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Old 17-10-2016, 22:26   #16
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post

What's really remarkable to me, is this is a CRIMINAL case, not a civil one brought by the families of the decedents.


Ann
Exactly right Ann....the repercussions of this case if found guilty, will be far reaching for all of us.

The Superyacht Charter industry is already abuzz about it.

It makes the idea of inviting guests onboard for a sail, far less attractive.
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Old 17-10-2016, 22:55   #17
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Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

SailingFan, there is plenty of blame for the skipper that has nothing to do with safety gear. 22 yr old skipper is a start. Crossing the North Atlantic out of season is another big one. And the charter company can share some of that plane because why were they leasing to a 22yr old for an out of season voyage? Why didn't the leasing company position the safety equipment better?
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Old 17-10-2016, 23:01   #18
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

Agreed, but I already said the skipper is to blame at least for what happens when he or she takes command, so went on to the safety gear because it seems that somehow the forum did not appreciate my view on the hazards assumed when one seeks to be "in charge" and something goes wrong. Moving to the safety issue seemed to be more likely to address something that would benefit those in attendance of these forums (as some seem to hint "I am skipper and I know what to do, so don't tell me and infringe on my domain and freedom" in gross and crude terms). It seemed at least that perhaps some would take the safety gear issue to heart because it is easily proven to make a difference, and it is harder for folks to just pretend it was not mentioned (as you obviously noticed).

Wear the gear folks...
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Old 17-10-2016, 23:06   #19
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

With regard to 'Wearing the gear':

A PFD would have done nothing for these guys. Even an immersion suit would have more than likely just lead to a prolonged, suffering death.

The other points are well taken, but the fact that there were no life jackets involved is of no consequence in this case.
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Old 17-10-2016, 23:15   #20
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

I think people are over analyzing this as well as over estimating the fault of anyone other than the skipper. What's next - criminally charging the canoe rental place because the renter decided to take it across the Atlantic?
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Old 17-10-2016, 23:16   #21
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

The charges will be connected to instructions given by the company or implied orders and or maintenance of the vessel.

Benetau will not be involved simply because it can be proved that neglect/external damage/repairs issues happened to the vessel outside of the warranty or liability of the company. Unless a case can be made for the company having a history of keels falling off then.........

Until the exact charges are formed in court, as it stands the captain of the vessel is deemed responsible for all actions taken.

As a person well used to the legal procedure in medical negligence cases, it will be interesting to see what the prosecution will be pursuing as the involvement of the management company in relationship to the responsibility as the owners of the vessel. Criminal charges means that perhaps they have more information than has been released.

In any event, regardless, I hope all delivery skippers take note that they need to satisfy themselves on all counts that the vessel they assume command of is seaworthy and take their own decisions as to weather and crew welfare. If they are lied to about the status of aforementioned vessel, then...... we are in this situation.

Deeply saddened over this event. It touched a lot of people in the boating community for many reasons. One can only hope that the outcome of the court case will reinforce the high standards we aim for and not be subject to commercial returns over safety.
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Old 17-10-2016, 23:18   #22
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

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Ann, I do understand your point about poor repairs sinking the vessel (but did not see enough about this to understand what repairs were under way, all I saw was the article stating that the sinking occurred but missed the maintenance and repair specifics). I don't doubt you at all on that point, but think we are not communicating effectively about what I was speaking about, the responsibility of people to take self preservation seriously.

What I am talking about is the loss of life that was actually preventable, where these fellows did not use safety gear. Sure, I understand that cruising tends to get folks to be complacent about safety vests and such (to our own peril, of course, but then it is not our manufacturer's fault if we then drown, is it!), but it seems foolish in some respects to head to open sea without wearing something that will keep you afloat if you even fall overboard. Maritime law requires these products to be on board and within specific levels of repair.

They advertise in the US with dozens of commercials about not having to often remove a vest from a drowned boater, something like 90% or more of the victims don't have a flotation device attached to their bodies here. Assuming the laws of physics don't change as people cross The Pond, not wearing a vest or other flotation device there by choice is just as potentially lethal.

Therefore, if the vests were not worn, if a locator beacon was not activated, and the life raft not accessible, who had last chance at performing these actions? People need to start taking responsibility for their own lives and stop blaming others when due to short sighted stupidity they suffer the fates of the Dodo. These folks were having a good time, skipped the safety gear, and paid dearly for it, sadly, as they probably had little to no time to do much of any preparation if the keel suddenly just fell away while they were moving through the water, especially if heeled, I assume.

The same result would have happened had the vessel simply rolled at sea in a blow, keel still firmly attached. Likewise, a poop could have emptied the cockpit, and those present would have died. No matter the emergency, the lack of life preserver utility doomed these people, and the manufacturer and even the vessel owner who is not actually present at the time of the event has nothing to do with that. The vessel owner COULD have installed an auto location beacon, however, at little cost. There seems a direct liability connection on that part.

Now, I don't see that bodies have been recovered in the article I read, but why was the life raft not topsides, why were the flotation items not on passengers topside (assuming all of them were not killed inside the vessel itself with none outside when this happened, something I find excessively unlikely if it happened in daylight but quite possible if it happened at night given the lack of attention to navigation watches topside that I keep hearing about in these threads from folks who live on radar returns and AIS for navigation issues and collision avoidance at night), why was there no automatically activated location beacon to speed the search (which CAN be blamed on the vessel charter owner, in my opinion, for what that may or may not be worth)?

As a passenger on a vessel, I would want to know these things were in place BEFORE departure, not after the vessel heeled over or split in two. By then, it is too late to go digging into a locker for a float coat or a life raft. There are pretty cheap and effective (more than none at all) solutions today for life preservers, and they are not intrusive on movement regardless of clothing choices otherwise. You can barely see them there in fact, unless you know what to look for. Not rated for offshore by US Coast Guard authorities near the US, but better than nothing at all wherever you may hit the water! I wear a vest on inland waters, I sure as hell will wear some form of flotation device on open ocean, as I choose to be slightly less comfortable to counter a part of the risk, but I elect to, and am responsible for my own choices and resultant outcomes.

I am saying there is more blame to go around, and that the clients must assume some responsibility as well because they did not perform any due diligence in examining this gear and ensuring it was at hand in case of emergency, which ultimately did kill them assuming they don't turn up someplace alive.

I cannot blame them for not hauling the vessel, and make no claim that such was reasonable, but they needed to look inside, ensure they knew the gear, how to bring it out, and when to bring it out. In other words, it should have been available when the accident happened, and the flotation should have been worn while the vessel was at sea and they were topsides (and I would say, even while asleep, because this could have been the scenario, and they would not have had time to find the stuff while half groggy and sinking in a tumbling sailboat).

A lesson is indeed available for all, that preparation for accidents at sea does not have to wait until after water reaches into the vessel. To make the preparation effective, it should be completed well before the lines are retrieved from the dock cleats. The repairs are simply the catalyst that allowed the physics already in motion to display themselves on these unprepared clients.

I can see the criminal prosecution, however, if shortcuts were taken, given what happened after the Titanic disaster and the more life-costly Sultana steam powered paddleboat in the Mississippi River (USA) where the ship fitted metal patches to a boiler and managed to kill something like 1700 people in one blast and sinking event (more than Titanic) due to cheating a repair for profit of hauling more passengers ahead of competing transportation vessels.

Unfortunately, the Sultana sits on the bottom of the Mississippi still, and few even realize she is there or what happened, and the media of the late 1800s did not make near the fuss over this event, so I doubt anyone was charged beyond the captain himself (if he was even charged, I think he actually died in the blast IIRC). I don't know of any lawsuits filed regarding the accident, but I do know that the Titanic lawsuits formed some sentiment to criminalizing proceedings relative to passenger carrying vessels.

I recall another paddle boat that sank and lots of people died because iron bars had been used to get the cork life rings "up to weight" rather than replacing the dry rotted and undersize rings with new and larger equipment.

I just have a hard time feeling for people who refuse to use flotation gear, then get killed by drowning when something unexpected happens. I don't want folks to die, but I half expect it when they don't take some pretty easy steps to protect themselves. The risk is there, so avert at own peril, and just be happy with whatever outcome is generated based upon the preventative actions taken (or not taken). Seems simple to me somehow, and after years of service at sea without being forced to swim around a sinking ship, I still believe in life vests.

But everyone can do as they like, I am all for freedom of choice in this matter. Just don't blame someone else if you drown because of not donning one, that's all.

It's all good! Here are some flowers for ya, sweet Ann!
Sailing fan, may I humbly suggest that a little research on the topic may be beneficial before coming out guns blazing !
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Old 17-10-2016, 23:22   #23
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

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Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
With regard to 'Wearing the gear':

A PFD would have done nothing for these guys. Even an immersion suit would have more than likely just lead to a prolonged, suffering death.

The other points are well taken, but the fact that there were no life jackets involved is of no consequence in this case.
It is for the families of these missing sailors...
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Old 17-10-2016, 23:25   #24
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

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It is for the families of these missing sailors...
Let's say for the sake of the argument that the raft was deployed, the immersion suits put on, all other safety precautions and distress signals used and they still all perished. How would that make any difference to their families?
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Old 17-10-2016, 23:30   #25
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

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Sailing fan, may I humbly suggest that a little research on the topic may be beneficial before coming out guns blazing !

Uncle Bob, no worries, am researching things tonite and tomorrow to see what is going on specifically, but the commentary that the people were not located easily means that something of a locating technology was not successfully used. The decisions of taking the vessel out were made by someone.

I am not guns blazing anyway, you will know when that happens because I will have citations in APA format and all the facts and figures from the court proceedings and jurist findings available and posted here. That is when you will know I am in "guns blazing" mode. Sorry for the confusion, and I already stated that I had less understanding of the situation than others who have followed this case and a thread someplace that I have not even located yet. I was pretty clear about that when asked, above. Still certain things are facts of physics and are standard rules of the road when common sense comes into play in potentially rough waters... I know life jackets and flotation don't keep you alive in even moderately cool water for long, but they do make it more likely that someone will locate your body. Hey, you may even still be alive at the time, rather than thirty feet beneath the waves wishing for air, still barely alive, as the plane goes overhead... Jus sayin...
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Old 17-10-2016, 23:55   #26
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

Some interesting info:
Families of missing yacht Cheeki Rafiki British sailors say they haven't given up hope of finding them | Daily Mail Online

Seems there were only two weak battery location devices on board, the crew knew they had water intrusion before the vessel went down (so they had time to get the raft out, which they did not do), and they had time to get vests or other gear on. They also had knowledge of this vessel racing, and the likelihood that it ran aground before was therefore common knowledge among those on board, so suspect for the thinking captain (who was not thinking evidently).

Additionally, the vessel was able to radio its water intrusion woes, but did not radio position info with a mayday when the occupants saw water coming in.

Nope, my position has not changed yet, even with a 20 hour survival time (and that is a bit in cold water, where I went we got maybe a couple or very few minutes or less before shock would do you in) they had time to get into a raft and be afloat with satellite phone and locators turned on in sequence. How the hell did a racing crew manage to go to sea without better batteries and equipment than this? Why did they not call for actual help when they started flooding? I attribute this accident to being in a bad location due to stupidity when another bad event (the loss of the keel) occurred. Had they been more careful, and had they had a better method of ensuring they would survive immersion in an emergency, the loss of life would have been less. To make the trip was stupid, and to do it without adherence to better safety gear when they had the funding, obviously, to acquire it and train in its use, seems utterly wasteful of life. A shame, even if the loss of the keel resulted in this happening in the middle of the ocean, it could have happened in the North Sea just as easily, or in the English Channel, or any of a number of other locations. Oh yeah, they would have had chase vessels to pair up with!! A lesson needs learning here for those long transits by scheduled competing sailors. They were not even racing, so another boat along for safety would have been prudent, especially that time of year.

Can't wait to see the court decision in this one..
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Old 18-10-2016, 00:02   #27
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

Sailing Fan: Your criticism of the crew for not wearing pfd's and being tethered to the boat assumes the crew was on deck when the keel fell off. Suppose it was at night with the Autopilot steering. 3 of the crew would have been in their bunks and the one on watch down below poking his head out the hatch. When the keel falls off, the boat inverts and the crew just manages to scramble free.
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Old 18-10-2016, 00:25   #28
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

And crews rarely wear life vests in their bunks.

Ebirbs are known to have failed to transmit. For example the one which Richard Woods had on-board Eclipse.




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Old 18-10-2016, 01:03   #29
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

SailingFan,

What apparently happened is that the keel fell off, the boat turned upside down in the Atlantic, and the waters were cold. The guys were wearing PLBs. The plbs went on after they were most likely dead from hypothermia.

*Pause*

The liferaft was secured underneath the steering station, which was underwater, and I don't think they were able to get to it at all. [I have seen liferafts mounted even worse, by the way. Boatie is right, they should be very easy to get to if the s**t hits the fan. Take a moment to imagine their efforts to free it, diving under the boat, getting colder and colder.]

*Pause*

One moment, they were sailing along, having a presumably good sail. Perhaps there was yet another lurch, a noise, and they went "OMG", and then one was in the water, or two, and it was all over. [We have had the loud bang followed by a dismasting, it is very fast!]

I think the name of the thread is "The Sinking of the Cheeki Rafiki", at least it is similar, and it is very long, and evolved as it went.

I've been out there in heavy weather, and things break, fatigue of crew and boat parts happens.

Anyhow, thanks for the virtual flowers. And, rather than hijacking this thread, you might consider a Safety at Sea thread that you start, focused on the issues you think are important.

Ann

PS. I have sailed a few thousand miles with water intrusion issues. You are assuming they knew where it came from, but with a liner built boat, you can't see it. We didn't learn for quite a while where it was coming in, then we didn't realize a structural repair was needed, and only used Splash Zone to stop the water ingress. It wasn't until an external fix failed that we began to understand what had gone wrong, and addressed that. A little bit of water in the boat is not a "mayday." A "mayday" is when you can't keep up with it, or begin to be unable to keep up with it.
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Old 18-10-2016, 01:35   #30
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

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Seems there were only two weak battery location devices on board, the crew knew they had water intrusion before the vessel went down (so they had time to get the raft out, which they did not do), and they had time to get vests or other gear on. They also had knowledge of this vessel racing, and the likelihood that it ran aground before was therefore common knowledge among those on board, so suspect for the thinking captain (who was not thinking evidently).

Additionally, the vessel was able to radio its water intrusion woes, but did not radio position info with a mayday when the occupants saw water coming in.

Nope, my position has not changed
Gosh.

The reason we have judicial inquiries is so that the reality of the situation can be examined in totality and conducted with facts free of emotion.

Basing your opinion on newspaper reports and supposition is not enhancing your credibility.

I have no idea of your experience on the water in emergencies. The one thing I know from a 7 year sojourn in disaster relief work as a medic is that things happen quickly, unexpectedly and with finality. Your second guessing and hindsight monologues has little or no bearing on the situation simply because YOU DONT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

I can assure you of one thing, it is my experience that in any situation, if an emergency is suspected, people take steps to minimise the problem and save their lives. A keel drop and roll is not something people are aware of before the issue, and Five seconds later your upside down.
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