Stand-on vessel

Under Rule 17 of the Collision Regulations, when one of two vessels has to keep out of the way of the other, the other ‘shall retain her course and speed’. In other words she stands on. This makes it easy for the give-way vessel to avoid her, whereas if both change course a collision could result. Nevertheless, no vessel is given right of way over other vessels in the Collision Regulations, and in the last resort the stand-on vessel has a responsibility to take avoiding action if that is the only way to avert a disaster.