This mock exam question from the hong kong marine department marksheet says option A is correct, however i think option A would cause a collision.

enter image description here

Refering to all of the materials i have, I feel this scenario is as follows: A vessel directly ahead is underway and making way but its getting closer. The stern of the appraching vessel would be on my starboard bow.

If the boat has approached from the starboard side then it is a crossing situation and i would be the give-way vessel, making one short blast and turning to starboard. Option B

enter image description here

Alternatively, as the vessel is "right ahead" and underway, I could also pass on the stern of the vessel if i were to slow down and let her pass, option D.

why would A be the correct answer given this scenario? and assuming the marksheet is incorrect, could both Option B AND D both be correct?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 17:36
  • @bogl the image attached is a screenshot taken from the sample PDF which is the link i provided. I mention "Refering to all of the materials I have" eg, the internet and then show the diagram illstrating the danger zone
    – user74847
    Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 5:36
  • Judging by the lights on the right hand side (red and white) the other vessel is right and ahead. And it will cross the own vessel in about a 60 degree angle
    – Manziel
    Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 9:17
  • In reality yes. And at night you will have a hard time judging the the distance of a light. However, all exam questions I have seen so far assume that you are going straight (from bottom to top) and are looking over the bow unless anything else given. Might be different in HK but we should not add unspecified complexity. Also this fits quite well with altering to port as this will bring both vessels to a more parallel course.
    – Manziel
    Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


From the Marine Department: please note the question is describing a power-driven heading towards a vessel at anchor but not a vessel under way and showing a port side light. In the picture, the upper white light is the forward anchor light whilst the lower white light is the anchor light at the stern of the vessel. The red light at the middle is an all round light which indicates the vessel is carrying dangerous goods on board. The power-driven vessel has to alter course to port in order to pass on the stern of the anchored vessel.

i have illustrated the vessel below

enter image description here

  • So we all read the lights wrong, that would answer it.
    – Separatrix
    Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 13:20
  • That explains a lot. Excellent answer. But please could you give some references that identify the light pattern as a vessel at anchor. Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 18:35
  • 2
    Excellent answer! We would all have slowed down and waited for her to pass. rotfl!
    – bogl
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 15:24
  • Excellent answer - I would absolutely not have recognised that lighting scheme as such.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 17:21

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