Click here for some photo examples : Shapes pictures
Note that these are the 'perfect' images. You are likely to see many more white lights on vessels, particularly fishing, cruise ships, ferries and cargo vessels. These white 'working' lights can be much brighter than the recognition lights. They will dominate the view until you are much closer.
Shapes also may be small or difficult to discern (see pictures link above).
All vessels over 7m long carry side lights and stern (overtaking) lights.
Motor vessels carry a white masthead (steaming) light shining forward 225°.
Motor vessels over 50 m long carry a second masthead (steaming) light aft and above the first masthead light.
A motor vessel less than 7m long may carry a single all round white light.
A sailing vessel less than 7m long should show side and stern lights if possible, or carry a torch to illuminate the sails when necessary
IRPCS Colregs Collision Regulations lights shapes sounds Posted 30th May 2011