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Old 18-10-2016, 00:49   #31
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

Originally Posted by weavis View Post

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.
Well said, Weavis.

Knee jerk "if they had only had the right safety gear and training then they would still be alive" responses smack of lack of experience. It is certainly possible that that crew could have done better, both in planning and in execution, but it is reasonable for a skipper to believe that the charter company had supplied them with a sea worthy vessel. IMO, it is not reasonable that the charterers would remount the life raft in a position different than the OEM decision. It is not reasonable to expect the crew to be wearing PFDs or immersion suits 24/7. It is not reasonable that the crew should have declared an emergency and requested rescue simply because there was water incursion... I would have abandoned a few boats unnecessarily if that were true. In short, they made mistakes,but they were IMO overshadowed by the faulty vessel.

I do not know anything about culpability, responsibility and the law for such cases. That is what the court is for.


Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Twofold Bay, Eden,NSW after our 32d crossing of Bass Strait!
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Old 18-10-2016, 04:11   #32
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pirate Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

Speaking as a Delivery skipper who takes on jobs moving boats across hundreds/thousands of miles of open water.. over 60% of which are Not in a fit condition to suit most folks on this forum I tend to give some credit to Sailing Fans posts.. he makes some very valid points.. ask Atoll.. he's seen one of them.. the boats I mean..
Personally I would rather a dinghy than a life raft (a luxury??) which many of my boats have not had.. however they are both strapped somewhere on deck for easy and quick release.. not deflated, rolled and stored in locker or down below before I set sail.
PFD's and lifelines are something I do not use personally as a choice however I have on occasion demanded crew wear them when conditions have dictated they were needed.. my crews do not have my awareness, balance or comfort moving on deck in poor conditions.. and I detest MOB exercises.
Don't do as I do.. do as I say.. never had an argument yet.
As for inspecting the boat beforehand.. one can only do so much.. owners and others suggest going out for a sea trial however this shows little to nothing more than ones initial check around the boat when one notices potential/possible future problems like rust signs round a swage etc.
If anythings going to go wrong it'll be after the first 3-5days of non-stop sailing.. not pissing around in a bay for a few hours.
Regarding the skipper and crew of Cheeky Rafiki..
I have no idea about their skill or experience.. however 22 seems somewhat young for a delivery skipper.. and his authority/confidence is also suspect in my view as he asked the owner what he should do when he found himself in light airs.. and then heeded the command to 'Go North.. do not pass Go'.. which he then did. A clear indication not only of his lack of knowledge and inexperience but also the owners ignorance of Ocean sailing at that time of year.
Another factor may also be that these guys were 'racers'.. accustomed to pushing a boat to its limits and.. sadly.. forgot the prime directive in their desire to prove themselves..
Deliver the boat in the best possible order conditions allow..
This means under sailing.. doing legs so you can rest up and evaluate/repair before moving on.. and ignoring the owner when he tells you to change your route.. its the skippers responsibility to do what is best for both the boat and his crew.. the owner comes further down the list.
'Sorry Boss'..
I do however have a suspicion that the keel falling off was an assisted event.. one of the messages just before contact was lost regarded 'Hitting/coming off' a wave very hard.. 'with a bang..'
Having experienced the underside of a Catalac's bridgedeck split hull to hull by a similar event I suspect there was something in that wave that contributed to the lethal failure of the keel shortly afterwards.. but.. we will never really know.. all that we.. and the court has is speculation.
In the end.. life is but a flip of a coin.. and you live or die by the result.

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Old 19-10-2016, 00:07   #33
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

one of the posts in the other thread had a link to..... something...

the boat was overdue for a haulout/inspection/classification as seaworthy..... company directed skipper to return the boat as was to the UK under an (to me) obscure rule allowing "re-positioning for racing"or some sutch - they stretched that rule to allow themselves to direct the crew on a trans atlantic training voyage. iirc the boats classification required it to be no farther than 60nm from safe harbour.

the company directed the skipper to take the route through the storm, skipper wanted to go on a more southerly and safer route... at some point in the storm - iirc with the boat leaking - skipper requested safer route, was told no by the company....

boat had been grounded/damaged several times, it would appear that the repairs were not up to snuff.....

seems reasonable that the director of the company face the music.....
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Old 19-10-2016, 00:40   #34
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

My comments were directed to the speculation raised in the news reports and comments doing the rounds.

One thing that a court does in assessing the situation, is to plot a timeline and bring in the actualities, who did what, when, who said what, when, and put the physical development of the problem as it fits into the picture.

It is not until these factors are laid out can we assess the reality, for example, if the 22 year old skipper was indeed incapable of being a skipper, (and in saying that, it has nothing to do with criminality which is what this case is about). or if indeed reported conversations between home base and the vessel were as stated.

I have, as we all have, suspicions and leanings towards a viewpoint, yet this is based only on what information I read in the news.

As a 29 year old medic in my first verbal deposition in a courtroom, the Judge took 5 minutes to explain to me that he did not want to hear ANYTHING of my opinion, just the facts of what occurred. I was there to present the wheres, the whys and the hows. I vividly remember being asked specific questions, the times, how drugs were adminstered, the physical impact on the patient after administration, the timeline and sequence of events as they happened, the names of the staff involved, who instructed who and the response time between instruction and execution of the instruction.

I concur with Boaties point that the condition of the vessel given to a delivery skipper is sometimes not of the best. It is indeed difficult for a DS to know the boat is 'safe', yet he or she has to make that assessment before assuming command.

For a criminal charge to be filed, there must be evidence enough of transgression of law and culpability in law for the owners of the company. Lives were lost. A very serious situation that the prosecution feel that they can prove in law against the company.

There is nothing that can be done for the crew. The best we can expect is that the facts/truth emerges, lessons learned and those that are living if found guilty of criminal actions, will be removed judiciously from involvement in boating and perhaps be detained at her majesty's pleasure for a time to reflect on their actions.

Everyone that was involved, played a part in this tragedy. It is the criminal aspect that is up for investigation, and that is a little different from the eventuality only in as much as it will determine whether or not the outcome was due to preventable or illegal actions on the part of the company.

I have long passed accepting anything as a foregone conclusion without examining the evidence in minute detail. Facts are a wonderful thing.

CF followed this event from the report of the boat capsize and reported every detail on the forum. Many gave support in various ways to the families.

Now the courts will determine the events and lay it finally to rest for everyone.

And in doing that, it will not change the outcome for these men, but perhaps will serve as a lesson for the rest of us.
- Never test how deep the water is with both feet -
10% of conflicts are due to different opinions. 90% by the tone of voice.
Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
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Old 19-10-2016, 04:32   #35
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Re: Charges in Cheeki Rafiki Loss

So far i guess the bullets come from ... Cheeki under comercial rules dont have permision to set in a Atlantic croosing and no survey previously ...and i read in a previous site that any boat any size is going to be under mandatory keel inspections every 5 years, to bad for those keel on bolts to glued matrix....and to good for the delivery crews...
Obviously someone take a step fwd and keels are are concern for the safety of crews...

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