Can we predict the scene below 30 seconds from now? How about 60 seconds or 2 minutes? What will it look like in half an hour?

It's amazing to watch the large number of yachts in the Solent. It's a very busy place and the implications of collisions are enormous.

The 'International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (IRPCS) is a very detailed set of rules that all skippers must follow. But at its heart, simple principles dictate how complex and dynamic situations can be managed successfully.

Recognise that despite our desire to control everything, we cannot

However, by promoting autonomy and simple rules of thumb we succeed. IRPCS is complex, but every sailor knows the rules of thumb set out below.


High value, disruptive, highly dynamic situations cannot be managed. Processes and control fail, but autonomy and rules of thumb succeed.

Setting up your own 'collision avoidance' guidelines is something to think about in the context of your own organisation.