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Old 13-06-2014, 10:12   #751
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Thus rendering at least part of the debate moot.
Don't agree, it would seem you are saying nothing can be learned from the past.
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Old 13-06-2014, 10:48   #752
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Every activity we undertake every day carries with it risks. As Ex-Calif pointed out, sitting home carries risks as well. If they weren't on a boat, RH's children would have been subject to the risk of automobile accident (injures 150k children a year in US, kills ~650), or any of the many other risks (homicide is in the top 4 for children 1-14). Even taking into account access to medical care, septicemia still is in the top 10 causes of death for children. Abandoning one's cruising plans and the associated benefits to children does not guarantee a child's safety.

I'm not sure if enough data exists to demonstrate whether it is safer raising kids in an modern urban environment or out cruising, but safety is only one of many factors parents need to consider (should Johnny play sports? ride a bicycle? )

As parents, we have the right and the obligation to make the decisions about what risk/reward is tolerable for ourselves and our children. There are some common risks that we, as a society, decide are not warranted. For example, all states have laws requiring child restraints in motor vehicles -- the evidence supports that this simple thing can reduce the risk of death by 50-74%. We balance the right of the parent to take their child anywhere they want, as often as they want -- exposing them to very real risk of automobile accident -- with the rights of children not to be injured because their parents reject that child restraints save lives. At sea we do this by requiring that, at least on coastal and inland waters, children wear PFDs. It doesn't save them from injury or infection, but it reduces their risk of drowning.

Most of us don't want to live in a nanny-state where someone else tells us what we can and cannot do personally, or with our children. This freedom does have bounds, though. I hope the freedom to cruise with our children is never infringed.
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Old 13-06-2014, 11:27   #753
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
First, I am not questioning the call to abandon the boat nor faulting them for doing so - they made the correct call IMO (I think this disclaimer always needs to be made on this thread for some reason).

However, it keeps being said directly by Eric and by others here that if it wasn't for the sick kid, they would have been fine. Eric even said that if he didn't make the call to stay with his family, he could have sailed the boat to the original destination or another like Hawaii.

I have a difficult time understanding this from my armchair.

Yes, a 70gpd leak is manageable, but we now know that the deck had a questionable and poor original construction and now had considerable rot in it. They did not know where or why the leak was occurring, and have speculated that it came from an area of existing rot. So, while it was 70gpd when they got off, it easily could have turned into 70gph if they had stayed on.

BTW, I don't consider 70gpd a minor leak. Particularly when one does not understand its cause or origin.

We also know that the water in the boat had taken out their radio capability, along with the power supply (batteries). We know that they did not have much water, their watermaker was very small, they lost their solar panels, and they did not have enough fuel to run their engine for long enough to provide enough power for water, communication or navigation for more than a few days. If they could get, and keep, the engine running. Even if their satphone had not been disconnected by the company, it did not seem like they would have had the ability to keep it charged for long.

So I agree that it is POSSIBLE that they could have arrived to their destination with favorable weather conditions, through severe water rationing or fortunate rain showers, no power usage (no nav lights, etc), marginal electronic navigation capability (I think he did have a sextant), no communication safety net, and a ton of good luck in not having the deck open up completely.

Possible, but brutal - particularly since this would have been their situation even if the kid was not sick.

Of course, I have been piecing this together from random info provided, so I may not have all the data or the proper perspective on it and came to the wrong conclusion.

Mark
I think you've summed it up pretty well cole. In light of all the damage/failures RH listed, it's possible that this boat could have made it another 3 weeks and several thousand miles. I just don't think it was at all possible for this particular family to make that happen. And to think/say different, in my opinion based on RH's account thus far, shows a serious disconnect and/or willingness to wildly gamble some very precious cargo (e.g. - rain squalls your primary source of drinking water for 3 weeks for a family of 4 with two very young children in an increasingly hot environment?).

As I've said before, I honestly think the illness was fortunate. It likely saved them.
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Old 13-06-2014, 12:37   #754
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
That's a nice jazzy sentence but is completely wrong. My math is not in error. The probability is infinitesimally small of getting that disease on a 28 day passage - that is and was my only point for the statistic.

It is completely in context of the doctor's post stating that a 1 in 1500 frequency of this disease over 5 years was presented as a reason not to take kids cruising.

My conclusion was not general - It is very specific. The doctor's fact (1 in 1500) doesn't not back up his conclusion that taking kids cruising is overly risky.
Your math may not be in error, but your logic in this example is faulty.

You're taking on one doctor talking about one disease, and you're trying to derive a formula for assessing risk of taking kids across the Pacific. The doctor was providing only one example. You tried to make it into a general conclusion.

In that fashion, you've accounted for so little of the risk as to have misused the statistic. You knew that when you did it, as you even indicated "I'll probably get some push back..."

There are risks in taking kids cruising, and a responsible parent will accurately assess those for the specific situation.
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Old 13-06-2014, 12:45   #755
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I can assume one thing in this rather scattershot debate: If the skippers of Rebel Heart decide to go cruising again, barring a lottery win or their story getting turned into a movie, their children will be significantly older by the time they can rebuild their stack of boat chips.

Thus rendering at least part of the debate moot.
This is true.

I'd be curious if their opinions on kids ages has changed. I sort of doubt it, but even if it has, I doubt they'd be able to say it in public.
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Old 13-06-2014, 13:01   #756
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Certainly my most successful thread.

The editor of Southwinds was kind enough to publish my rebuttal to the near constant drum beating on the sailing sites.
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Old 13-06-2014, 17:43   #757
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Your math may not be in error, but your logic in this example is faulty.

You're taking on one doctor talking about one disease, and you're trying to derive a formula for assessing risk of taking kids across the Pacific. The doctor was providing only one example. You tried to make it into a general conclusion.

In that fashion, you've accounted for so little of the risk as to have misused the statistic. You knew that when you did it, as you even indicated "I'll probably get some push back..."

There are risks in taking kids cruising, and a responsible parent will accurately assess those for the specific situation.
See the point is that it is not my risk assessment. I just did the math for the doctor. I have not assessed the risk nor have I professed that I know the risk.

He made a specific conclusion based on one disease that taking kids cruising was overly risky. I just reported that his assessment was faulty.

The push back comment was not that I would be wrong, but that those of us conditioned to listen to alarmist media have already agreed with the talking heads that "Poor Innocent Mary is being abused by those evil selfish parents."

One can also use the "results" as a measure of the statistical probability. If we assume kids cruising results in unacceptable levels of death or rescue then the empirical evidence does not back that up. Kids aren't dying at sea and there are thousands of kids cruising.

Also pointed out by others is the fact that at sea your kid is not very likely to be run over by a car, bitten by a rabid dog, be exposed to classmates with infectious diseases and pretty zero likelihood of being kidnapped by a predator.

The model is fine - the assessed risks are incomplete.
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Old 13-06-2014, 17:59   #758
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
S

Also pointed out by others is the fact that at sea your kid is not very likely to be run over by a car, bitten by a rabid dog, be exposed to classmates with infectious diseases and pretty zero likelihood of being kidnapped by a predator.

The model is fine - the assessed risks are incomplete.
OK - In order to broaden the dialog I thought I would add a little "fact" to teh discussion.

From the CDC website here are frequencies of death. looking at kids up to 14.

Ten Leading Causes of Death and Injury - PDFs|Injury Center|CDC

I am presuming these are frequencies per year.

Not statistical but an observation - Unintentional injury (which I presume includes run over by cars and falling off bikes & homicide show up in the top 3 categories for all kids up to 14 over 1 year old.

Alarmingly Suicide shows up at age 10 in the top 3 and in the next age demographic suicide jumps to 4600!

Teen kids are not happy.

We can argue all day about relative exposure but I'd like to believe the rate of homicide, accidental injury and suicide is lower at sea... We definitely would need to know populations and manipulate the data in an agreed fashion to really assess the probabilities.
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Old 14-06-2014, 05:14   #759
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
Certainly my most successful thread.

The editor of Southwinds was kind enough to publish my rebuttal to the near constant drum beating on the sailing sites.
A link would have been better for those of us with small screens..
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Old 14-06-2014, 07:13   #760
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I have to agree with you here. As a matter of fact I would speculate that the rate off childhood illness for children under 5 is actually more like 1:1, as I have never personally known any child who has reached age 5 without being sick at some point. ................
Hmm.. I have been away from this thread too long .

FWIW, I know one child (my daughter) who never saw a doctor (or other medical practitioner) from 6 months of age to sixteen years simply because she was never sick enough to warrant a visit to the doctor. The six month visit was a general post natal check and at 16, I suggested she should get a check up - just because; result, perfectly healthy. This is in a metropolitan region of a first world country.

I suggest many children are over-serviced by the medical folk but I still take my hat off to those who regularly save lives with fast medical intervention.
YMMV.
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Old 14-06-2014, 07:58   #761
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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See the point is that it is not my risk assessment. I just did the math for the doctor. I have not assessed the risk nor have I professed that I know the risk.

He made a specific conclusion based on one disease that taking kids cruising was overly risky. I just reported that his assessment was faulty.

The push back comment was not that I would be wrong, but that those of us conditioned to listen to alarmist media have already agreed with the talking heads that "Poor Innocent Mary is being abused by those evil selfish parents."

One can also use the "results" as a measure of the statistical probability. If we assume kids cruising results in unacceptable levels of death or rescue then the empirical evidence does not back that up. Kids aren't dying at sea and there are thousands of kids cruising.

Also pointed out by others is the fact that at sea your kid is not very likely to be run over by a car, bitten by a rabid dog, be exposed to classmates with infectious diseases and pretty zero likelihood of being kidnapped by a predator.

The model is fine - the assessed risks are incomplete.
You threw in some incomplete statistics, and stated a conclusion as if it followed. Of course that's often overlooked on internet forums.

You are certainly entitled to an opinion, but throwing in some incomplete statistics as if you are making a logical conclusion that follows makes for an invalid argument.

It doesn't make your conclusion invalid, just your argument.
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Old 14-06-2014, 08:14   #762
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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We can argue all day about relative exposure but I'd like to believe the rate of homicide, accidental injury and suicide is lower at sea... We definitely would need to know populations and manipulate the data in an agreed fashion to really assess the probabilities.

You "liking to believe it" and knowing a few families on the ocean may seem like irrefutable fact to you, but is still simply anecdotal.

Most kids make it, a few don't. Part of that is related to parents doing their jobs, part genetics, and part to random chance, at least in the first world.

One thing I think you CAN find statistics on are survival rates in different countries, and you might be able to derive some conclusions based on hygiene and the type of care available, but you have to remember that even then you're subject to record-keeping practices.

You just can't prove your conclusions using statistics without the actual data, and I'd be surprised if anyone is keeping that.
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Old 14-06-2014, 08:24   #763
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
You threw in some incomplete statistics, and stated a conclusion as if it followed. Of course that's often overlooked on internet forums.

You are certainly entitled to an opinion, but throwing in some incomplete statistics as if you are making a logical conclusion that follows makes for an invalid argument.

It doesn't make your conclusion invalid, just your argument.
Not sure why people keep insisting that I made a conclusion - I refuted one.

And dismissing my statistics without posting any of your own is cowardly. It's easy to throw lighted torches at my barn. Try building your own barn.

But I've played internet forum a lot. After 2 or 3 posts it is no longer about who is correct, it is about who wins. So I concede, you win.

BTW - I appreciate your challenges because it made me go do some research. I am not arguing with you at this point I am posting stuff that hopefully is making people who are reading and not posting think about their paradigms.

People will find "facts" on the internet to support their argument and then use that to try to convince other people - I do it all the time. I think CDC is pretty credible. As I eyeball the things that kill kids I think living on a boat, close to me, away from the evil society might be safer for my 16 y/o boy. At least I know he has little chance of homicide or suicide.

There is some disease out there that requires medical intervention in 1 out of 3,000 kids in the first 5 years of life - The only point I have made is that this is not a reason to not take kids cruising. It is an infinitesimal risk on a 21 day passage.

I don't even know at this point what you believe other than, "Ex-Calif is wrong." What I do know is that whatever you believe there is zero chance of changing your mind.

I've said many times, In the history of the internet no one has ever changed their mind as a result of an internet forum debate. It's too public and for some reason people have too much vested in their position.
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Old 14-06-2014, 08:53   #764
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I don't even know at this point what you believe other than, "Ex-Calif is wrong." What I do know is that whatever you believe there is zero chance of changing your mind.
I was just pointing out that the statistics you provided didn't prove your conclusion.

As for taking young children sailing, I think it's a risk assessment that should be left to the parents. My objection was to your use of statistics -- I didn't think the conclusion followed.

I don't think risk in this matter can be derived from generic data out there, both because there isn't enough to go on, and the risk assessment has to be specific to THAT family, not the risks in general. So I think it's more about the parent's experience both with the type of cruising they're planning, their experience with children, and the constitution of the specific kids.
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Old 14-06-2014, 09:08   #765
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Re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
I was just pointing out that the statistics you provided didn't prove your conclusion.

As for taking young children sailing, I think it's a risk assessment that should be left to the parents. My objection was to your use of statistics -- I didn't think the conclusion followed.

I don't think risk in this matter can be derived from generic data out there, both because there isn't enough to go on, and the risk assessment has to be specific to THAT family, not the risks in general. So I think it's more about the parent's experience both with the type of cruising they're planning, their experience with children, and the constitution of the specific kids.
OK, already, give it a break, we hear you.
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