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General Definitions
Seaman - Military manual for the Seaman rate
Whistle means any sound-signaling appliance that is capable of producing the prescribed blast and that complies with the specifications in Annex III of the International and Inland Rules. (When your ship was built and the whistle was installed, all the specifications listed in Annex III were considered.) Short blast means a blast about l-second long. Prolonged blast means a blast from 4-seconds to 6-seconds  duration. Meeting (or head-on) situation defines a situation in which, by day, the masts of each vessel, when viewed from the other, are in a line. Crossing  situation  defines  the  situation  where  each vessel has the other any place forward of 22.5° abaft of either  beam. Overtaking situation describes the situation where one vessel approaches the other from anyplace more than  22.5°  abaft  of  either  beam. MANEUVERING  AND  WARNING  SIGNALS Since there are major differences between the International and the Inland maneuvering and warning signals, they will be presented separately, and the differences  will  be  noted  on  the  inland  version. International When  vessels  are  in  sight  of  one  another,  a power-driven vessel underway, when maneuvering as authorized or required by these rules, must indicate that maneuver  by  the  following  signals  on  the  whistle: One short blast— I AM ALTERING MY COURSE TO STARBOARD Two short blasts— I AM ALTERING MY COURSE TO PORT Three  short  blasts—  I  AM  OPERATING  ASTERN PROPULSION Any  vessel  may  supplement  the  whistle  signals prescribed   above   by   light   signals,   repeated   as appropriate while the maneuver is being carried out. These light signals will have the following significance: One flash— I AM ALTERING MY COURSE TO STARBOARD Two flashes— I AM ALTERING MY COURSE TO PORT Three  flashes-I  AM  OPERATING  ASTERN PROPULSION The duration of each flash will be is about 1 second; the interval between flashes must be about 1 second; and the interval between successive signals must be not less than 10 seconds. The light used for this signal will be, if fitted, an all-around white light visible at a minimum range of 5 miles, and must comply with the provisions of Annex I that pertain to the International Rules. When in sight of another in a narrow channel or fairway, and action is required by the vessel being overtaken, the vessel intending to overtake another must indicate its intention by the following signals on the whistle: Two prolonged blasts followed by one short blast— I INTEND  TO  OVERTAKE  YOU  ON  YOUR STARBOARD SIDE Two prolonged blasts followed by two short blasts— I INTEND TO OVERTAKE YOU ON YOUR PORT SIDE The vessel about to be overtaken will indicate agreement  by  the  following  signal  on  the  whistle: One prolonged, one short, one prolonged, and one short blast, in that order When   vessels   in   sight   of   one   another   are approaching  each  other  and  either  vessel  fails  to understand the intentions or actions of the other, or is in doubt whether sufficient action is being taken by the other to avoid collision, the vessel in doubt must immediately  indicate  such  doubt  by  giving  at  least  five short, rapid blasts on the whistle. Such signal may be supplemented  by  a  light  signal  of  at  least  five  short,  rapid flashes. A vessel nearing a bend or an area of a channel or fairway where other vessels may be obscured by an intervening obstruction must sound one prolonged blast. Such signal must be answered with a prolonged blast by any  approaching  vessel  that  may  be  within  hearing around  the  bend  or  behind  the  intervening  obstruction. If whistles are fitted farther apart than 100 meters on a vessel, only one of the whistles will be used for giving  maneuvering  and  warning  signals. These last three paragraphs apply to Inland Rules as well  as  International  Rules. 5-21

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