For the purpose of these Rules and this chapter, except where the context otherwise requires:
(a) The word “vessel” includes every description of water craft, including nondisplacement craft and seaplanes, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water;
(b) The term “power-driven vessel” means any vessel propelled by machinery;
(c) The term “sailing vessel” means any vessel under sail provided that propelling machinery, if fitted, is not being used;
(d) The term “vessel engaged in fishing” means any vessel fishing with nets, lines, trawls, or other fishing apparatus which restricts maneuverability, but does not include a vessel fishing with trolling lines or other fishing apparatus which do not restrict maneuverability;
(e) The word “seaplane” includes any aircraft designed to maneuver on the water;
(f) The term “vessel not under command” means a vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to maneuver as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel;
(g) The term “vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver” means a vessel which from the nature of her work is restricted in her ability to maneuver as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel; vessels restricted in their ability to maneuver include, but are not limited to:
(i) a vessel engaged in laying, servicing, or picking up a navigation mark, submarine cable, or pipeline;
(ii) a vessel engaged in dredging, surveying, or underwater operations;
(iii) a vessel engaged in replenishment or transferring persons, provisions, or cargo while underway;
(iv) a vessel engaged in the launching or recovery of aircraft;
(v) a vessel engaged in mineclearance operations; and
(vi) a vessel engaged in a towing operation such as severely restricts the towing vessel and her tow in their ability to deviate from their course.
(h) The word “underway” means that a vessel is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground;
(i) The words “length” and “breadth” of a vessel mean her length overall and greatest breadth;
(j) Vessels shall be deemed to be in sight of one another only when one can be observed visually from the other;
(k) The term “restricted visibility” means any condition in which visibility is restricted by fog, mist, falling snow, heavy rainstorms, sandstorms, or any other similar causes;
(l) “Western Rivers” means the Mississippi River, its tributaries, South Pass, and Southwest Pass, to the navigational demarcation lines dividing the high seas from harbors, rivers, and other inland waters of the United States, and the Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route, and that part of the Atchafalaya River above its junction with the Port Allen-Morgan City Alternate Route including the Old River and the Red River;
(m) “Great Lakes” means the Great Lakes and their connecting and tributary waters including the Calumet River as far as the Thomas J. O'Brien Lock and Controlling Works (between mile 326 and 327), the Chicago River as far as the east side of the Ashland Avenue Bridge (between mile 321 and 322), and the Saint Lawrence River as far east as the lower exit of Saint Lambert Lock;
(n) “Secretary” means the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating;
(o) “Inland Waters” means the navigable waters of the United States shoreward of the navigational demarcation lines dividing the high seas from harbors, rivers, and other inland waters of the United States and the waters of the Great Lakes on the United States side of the International Boundary;
(p) “Inland Rules” or “Rules” mean the Inland Navigational Rules and the annexes thereto, which govern the conduct of vessels and specify the lights, shapes, and sound signals that apply on inland waters; and
(q) “International Regulations” means the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, including annexes currently in force for the United States.
(Pub. L. 96–591, §2, Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3416; Pub. L. 100–448, §14(1), Sept. 28, 1988, 102 Stat. 1844.)
Pub. L. 108–293, title III, §303(a), (c), Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1042, provided that this section is repealed effective on the effective date of final regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating under section 2071 of this title.
These Rules and Inland Rules, referred to in text, mean the Inland Navigational Rules which are classified to this subchapter.
This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 96–591, Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3415, as amended, known as the Inland Navigational Rules Act of 1980, which enacted this chapter, amended sections 151, 1604, 1605, and 1608 of this title, repealed sections 154 to 159, 171 to 183, 191, 192, 201 to 213, 221, 222, 232, 241 to 244, 251 to 262, 271, 272, 281 to 295, 301 to 303, 311 to 323, 331, 341 to 356, 360, and 360a of this title and sections 526b, 526c, and 526d of former Title 46, Shipping, and enacted provisions set out as notes under section 2001 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code see Short Title note set out under section 2001 of this title and Tables.
The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, referred to in par. (q), are maintained and published by the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in the publication Navigation Rules, which is available for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. See International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 note under section 1602 of this title.
Section was enacted as part of section 2 of Pub. L. 96–591 which enacted the Inland Navigational Rules which comprise this subchapter.
1988—Par. (g)(v). Pub. L. 100–448 substituted “mineclearance” for “minesweeping”.
For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.