Important terms

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COLREGS-International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea Explained For Exams

Important terms in the rules

  •  “To achieve correct interpretation and understanding of these Rules and to enable their correct application at sea, it is important that the meanings of some of the important words are clear. those words are listed below;”

1. APPRAISAL- Evaluation, assessment, review, consideration and judgment.

2. ASPECT- The way in which something may be viewed or regarded, side, position or viewpoint.

3. AUTHORISED – Formally sanction, permit, give permission, allow of consent.

4.CONSTRUING – The way something is interpreted and understood of taken to mean.

5.COMPLYING – Act in accordance with the Rules, commands, or wishes. Obey, or conform to, meet the terms.

6.DANGER – Liability of exposure to harm or injury, risk, peril

7.DEEMED – Consider to be, to judge or consider something in a particular light.

8.EXCEPTIONAL – Unusual, extraordinary. Not something usual.

9.EXONERATE – Relieve from the wrongful act, pronounce not guilty of criminal charges. Absolve, forgive or pardon.

10.IMPEDE – Be a hindrance or obstacle to. Block, get in the way of or hamper.

11.IMPEDIMENT – Something that interferes with or delays action or progress. Barrier.chrstruction.

12.LOOK-OUT – Watch out, pay attention, be alert, be watchful, keep your eyes open, beware, take care.

13.MAY – Might, could. Gives an option to do or not to do. While may gives latitude or freedom to act within the meaning of these Rules, the responsibility of decision-making is not removed This means that even in a ‘May’ situation there is a choice, ‘to take action or not to take action’, but it has to be with due thought and intention. ‘May’ does not give exemption from any rule, requirement or an act ‘May’ also is used to describe a choice or is an expression allowing an act or activity.

14.MUST – Something which has to be done or complied with without exception. Should be obliged to. have got to, ought to, be required to.

15.NAVIGATING – Travel through, pass through or traverse, find the way, follow a route.

16.NOTWITHSTANDING – Despite, in spite of, regardless of.

17.OBLIGE – Required by law, command, conscience, or force of necessity, to bind morally or legally. Require or compel.

18.PROPER – Good, correct, appropriate, suitable, apt, fitting etc, and may also mean both efficient and effective.

19.PRUDENT or PRUDENCE – Careful and sensible. Act marked by sound judgment. Being careful, cautious, using good sense, applying farsighted forethought. Discretion applied in practical affairs.

20.REQUIRED – An order to do something, to impose, necessary, obligatory, compulsory or mandatory.

21.RISK – The combination of the frequency and severity of the consequence (IMO). Exposure to the chance of injury or loss.

22.SHALL – Expressing a strong statement, intention or order. Must be done or followed with no option to deviate.

 Note: 'Shall' has been used 272 times in these Rules and 92 times in
        STCW Code A-VIII/2 paragraph, 1 to 51.

23.SHOULD – Something right, ought to be done or probable. ‘Should’ is used as a recommendation only
in law but normally is expected to have the same force as ‘shall’.

Note: These Rules do use this word 'should', but just thrice,
in Rule 8(b),Annex I (8-b) and Annex III(e), while the STCW Code
A-VI/2 till paragraph 51 uses this word just once in paragraph 30.

24.WILL – Expressing a strong intention or claim about the future or inevitable events. Shall happen. The faculty by which a person decides on and takes action.


Thank you,

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A professionally trained navigating officer and a hodophile by heart.
He loves blogging And started to assist future nautical science students. started his career at training ship Rahman, Mumbai
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7 thoughts on “Important terms”

  1. Great content!
    it will help lots of students in the world those who working and studying in merchant navy deck department, Super high-quality content! Keep it up! 🙂

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