Substitute Senate Bill No. 993

Public Act No. 99-219

An Act Concerning Boating Safety.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 15-131 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The rules prescribed by this section for preventing collisions shall govern the operation of all vessels on state and federal waters. In construing the provisions of this section, risk of collision shall be deemed to exist when the compass bearing between approaching vessels does not appreciably change.

(1) When vessels approach each other end on, or nearly so, each shall pass on the port side of the other, except that, if the courses of such vessels are so far to the starboard of each other as not to be considered approaching end on and altering course would create a hazard, each shall keep out of the way of the other and pass on the starboard side of the other.

(2) When vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her starboard side shall keep out of the way of the other, except that in such a situation a motorboat shall keep out of the way of a sailboat.

(3) When sailboats are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, one of them shall keep out of the way of the other as follows: (A) A sailboat running free shall keep out of the way of a sailboat which is close-hauled. (B) A sailboat which is close-hauled on the port tack shall keep out of the way of a sailboat which is close-hauled on the starboard tack. (C) When two sailboats are running free with the wind on different sides, the sailboat which has the wind on the port side shall keep out of the way of the other. (D) When two sailboats are running free with the wind on the same side, the sailboat which is to the windward shall keep out of the way of the other.

(4) Every vessel overtaking another vessel shall keep out of the way of the overtaken vessel. Any person operating a vessel shall not follow another vessel more closely than is reasonable and prudent and shall have regard for prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to not create a risk of collision.

(5) Every vessel which is required by these rules to keep out of the way of another vessel, on approaching such other vessel, shall slacken speed, stop, reverse or alter course as necessary and, as circumstances permit, avoid crossing ahead of or hazarding the other vessel. The other vessel shall maintain her course and speed.

(6) In obeying and construing these rules, regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and any special circumstances which may render a departure from these rules necessary in order to avoid immediate danger. For the purposes of this subsection, following too closely to avoid collision with another vessel shall be considered a violation.

(7) The operator of a vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout required by the ordinary practice of seamen and by the special circumstances of the case.

(8) Violation of any provision of this section shall be an infraction.

Sec. 2. (NEW) In complying with the requirements of any statute, regulation or ordinance restricting the horsepower or size of the engine on any vessel while being operated on an inland body of water, a person may (1) in the case of an outboard motor, remove the propeller from the boat's engine and incline the engine out of the water so that the absence of the propeller is clearly visible, or (2) in the case of an inboard motor, remove the propeller from the boat's engine and incline or trim the engine to an upright position. This section shall not be construed to allow vessels with the gasoline-powered engines on bodies of water where such engines are not allowed.

Sec. 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 1999.

Approved June 29, 1999

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