RULES OF THE ROAD RHYMES......Back to gallery

Adapted from Thomas Gray's aids to memory

When both lights are seen ahead,
steer to starboard, show your red.

Green to green, red to red,
all is safe, proceed ahead.

If to starboard a red light appears,
it is your duty to stay clear;
to act as the rules say is proper,
turn to starboard, even port, astern or stop her.

But when to your port is seen,
a closing vessel's light of green,
stand on with care and steam on through,
as green to port must stay clear of you.

Both when safe and in doubt,
always maintain proper lookout.
If risk allows no room to turn,
ease her, stop her or go astern.

Vessel's lights traditional rhymes.

Red over red,
the boat is dead.
Not under command

Red over green,
a sailing machine.
Sailing vessel

Red over white,
boat fishing tonight.
Fishing vessel

Green over white,
trawling tonight
Fishing vessel trawling

White over white,
Short tug and tow in sight.
Tug less that 50 mtrs with tow less than 200mtrs

White over white over white,
short tug and long tow or,
long tug and short tow or in sight,
Tug less that 50 mtrs with tow more than 200mtrs or
Tug more that 50 mtrs with tow less than 200mtrs.

Red over red over red,
rudder rubbing rocks.
Vessel constrained by draught

White over red,
a pilot is ahead.
Pilot vessel

Red over white over red,
Red When Restricted.
Vessel restricted in ability to manoeuvre

Yellow over white,
towline is tight.
Stern lights of a tug