Handbook of the Nautical Rules of the Road by Llana & Wisneskey

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Rule 37 -- Distress Signals


INTERNATIONAL

INLAND

When a vessel is in distress and requires assistance she shall use or exhibit the signals described in Annex IV to these Regulations.

When a vessel is in distress and requires assistance she shall use or exhibit the signals described in Annex IV to these Rules.

 

If your vessel is in distress and in need of assistance, you must use one or more of the signals listed in Annex IV. The distress signals themselves are not contained in Rule 37 because they do not prevent collisions.

All of the distress signals in the International Annex IV are in the Inland Annex IV. The Inland version adds one more distress signal--a high-intensity (about one flash per second) white flashing light or "strobe light."

Annex IV contains more rules relating to distress signals, and these will be discussed with that annex.

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Rule 38