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    Lights and shapes
    From: Doug Royer
    Date: 2003 Jun 11, 17:27 -0700

    Steven,your reply of this morning got me wondering so I did some research
    for us.I got out my copy of the Colregs requirements and found an
    answer.After I got the info from the Colregs a call was placed to an M.S.O.
    inspector I know to make sure I got it correct.
    Rule 22 (d); Rule 24 (a)(1) and (g) and Rule 36 apply to your situation.
    A vessel is deamed to be towing astern if pulling another vessel or object
    through the water.Object is the key word.A towed log can be considered a tow
    if the correct lights and signs are shown.
    Now,the inspector stated that if the towing vessel is showing the proscribed
    lights or shapes for the kind of tow being used all other vessels
    (commercial and private) must navigate accordingly per the rules.If the
    towed object or vessel is damaged while showing the proscribed signals by
    the actions of another vessel contrary to the rules at the least a civil
    action can be brought against the offending vessel.You can do what you wish
    with this info.It's your gear.
    A case in point was given to me by the inspector.A vessel was towing astern
    an accustic array for mapping and showing all proscribed signals for a tow >
    200 meters.Another vessel,not seeing the towed object, crossed astern of the
    towing vessel and fouled the gear in her props.The crossing vessel had to
    pay for all the damage and loss of time that the towing vessel incured in
    this incident because the towing vessel showed the proper lights and shapes
    even though the towed object was submerged.

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