If you meet a vessel and also see a green, red and white light, you are approaching another power-driven courage head-on. In this situation neither vessel has actually the right-of-way.

You are watching: If you see a red, a green, and a white light on another boat, what does this tell you?

 Both operators should take early and also substantial action to steer fine clear that the other vessel. Both operators should minimize their speed and steer come starboard.


If you accomplish a vessel and also see a green and red light but no masthead (white) light, climate you room approaching a sail-driven vessel. You room the give-way craft and have to yield right-of-way to the sailing vessel.

Port (left) Approach


If a green and also a white light space visible, then another craft is approaching you from the port (left) side. In this situation, you space the stand-on craft and should maintain your speed and also course. The various other craft must take early and also substantial activity to steer fine clear of her craft.

Starboard (right) Approach


If a red and also a white light are visible, then another craft is approaching you from the starboard (right) side. In this situation you space the give-way craft and also must yield right-of-way. You should take early and substantial activity to steer well clear of the various other craft. Minimize your speed, readjust direction and also pass at a safe distance behind the various other boat.

Safe Boating TipA simple means to decipher powerboat navigating lights is come remember: If you see a environment-friendly LIGHT you have the right to ‘GO’: one more boat is approaching from your port side.

If you view a RED light you must ‘STOP’: another boat is approaching from her starboard side.

What go a White irradiate Indicate?


If you view a white irradiate on its own it shows that you do NOT have actually the right-of-way. The white light will certainly be identifying one of the following three things:

1) You space approaching an additional craft from behind

If just a white irradiate is visible, you might be approaching one more craft indigenous behind. You are the give-way-craft and must take early and also substantial activity to steer well clear by changing your course and passing in ~ a safe street on the starboard (right) or harbor (left) side.

2) You are approaching a non-powered craft

If you room approaching a non-powered craft, you room the give-way craft and must yield the best of way. You should take early and also substantial action to stay fine clear and happen at a for sure speed and also distance.

Remember the if you’re operation a non-powered craft at night, you are compelled have ready because that use an electrical torch, flashlight or lighted lantern mirroring a white irradiate (this rule uses if the boat cannot it is in equipped with standard navigation lights).

3) You room approaching one anchored craft at night

If you are approaching an anchored craft, the anchored craft will be exhibiting an all-round white irradiate to indicate to various other boaters the their handmade is in ~ anchor.

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Remember: anchored watercrafts should never display their green and also red sidelights together these lamp will show to various other boaters that your craft is underway.