Lateral system

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Lateral system in region A ( Le Palais , France): ships coming from sea (in the picture: right) leave red on port ("left") and green on starboard ("right")

The lateral mark (of lateral (lat.) = The side) is like the cardinal mark one of the two labeling systems for navigation channel in the international maritime transport . The lateral system defines a lateral marking of the fairway, which is carried out by means of sea marks . The navigation marks on the port side and starboard side differ from one another in their shape (or the shape of their top marks ), in color and in numbering; Drivers of watercraft (e.g. ships) can thus see whether they have to pass a navigation mark on the right or left in order to navigate in the fairway.

The body that defines the marking of fairways internationally and thus also the lateral system is the IALA . It has defined regions A and B for the lateral system worldwide , the navigation marks of which differ in color and numbering, but not in their shape.

Overview: shape, color, numbering

In the lateral system, the color, shape (or shape of the top mark) and numbering are used to distinguish the starboard and port sides. Color differentiation is very common. The numbering is mainly used for longer fairways (e.g. approaches to ports or canals).

  • Shape of the entire navigation mark or the top mark (mark on top of the navigation mark): blunt or pointed, mostly designed as a cylinder or cone ; the assignment of the shape to the fairway sides is internationally uniform: for ships coming from sea, pointed right ( starboard ) and blunt left ( port ). Especially in the mudflats, poles are marked by brooms with the point up (starboard) or down (port). Spar buoys and picks can be found on the port side of the fairway.
  • Color: red or green painting of the sea mark or parts of the sea mark; in the case of beacons (illuminated navigation signs) also red or green lighting (green lights often appear white for physical reasons from a long distance and may only be recognizable as green when approaching); Assignment to starboard and port is different in region A and B.
  • Numbering: even numbers or odd numbers (that is, if used, the first navigation marks of the fairway are usually "1" and "2", then counting continues); Assignment to starboard and port is different in region A and B.

A lateral navigation mark can have all of these characteristics, for example a green, pointed bucket with an odd number (system A). An only green or only pointed sea mark serves the same purpose. The combination of features serves to make it easier to differentiate between different visibility conditions or from a distance, but also to make communication on board easier (numbering), etc.

The distinction between region A and B.

Region A

Division of the world into regions A and B.

Region A includes Europe , Australia , New Zealand , Africa, and much of Asia (that is, Asia other than the Philippines , Japan, and Korea ).

Sea marks come from the sea :

  • on starboard green, with pointed (conical) top marks , consecutively numbered with odd digits
  • on port red, with blunt (cylindrical) top marks, numbered with even digits

Examples of floating sea marks according to  Lateral region A

Port Starboard

Designation of fairways

When designating a fairway in Region A, a fixed buoying direction is followed . The main direction of a port approach, a river or a waterway is defined as coming from the sea .

In the case of fairways that do not lead into a port or the like, the starboard side of the fairway is the side that is starboard for a vessel coming from the west (including north, exclusively south).

Region B

Overview of the navigation marks in the lateral system B
San Juan Islands , USA port navigation mark (System B), with an odd number (“5”) on a green, blunt / square sign

Region B includes North America , South America , the Philippines , Japan, and Korea .

It uses the coloring the other way around, but retains the top marks and the numbering (incoming dc: red, straight and pointed top marks, incoming Bb: green, odd and blunt top marks).

Sea marks come from the sea :

  • on starboard red, with pointed (conical) top marks, numbered with even numbers
  • on port green, with blunt (cylindrical) top marks, numbered consecutively with odd digits

Examples of floating sea marks according to  Lateral region B

Port Starboard

Code according to IHO-S-57

The coding for electronic nautical charts is specified by the IHO in the IHO-S-57 standard:

Region A, port (red): IALA-1; CATLAM-1; COLOUR-3; TOPSHP-5, COLOUR-3
Region A, starboard (green):   IALA-1; CATLAM-2; COLOUR-4; TOPSHP-1, COLOUR-4
Region B, port (green): IALA-2; CATLAM-1; COLOUR-4; TOPSHP-5, COLOUR-4
Region B, starboard (red): IALA-2; CATLAM-2; COLOUR-3; TOPSHP-1, COLOUR-3

Middle fairway sign or approach buoy

The middle of a fairway is marked by a safe water mark . This is white-red striped vertically and can have a red ball as a top mark. It is built as a bullet, beacon or spar barrel or as a pole. It can also serve as a seaward boundary for a fairway marked by red and green buoys. Then it is also called the "control bucket".

Fairway division buoy

Example of marking the port side

If another fairway branches off from a continuous fairway or flows into it, one of the displayed navigation signs must be on the port side of the continuous fairway, but on the starboard side of the branching or confluent fairway or vice versa. For this purpose buoys are used that have the characteristics of the other buoys on this side of the continuous fairway, but are provided with a horizontal colored ring of the other color, i.e. (in buoyancy system A):

  • on the port side of the continuous fairway, red stump, light or spar buoys or poles with a horizontal green band and a red cylinder as a top mark (poles also with brooms upwards)
  • on the starboard side of the continuous fairway, green pointed or light barrels or poles with a horizontal red band and a green cone (top at the top) as the top sign (poles also with brooms downwards)

See also

Web links

Commons : Lateral emphasis  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Axel Bark: sailing license BR and sport boat license for the lake . with official exam questions. 18th edition. Delius Klasing, Bielefeld 1992, ISBN 3-7688-0734-7 , p. 31 f .