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Old 14-11-2011, 10:52   #61
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
No. The CG essentially said that it was their choice whether to get on the CG boat, but that ALL had to do.

They are not interested in having ONE person on an endangered boat rather than, say, four skilled sailor. This skipper decided that he had to keep his crew safe, and to do that, he had to leave his beloved vessel as well. So instead of opening the seacocks, he set up a system to go back and get it.

Can you imagine the heat the CG would get if they took four people off but left one in dangerous circumstances, and then that person died?
The Coast Guard officer that I corresponded with doesn't agree with your statement, Raku. See my post, above. She made a very clear statement, contrary to what you're asserting:
Quote:
There is no ‘all or none’ policy. If the crew on a vessel feels that they are in danger, the Coast Guard will assist those crew members in distress.
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Old 14-11-2011, 11:09   #62
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

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He had to do that because the CG took followed their rule of rescuing everyone or no one. Put people off your boat in a life raft while you stay aboard? I don't think the CG would go for that. And if you don't stay with them, and they die, you might be charged with murder.

I know I can't keep someone from JUMPING off my boat to save themselves. I had someone consider that when I took my boat away from the shore when we were in trouble. I was able to reason with her but you can bet she will never be on my boat again.

But if she'd jumped, I would have had to follow her into shore. Human life is more valuable than a sailboat.
If you put them off the boat, you might be right, but if they took the raft and got off of their own accord I would think they would have a hard time holding you responsible.

I also disagree with your assertion that you would have had to stay with a person who jumped off of your boat. You may have felt morally obligated to do so, but the law only requires that you render what assistance you can without putting your boat or yourself in unreasonable peril. Putting a sailboat close to a lee shore is certainly unreasonable peril. There is no reason to believe that loosing your boat or your life would in fact save theirs. The same goes for the idiots in the raft. I would assume that if they were willing to abandon ship that the situation would at least on the surface appear to be a survival situation. Attempting to stay with the raft could easily change the situation from a survivable one to loosing your life, especially since they stole the life raft. Again while you might feel a moral obligation, I don't think you would have any legal obligation.

In an earlier post I stated that this question had been settled in admiralty law. In the US at least Admiralty law on mutiny applies only to seamen. Whether you are a seamen or not depends on a number of factors, including whether you are being paid, your duties on the vessel and the amount of time you are spending on the vessel. It is not likely that a non-paid crew member out for a day sail would ever qualify as a seaman, but someone on a transatlantic crossing is probably a different story. It would be up to an admiralty court to decide if the person was in fact a seaman. It actually might be better for the person if they are in fact a seaman as they have more rights than a guest or passenger. A seaman that usurps the power of the ships master is only liable for up to 10 years in prison in the US. A guest or passenger on the otherhand would appear to be comitting an act of piracy which carries a mandatory life sentence and possibly a death sentence.
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Old 14-11-2011, 11:11   #63
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

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Bizarre, indeed, because it's not true. This subject came up a couple of years ago here, so I emailed the Coast Guard with the question.

The USCG on-scene commander has the authority to order all to evacuate IF it's a life-threatening situation AND if immediate assistance required. "All or none" is not USCG policy.

.2.1 Authority
The Coast Guard is authorized to perform any and all acts to rescue and aid persons and protect and save property at any time and any place where its facilities and personnel are available and can be effectively used. This includes the authority to force or compel mariners to abandon their vessels when a life-threatening emergency exists, and there is an immediate need for assistance or aid.


Here's the response I got from USCG Headquarters...
If they have the authority to Force evacuation, then the decision is THEIRS, not the Captain of the ship in distress. In practice; several people on this board who have been evacuated including the Captain of the Satori stated that "once the Coast Guard arrived on scene, choosing not to evacuate was no longer an option".

Although I suppose if you lashed yourself to the helm, and steered away from the rescue ship there would be little they could do to "force" you, but there would likely be severe repercussions for disobeying the order once you returned to shore.
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Old 14-11-2011, 12:36   #64
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

That wasn't my point, Bill. It's been erroneously stated in this thread and in other past threads that the Coast Guard has a Policy of "All or None". I was simply sharing the response from the USCG itself that it is not their policy.

They have the authority, but their policy is to exercise it only when the situation is life-threatening and requires immediate response. The on-scene commander is responsible for making that judgement.
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Old 14-11-2011, 13:52   #65
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

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Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
Although I suppose if you lashed yourself to the helm, and steered away from the rescue ship there would be little they could do to "force" you, but there would likely be severe repercussions for disobeying the order once you returned to shore.
If one returned to shore afloat, wouldn't that prove the point of the Skipper aboard.
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Old 14-11-2011, 14:03   #66
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

I suspect the USCG ( which is of course a branch of the US military) has no such rights over international vessels. At least with the RNLI they have no say.

Id say it again, if the crew want off, then off they will get and no amount of cajoling or ordering will stop it. Panic stricken people do crazy things, Ive seen it.

Ill generalise here , and say that in general many women find bad weather very difficult to handle. ( and the corresponding macho attitudes that often go with it). Equally many men should never actually go to sea as they cant really handle the fear. The sea does funny things to people. Its one of the few places where you can easily put yourself in deaths way without any obvious rescue, this often unhinges people.

My experience is that once you have a crew member panic stricken, all attempts at control fail. I was forced to virtually knock someone out, ( long story).

Again with crew you dont really know ( and this is a fact of life for deliveries), you never really know whats going to happen.

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Old 14-11-2011, 14:24   #67
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

boaty--pan pan medico is good. i like that. covers cardiac events, psych, physical injury, all medical problems and is a good call.

physically restraining someone sans md order is consiidered assault. removing someone while restrained is kidnapping.

to figure out how a crew will behave---i like the "we are GOING to sail 100 miles off shore. that means you will not be able to SEE land. "
if they run away--good riddance. if they stay, hurry and make up new questions....you may need them. is no joke to have potential psychotic reactions on board when you are alone and in need of a crew. they CAN cause a death. not to mention the destruction of your boat/home.
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Old 14-11-2011, 15:51   #68
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

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boaty--pan pan medico is good. i like that. covers cardiac events, psych, physical injury, all medical problems and is a good call.
As an aside, Pan Pan medico is deprecated, its no longer an official set of prowords. You merely issue a Pan pan and ask for medical assistance.

Quote:
to figure out how a crew will behave---i like the "we are GOING to sail 100 miles off shore. that means you will not be able to SEE land. "
Ive never met any crew yet that flinch when you simply say it, they flinch WHEN they are 100 miloes offshore and cant see land unfortunately its too late then.

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Old 14-11-2011, 16:13   #69
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

"Ive never met any crew yet that flinch when you simply say it, they flinch WHEN they are 100 miloes offshore and cant see land unfortunately its too late then."


i got lucky in ensenada before my leg to mazatlan-- the 2 of em lit out like they had tails afire.....i still caannot picture them actually surviving a passage offshore.....some folk who do find selves out of sight of land have terrible reactions and are not to be in a small space with. is best if they cop to it as they can cause the deaths of others as well as loss of boat in their inability to handle the trip.
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Old 14-11-2011, 16:17   #70
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pirate Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
As an aside, Pan Pan medico is deprecated, its no longer an official set of prowords. You merely issue a Pan pan and ask for medical assistance.

Good to know...

Ive never met any crew yet that flinch when you simply say it, they flinch WHEN they are 100 miloes offshore and cant see land unfortunately its too late then.

Thats when the "Are we nearly there yet...??" starts....

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Old 14-11-2011, 16:56   #71
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

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I suspect the USCG ( which is of course a branch of the US military) has no such rights over international vessels. At least with the RNLI they have no say.
I think over the course of many other threads we have determned that: 1- the USCG always has authority over US flaged boats anywhere, 2- has authority over any boat in US waters.

But isnt this really a useless agruement? What are they going to do, sink you (guess it could be possible).

On another note: I would put money on that most on scene rescue crews could care less whether you decide to kill yourself! If you want to go down with the boat and not risk taking then with you, well.............
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Old 14-11-2011, 17:51   #72
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

[QUOTE=Don Lucas;818227]I think over the course of many other threads we have determned that: 1- the USCG always has authority over US flaged boats anywhere, 2- has authority over any boat in US waters.

But isnt this really a useless agruement? What are they going to do, sink you (guess it could be possible).

My recollection of the Perfect Storm "Satori" rescue was if the captain failed to abandon the vessel as ordered he would have lost his license.
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Old 14-11-2011, 17:56   #73
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

Gee I can just heard that "discussion " going on the VHF at the time. In the middle of at the stuff going down the helo guy says lose your boat or lose your license. Sounds like some TV cop show where in the end the bad guy just confesses.
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Old 14-11-2011, 18:10   #74
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

artistiic license is rampant in movies
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Old 14-11-2011, 18:28   #75
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Re: Crew Wants to Abandon Ship, but Skipper Doesn't . . .

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physically restraining someone sans md order is consiidered assault. removing someone while restrained is kidnapping.


This may be true on land, but it does not apply to a master of a vessel. It is perfectly legal, in fact required, that a captain take all steps necessary to ensure the safety of his passengers and crew. This includes restraint of an out of control person. While most people on recreational vessels don't know their responsibilities or duties as captain, they are in fact the same regardless of whether it is a commercial or recreational vessel. A captain cannot allow a panicked person to gain control of their vessel. Would you expect an airplane pilot to relinquish control of his airplane to a panicked passenger if the plane was caught in a thunderstorm? What about allowing him to open a door to get out? I am a private pilot and I assure you I would be perfectly within my rights to restrain a panicked passenger to prevent them from endangering the flight. In fact I could take any step up to and including killing the person if I had no other way to prevent them from crashing the airplane. I would have to explain my justification and it would really help to have a witness or two, but I would not be charged with murder or even assault. If the passenger had access to a parachute (the aerial equivalent of a life raft) I would not be obligated to allow him to open the door and jump out just because he demanded it in his blind panic. I would in fact be in more trouble for allowing him to do that than I ever would for restraining him. In commercial planes you hear about an issue like this every couple of months, where a deranged passenger tries to open a door in flight because they have panicked. The crew restrains the person by tying them in a seat with spare seat belts and even sedating the person if they have a doctor on board. The crew and captain are never prosecuted for this. In fact, they are commended and the deranged person is charged with interfering with a flight crew in the performance of their duties in the very least and air piracy in the worst cases. There was a case in South America a couple of years ago where a deranged man tried to break into the cockpit. The copilot beat him unconscious with a fire axe. Believe me the copilot was not charged with any crime. Even if the man would have died from his injuries the copilot would not have been charged. The same thing would happen if a captain used deadly force to prevent a panicked crew member or passenger from running a sailboat through breaking surf on a lee shore just because the person saw lights on shore and desperately wanted to get to land. The captain would have to justify his use of deadly force to an admiralty court and would have to have a very good reason why something less than deadly force (like restraint) was not enough to render the situation safe.

While it is probably more difficult on a boat to prevent someone from deploying and getting in a life raft in the middle of a storm than it is to prevent someone from jumping out of an airplane with a parachute in a storm, the person has no more legal right to get in that life raft without the captain's permission than the airplane passenger has to get out of the airplane in midflight. The captain of both the plane and the boat would be best advised to proceed to the nearest practical airport/port and have the person removed from the vessel. Of course if a wing has fallen off the airplane or the water is rising a foot every 30 seconds in the boat then all bets are off.

A seaman crew member might have different responsibilities than a passenger/guest. Using the airplane example again, if the pilot insisted on proceeding to an airport beyond his fuel range it would be the duty of the copilot and crew to relieve him of his command and take control of the aircraft. It would never be justifiable for a passenger to take control from the crew. This is the definition of air piracy. The same applies to vessels. This more than simply a person expressing their opinion that something different should be done. Some actual attempt to force the issue would have to actually take place.
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