33 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2014 Edition
Title 33 – NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS
CHAPTER 3 – NAVIGATION RULES FOR HARBORS, RIVERS, AND INLAND WATERS GENERALLY
From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov

CHAPTER 3—NAVIGATION RULES FOR HARBORS, RIVERS, AND INLAND WATERS GENERALLY

SUBCHAPTER I—PRELIMINARY

Sec.
151.
High seas and inland waters demarcation lines.
152.
Regulation of length of towlines.
153.
Penalty for use of unlawful towline.
154 to 159. Repealed.

 

SUBCHAPTER II—RULES CONCERNING LIGHTS, ETC.

171 to 183. Repealed.

 

SUBCHAPTER III—SOUND SIGNALS FOR FOG, ETC.; SPEED

191, 192.
Repealed.

 

SUBCHAPTER IV—STEERING AND SAILING RULES AND SIGNALS

201 to 213. Repealed.

 

SUBCHAPTER V—NO VESSEL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TO NEGLECT PROPER PRECAUTIONS

221, 222.
Repealed.

 

SUBCHAPTER VI—DISTRESS SIGNALS

231.
Repealed.

 

SUBCHAPTER VII—ORDERS

232.
Repealed.

 

SUBCHAPTER I—PRELIMINARY

§151. High seas and inland waters demarcation lines

(a) Establishment and purpose

The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall establish appropriate identifiable demarcation lines dividing the high seas from harbors, rivers, and other inland waters of the United States, for the purpose of determining the applicability of special navigational rules in lieu of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

(b) Applicability of other statutes; limitation; position

The Secretary shall also establish appropriate identifiable lines dividing inland waters of the United States from the high seas for the purpose of determining the applicability of each statute that refers to this section or this section, as amended. These lines may not be located more than twelve nautical miles seaward of the base line from which the territorial sea is measured. These lines may differ in position for the purposes of different statutes.

(c) “United States” defined

For the purposes of this section, the term “United States” includes the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and any other Commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(Feb. 19, 1895, ch. 102, §2, 28 Stat. 672; Pub. L. 96–324, §1, Aug. 8, 1980, 94 Stat. 1020; Pub. L. 96–376, §13, Oct. 3, 1980, 94 Stat. 1511; Pub. L. 96–591, §9, Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3436.)

References in Text

The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, referred to in subsec. (a), came into effect pursuant to the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972. See International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 note under section 1602 of this title.

Codification

Section was not enacted as part of act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, 30 Stat. 96, which comprises a major part of this chapter.

Amendments

1980—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 96–324 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), substituted provision authorizing the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating to establish demarcation lines for provision authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to establish demarcation lines, and inserted provision specifying the purpose of establishing demarcation lines as determining the applicability of special navigational rules in lieu of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 96–324 added subsec. (b).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 96–591 and Pub. L. 96–376 made identical amendments by striking out reference to the Canal Zone.

Pub. L. 96–324 added subsec. (c).

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.

Termination of Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands

For termination of Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, see note set out preceding section 1681 of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.

Territorial Sea of United States

For extension of territorial sea of United States, see Proc. No. 5928, set out as a note under section 1331 of Title 43, Public Lands.

§152. Regulation of length of towlines

The Commandant of the Coast Guard shall prepare regulations limiting the length of hawsers between towing vessels and seagoing barges in tow and the length of such tows within any of the inland waters of the United States designated and defined from time to time pursuant to section 151 of this title, and such regulations shall have the force of law.

(May 28, 1908, ch. 212, §14, 35 Stat. 428; June 17, 1910, ch. 301, §§4, 6, 36 Stat. 537, 538; Mar. 4, 1913, ch. 141, §1, 37 Stat. 736; June 30, 1932, ch. 314, pt. II, title V, §§501, 502, 47 Stat. 415; May 27, 1936, ch. 463, §1, 49 Stat. 1380; 1939 Reorg. Plan No. II, §2(a), eff. July 1, 1939, 4 F.R. 2731, 53 Stat. 1432; 1946 Reorg. Plan No. 3, §§101–104, eff. July 16, 1946, 11 F.R. 7875, 60 Stat. 1097; Aug. 4, 1949, ch. 393, §§1, 20, 63 Stat. 496, 561.)

Codification

Section was not enacted as part of act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, 30 Stat. 96, which comprises a major part of this chapter.

Transfer of Functions

“Commandant of the Coast Guard” substituted in text for provision that the Chairman of the Light House Board, the Supervising Inspector General of the Steamboat Inspection Service and the Commissioner of Navigation shall convene as a board to prepare regulations, and for approval of the regulations by the Secretary of Commerce and Labor.

Secretary of Commerce and Labor designated Secretary of Commerce by act Mar. 4, 1913, which created Department of Labor.

Sections 4 and 6 of act June 17, 1910, established in Department of Commerce and Labor a Bureau of Lighthouses with a Commissioner of Lighthouses as its head, and transferred duties of Light House Board to such Commissioner. Said sections 4 and 6 were repealed by section 20 of act Aug. 4, 1949, section 1 of which reestablished Coast Guard by enacting Title 14, Coast Guard. Section 2(a) of Reorg. Plan No. II, of 1939, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, consolidated Bureau of Lighthouses with Coast Guard, the Chief of which is Commandant of the Coast Guard.

Supervising Inspector General of the Steamboat Inspection Service and Commissioner of Navigation of Bureau of Navigation were affected by Secretary’s authority to retain or dismiss officers and employees upon consolidation of bureaus under section 502(b) of act June 30, 1932.

Steamboat Inspection Service and Bureau of Navigation consolidated into Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection to be under direction of a chief of bureau by section 501 of act June 30, 1932.

Director of the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection was designation given to chief of such Bureau by Secretary of Commerce under section 502(b) of act June 30, 1932.

Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation was designation given to Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection by act May 27, 1936.

Functions of Secretary of Commerce and Director of Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation under this section transferred to Commandant of the Coast Guard by Reorg. Plan No. 3, of 1946, §§101 to 104, set out in the Appendix to Title 5.

For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.

Coast Guard transferred to Department of Transportation, and functions, powers, and duties relating to Coast Guard of Secretary of the Treasury and of other officers and offices of Department of the Treasury transferred to Secretary of Transportation by Pub. L. 89–670, §6(b)(1), Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 938. Section 6(b)(2) of Pub. L. 89–670, however, provided that notwithstanding such transfer of functions, Coast Guard shall operate as part of Navy in time of war or when President directs as provided in section 3 of Title 14, Coast Guard. See section 108 of Title 49, Transportation.

For transfer of functions of other officers, employees, and agencies of Department of the Treasury, with certain exceptions, to Secretary of the Treasury with power to delegate, see Reorg. Plan No. 26 of 1950, §§1, 2, eff. July 31, 1950, 15 F.R. 4935, 64 Stat. 1280, 1281, set out in the Appendix to Title 5. Functions of Coast Guard, and Commandant of the Coast Guard, excepted from transfer when Coast Guard is operating as part of Navy under sections 1 and 3 of Title 14, Coast Guard.

§153. Penalty for use of unlawful towline

The master of the towing vessel shall be liable to the suspension or revocation of his license for any willful violation of regulations issued pursuant to section 152 of this title in the manner prescribed for incompetency, misconduct, or unskillfulness.

(May 28, 1908, ch. 212, §15, 35 Stat. 429.)

Codification

Section was not enacted as part of act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, 30 Stat. 96, which comprises a major part of this chapter.

§154. Repealed. Pub. L. 96–591, §8(a), Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3435

Section, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 96; May 21, 1948, ch. 328, §1, 62 Stat. 249; Aug. 8, 1953, ch. 386, §1, 67 Stat. 497, provided for adoption of rules of navigation of harbors, rivers, and inland waters.

Prior rules for preventing collision prescribed by R.S. §4233 to be followed by vessels of the Navy and mercantile marine of the United States, applicable originally to all waters, were superseded as to navigation on the high seas and waters connected therewith by the International Rules (act Aug. 19, 1890, ch. 802 [sec. 61 et seq. of this title]) were superseded as to navigation on the Great Lakes and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as Montreal, by act Feb. 8, 1895, ch. 64 (section 241 et seq. of this title); were adopted as special rules for the navigation of harbors, rivers, and inland waters of the United States, except the Great Lakes and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as Montreal by act of Feb. 19, 1895, ch. 102 (see section 301 et seq. of this title); and were superseded by act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, as to navigation of all harbors, rivers, and inland waters of the United States except as specified in this paragraph, leaving them applicable solely to the Red River of the North and the rivers emptying into the Gulf of Mexico and their tributaries.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective Dec. 24, 1981, see section 7 of Pub. L. 96–591, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section 1604 of this title.

§§155 to 159. Repealed. Pub. L. 96–591, §8(a), Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3435

Section 155, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 96, defined “sailing vessel”, “steam vessel”, and “under way”.

Section 156, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 96, defined “visible”.

Section 157, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §2, 30 Stat. 102; May 25, 1914, ch. 98, 38 Stat. 381; June 30, 1932, ch. 314, pt. II, title V, §§501, 502(b), 47 Stat. 415; May 27, 1936, ch. 463, §1, 49 Stat. 1380; 1946 Reorg. Plan No. 3, §§101–104, eff. July 16, 1946, 11 F.R. 7875, 60 Stat 1097; May 21, 1948, ch. 328, §3, 62 Stat. 249; Aug. 14, 1958, Pub. L. 85–656, §1, 72 Stat. 612, provided for promulgation of special rules by the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, and covered publication of rules and hearings in connection therewith. See section 2071 of this title.

Section 157a, Pub. L. 88–163, Oct. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 281, provided for regulations for navigation or operation under bridges over navigable waters.

Section 158, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §3, 30 Stat. 102; May 21, 1948, ch. 328, §3, 62 Stat. 249; Aug. 14, 1958, Pub. L. 85–656, §1, 72 Stat. 612, set out penalties for violations by pilots, engineers, mates, or masters. See section 2072 of this title.

Section 159, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §4, 30 Stat. 103; May 21, 1948, ch. 328, §3, 62 Stat. 249; Aug. 14, 1958, Pub. L. 85–656, §1, 72 Stat. 612, provided for a penalty for violations by vessels. See section 2072 of this title.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective Dec. 24, 1981, see section 7 of Pub. L. 96–591, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section 1604 of this title.

SUBCHAPTER II—RULES CONCERNING LIGHTS, ETC.

§§171 to 183. Repealed. Pub. L. 96–591, §8(a), Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3435

Section 171, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 96, made general provision for the application of rules regarding lights.

Section 172, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 96, related to lights of steam vessels underway.

Section 173, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 97; May 20, 1936, ch. 433, 49 Stat. 1367; May 21, 1948, ch. 328, §2, 62 Stat. 249; Aug. 14, 1958, Pub. L. 85–635, §1, 72 Stat. 590, related to lights of vessels towing or pushing another vessel.

Section 174, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 97; Mar. 1, 1933, ch. 157, 47 Stat. 1417, related to lights of sailing vessels underway and vessels being towed.

Section 175, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 97, related to lights of small vessels underway in bad weather.

Section 176, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 98, related to lights of rowboats.

Section 177, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 98; Feb. 19, 1900, ch. 22, §1, 31 Stat. 30, related to lights of pilot vessels on and off duty.

Section 178, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 98; 1946 Reorg. Plan No. 3, §§101–104, eff. July 16, 1946, 11 F.R. 7875, 60 Stat. 1097, related to lights of fishing vessels.

Section 179, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 98; Aug. 14, 1958, Pub. L. 85–635, §2, 72 Stat. 590, related to lights of overtaken vessels.

Section 180, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 98; Apr. 22, 1940, ch. 128, §1, 54 Stat. 150; Aug. 5, 1963, Pub. L. 88–84, §1, 77 Stat. 116; Oct. 15, 1966, Pub. L. 89–670, §6, 80 Stat. 937, related to lights of vessels at anchor.

Section 181, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 99, related to additional lights when necessary.

Section 182, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 99, related to special lights for ships of war and convoy. See section 2071 of this title.

Section 183, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 99, related to day signal of vessels under sail.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective Dec. 24, 1981, see section 7 of Pub. L. 96–591, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section 1604 of this title.

SUBCHAPTER III—SOUND SIGNALS FOR FOG, ETC.; SPEED

§§191, 192. Repealed. Pub. L. 96–591, §8(a), Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3435

Section 191, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 99; Aug. 5, 1963, Pub. L. 88–84, §2, 77 Stat. 116, made general provision for sound signals for fog, etc.

Section 192, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 99, related to speed of vessels in fog, etc.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective Dec. 24, 1981, see section 7 of Pub. L. 96–591, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section 1604 of this title.

SUBCHAPTER IV—STEERING AND SAILING RULES AND SIGNALS

§§201 to 213. Repealed. Pub. L. 96–591, §8(a), Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3435

Section 201, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 100, related to ascertainment of risk of collision.

Section 202, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 100, related to sailing vessels approaching one another.

Section 203, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 100; Aug. 21, 1935, ch. 595, §2, 49 Stat. 669, related to steam vessels approaching, meeting, or passing one another.

Section 204, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 101, related to steam vessels crossing.

Section 205, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 101; Nov. 5, 1966, Pub. L. 89–764, §1, 80 Stat. 1313, related to steam and sailing vessels meeting.

Section 206, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 101, provided that vessel having the right of way was to keep course.

Section 207, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 101, related to situation when a vessel crosses ahead of a vessel having the right-of-way.

Section 208, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 101, related to duty of steam vessels to slacken speed.

Section 209, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 101, provided that an overtaking vessel keep out of the way and defined the term “overtaking vessel”.

Section 210, acts June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 101; Nov. 5, 1966, Pub. L. 89–764, §2, 80 Stat. 1313, related to operation of steam vessels in a narrow channel.

Section 211, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 102, related to right of way of fishing vessels or boats.

Section 212, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 102, provided for departure from the rules in special circumstances.

Section 213, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 102, related to signal to be given that a vessel’s engines are going at full speed astern.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective Dec. 24, 1981, see section 7 of Pub. L. 96–591, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section 1604 of this title.

SUBCHAPTER V—NO VESSEL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TO NEGLECT PROPER PRECAUTIONS

§§221, 222. Repealed. Pub. L. 96–591, §8(a), Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3435

Section 221, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 102, related to usual additional precautions generally required.

Section 222, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 102, related to suspension of rules regarding the exhibition of lights on vessels of war or of the Coast Guard.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective Dec. 24, 1981, see section 7 of Pub. L. 96–591, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section 1604 of this title.

SUBCHAPTER VI—DISTRESS SIGNALS

§231. Repealed. Pub. L. 96–591, §8(a), Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3435

Section, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, 30 Stat. 102, related to distress signals.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective Dec. 24, 1981, see section 7 of Pub. L. 96–591, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section 1604 of this title.

SUBCHAPTER VII—ORDERS

§232. Repealed. Pub. L. 96–591, §8(a), Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3435

Section, act June 7, 1897, ch. 4, §1, as added Aug. 21, 1935, ch. 595, §2, 49 Stat. 669, related to orders to helmsmen.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective Dec. 24, 1981, see section 7 of Pub. L. 96–591, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section 1604 of this title.