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Title: Rule following behaviour in collision avoidance : a study of navigational practices in the Dover Strait
Author: Belcher, Phillip
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 9454
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2007
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This research is concerned with the manner in which the risk of a collision is managed by people in control of ships as they navigate the Dover Strait. Fundamental to the management of collision risks are the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea 1972 (Merchant Shipping Notice M. 1642/COLREG 1 1996) which are known as the COLREGs. These regulations are designed to give guidance to the people in charge of the ships in order to manage the collision risk. A two-phase mixed method approach was utilised to investigate the reasons lying behind the decisions taken to manage the collision risk through the application of the COLREGs. The first phase consisted of an analysis of a 24 hour period of the radar record of all ship movements in the Dover Strait. The findings from this dataset informed the ethnographic second phase in which the actions of those in charge of the ships were observed onboard ship. Strict compliance with the COLREGs required trust in the other ship to resolve the risk of collision. For the respondents, strict compliance with the COLREGs would have raised the risk of collision to an unacceptable level due to a lack of trust in the other. The people in charge of the ships then undertook unilateral action, in contravention of the COLREGs, to resolve the collision situation. This non-compliance occurred whilst under the observation of the regulatory authority. However, the authority failed to visibly enforce the COLREGs and so the surveillance lacked any deterrent value. The issue of an ex-practitioner undertaking the research was investigated from both ethical and methodological aspects. It was found that being an ex-practitioner assisted greatly in gaining access but placed an added responsibility on the ex-practitioner to handle the data with great care.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available