The Rule of the Road

When all three lights I see ahead,
I turn to Starboard and show my Red:
Green to Green, Red to Red,
Perfect Safety -- Go Ahead.

But if to Starboard Red appear,
It is my duty to keep clear --
To act as judgment says is proper:
To Port or Starboard, Back or Stop her.

And if upon my Port is seen
A Steamer's Starboard light of Green,
I hold my course and watch to see
That Green to Port keeps Clear of me.

Both in safety and in doubt
Always keep a good look out.
In Danger, with no room to turn,
Ease her, Stop her, Go Astern.

Mnemonics For Light Identification

Day
shape

RED
WHITE
RED
Red, White, Red, Restricted Ability Ahead
RED
RED
Red over Red The Captain Is Dead
Vessel not under command

RED
RED
RED
Three Reds in a Row -No Room Below
Constrained by draft - (International only)

RED
WHITE
Red Over White - Fishing at night
RED
GREEN
02sailstern.gif (797 bytes)Red Over Green - Sailing Machine
WHITE
RED
White Over Red - Pilot Aheadpilot.gif (577 bytes)
YELLOW
YELLOW
Yellow Over Yellow - A pushing or Hip Towing Fellow (Inland only)
GREEN
WHITE
Green Over White - Trawling at Night
YELLOW
WHITE
Yellow Over White - My Towline is Tight
Dayshape is shown when tow exceeds 200 meters
-----GREEN
GREEN
---GREEN
Three Greens in a Cross - Mineclearing Bossquiz0301.gif (1640 bytes)

GREEN to GREEN, RED to RED - Perfect Safety Go Ahead