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Old 09-01-2013, 13:25   #196
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Re: Sign the petition to prosecute the Lake County Sheriff that killed the sailor

Sabray, exactly what could the helmsman of the sailboat have done had he been sober? They were drifting in very low winds, boat speed near zero. I don't think that Dennis Conner at his best could avoid the motor boat doing 40+ knots, approaching in the dark.

I don't want to argue about the relative sobriety of the folks involved, but it is pretty obvious that the sailboat was victim, not perp in this case.

Finally, if you are right and the cop is innocent, then he has nothing to fear from going to trial, right??? Dinious went to trial and was exonerated...

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Old 09-01-2013, 19:13   #197
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Never going to sign. Because the cockpit was full of blood and bottles. Those bottles did not get there from the other boat. Sobriety tests showed that the owner was drunk, piss poor police work yes. Defendant has past history and then more.
I know this is unpopular but man you own the boat. It's your responsibility to get back in. That means your not trashed out drifting. It means you know your lights are on. Your not hanging with a trashed drunk bunch. You are owner and aware. I am so not convinced that anyone aboard was sober and pretty sure the owner was not either sober or alert..
After reading this post I read as many online articles as I could (again) about this and I can't understand how any unbiased person, meaning not the cop's buddies, could come to the conclusion that Purdock is not completely liable. Even if the lights were off, which is very debatable, 40, or more like 60 MPH is insanely fast on a moonless night.

The fact that they charged the poor guy who just happened to be holding the tiller is appalling.

Sebray, what if they had anchored in the same spot? I'm sure the Good sheriff would have seen the masthead light from miles away and steered clear.

To top it off, this guy is taking a paycheck from the tax payers again...
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Old 09-01-2013, 19:21   #198
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Re: Sign the petition to prosecute the Lake County Sheriff that killed the sailor

Jim Cate, will you kindly use some other personality to make your point? Dennis Conner "at his best" put us in the mess we're in now.
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Old 09-01-2013, 20:05   #199
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Re: Sign the petition to prosecute the Lake County Sheriff that killed the sailor

Won't sign? Shame on you.
If you have trouble on the background try reading the whole thing , including SA & the news items.
Its a travesty , pure and simple.
What if it wasn't a sailboat, some kids in an inflatable or a swimmer. The cop was negligent in not keeping adequate watch & driving too fast for the conditions.

I had a friend (actually a nice guy with young kids) who, in his high powered cruiser
did similarly one dark night. Hit a (unlighted) rock, went thru the windscreen & was killed instantly. Possibly off his trolley. So it was the rocks fault? Or the harbour board for not marking it from his direction?
Spare me.
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Old 09-01-2013, 20:33   #200
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Re: Sign the petition to prosecute the Lake County Sheriff that killed the sailor

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Originally Posted by Richard5 View Post
Jim Cate, will you kindly use some other personality to make your point? Dennis Conner "at his best" put us in the mess we're in now.
Huh? Which mess are you referring to?

But OK, substitute Buddy Melges if it makes you feel better... just about everybody likes him!

Cheers,

Jim

PS Conners isn't one of my favorite people, but he is a very good sailor indeed.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:19   #201
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So its not so clear to the troll guy thats getting beat up for having a dufferent opinion. from boat us site It’s worth noting that the switch for the running light breaker switch on the boat was in the “OFF” position, although this could have happened when the boat was struck and the electrical wire supplying voltage to the light was severed. The cabin light switch was “ON.” The sailboat was left unsecured for at least nine hours after the accident and the observation was recorded two days after the collision. This was not addressed in the lake County Sheriff’s Department report.
Sabray - Ours is a very minor opinion and I am sorta with you on this. There is a lot of passion around the Lake County politics and Perdock has become a lightning rod.

There are many tragedies in this case and I fully believe the liability/responsibility should be shared between Perdock and the boat owner.

- It was a tragedy the girl died
- It was a tragedy the collision ocurred
- Clearly fault for the collision resides primarily with the overtaking vessel - the powerboat
- Clearly the powerboat was driving too fast for conditions
- Clearly the owner of the sailboat (skipper) was drunk and not at the helm
- The helmsman was inexperienced, probably innebriated and should not have been at the helm but for a fluke circumstance - IIRC the skipper was getting more alcohol. It was a tragedy that he was prosecuted (and exonerated)
- Partial fault for the collision can lie with the skipper due to questions about the lighting on the sailboat - clearly he could have had a better watch and lighted the boat "better" - flashlight on sails etc. - prudent action due to a crowded lake, darkening skies etc. I light my sails all the time - but I am usually sober.

What is frustrating is everyone wants to exonerate the completely drunk skipper. I have no problem prosecuting Perdock (he's an ass IMO) but giving the skipper a free pass is a tragedy.

Regarding the question - "What would be different if the skipper was sober, the helm was sober and Perdock were sober?" - We will never know the answer to that. But there is enough evidence built up over years that says operating vehicles and vessels under the inlfuence affects performance and decision making. Had one or all of the participants been sober none of this may have happened.

We will never know. But if you do operate vehicles and vessels under the influence you are at least partly at fault.

Minor sidebar - I had a field sobriety test in Singapore. I passed but in discussion with the police officer he stated that I should taxi home even though I was legal because in Singapore if one driver has any amount of alcohol and the other does not the person who had even one drink is liable for any accident, even if he is rear ended - That is a pretty zero tolerance situation.

Where there is no "licensing" for recreational vehicles command and control becomes unclear. I would not lake sail in most places in the USA because any idiot with a credit rating can put a high speed vessel on the water, drink like a fish and cause all kinds of mayhem. Lakes are also crowded and it is hard to stay away fromm the idiots.

Had the state required licensing then Dinius would be responsible for the sailboats actions. As it stands the owner gets a complete pass on this.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:25   #202
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Re: Sign the petition to prosecute the Lake County Sheriff that killed the sailor

The alleged drinking of the owner and the helmsman neither caused nor contributed to the accident. Drunk or sober, there is nothing they could have done to avoid being hit by an out-of-control speeding power boat piloted by a man with wanton disregard for human life.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:39   #203
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Re: Sign the petition to prosecute the Lake County Sheriff that killed the sailor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Sabray - Ours is a very minor opinion and I am sorta with you on this. There is a lot of passion around the Lake County politics and Perdock has become a lightning rod.

There are many tragedies in this case and I fully believe the liability/responsibility should be shared between Perdock and the boat owner.

- It was a tragedy the girl died
- It was a tragedy the collision ocurred
- Clearly fault for the collision resides primarily with the overtaking vessel - the powerboat
- Clearly the powerboat was driving too fast for conditions
- Clearly the owner of the sailboat (skipper) was drunk and not at the helm
- The helmsman was inexperienced, probably innebriated and should not have been at the helm but for a fluke circumstance - IIRC the skipper was getting more alcohol. It was a tragedy that he was prosecuted (and exonerated)
- Partial fault for the collision can lie with the skipper due to questions about the lighting on the sailboat - clearly he could have had a better watch and lighted the boat "better" - flashlight on sails etc. - prudent action due to a crowded lake, darkening skies etc. I light my sails all the time - but I am usually sober.

What is frustrating is everyone wants to exonerate the completely drunk skipper. I have no problem prosecuting Perdock (he's an ass IMO) but giving the skipper a free pass is a tragedy.

Regarding the question - "What would be different if the skipper was sober, the helm was sober and Perdock were sober?" - We will never know the answer to that. But there is enough evidence built up over years that says operating vehicles and vessels under the inlfuence affects performance and decision making. Had one or all of the participants been sober none of this may have happened.

We will never know. But if you do operate vehicles and vessels under the influence you are at least partly at fault.

Minor sidebar - I had a field sobriety test in Singapore. I passed but in discussion with the police officer he stated that I should taxi home even though I was legal because in Singapore if one driver has any amount of alcohol and the other does not the person who had even one drink is liable for any accident, even if he is rear ended - That is a pretty zero tolerance situation.

Where there is no "licensing" for recreational vehicles command and control becomes unclear. I would not lake sail in most places in the USA because any idiot with a credit rating can put a high speed vessel on the water, drink like a fish and cause all kinds of mayhem. Lakes are also crowded and it is hard to stay away fromm the idiots.

Had the state required licensing then Dinius would be responsible for the sailboats actions. As it stands the owner gets a complete pass on this.
I disagree with your conclusion, but I think your analysis is reasonable and mostly correct.

Here's the only thing I think you got wrong: the helmsman of the sailboat, even if had he been drunk as a skunk (which he was not), could only have any fault in the accident at all if he had forgotten to switch on nav lights. If the nav lights were off, then he was partially responsible. But it seems like they were on, based on analysis of the filaments. That is the crucial fact.

You cannot require him to light his sails. He had no obligation to do that. It was the obligation of the overtaking vessel not to plow into him, and it was the responsibility of the overtaking skipper to see the drifting sailboat if only it was showing standard nav lights.

Even if the sailboat had been sailing without nav lights, Perdock was still guilty and still 80% or 90% responsible, probably, for the accident because according to the undisputed facts, he was navigating at a totally unsafe speed for the conditions. If standard nav lights were being shown on the sailboat, as seems likely in view of the known facts, then his guilt and responsibility is 100%. If he was intoxicated at the time, which seems likely considering the known facts, then he was triply guilty.

And yes, it really was a travesty that Perdock was not breathalyzed and was not investigated, that the evidence was mishandled or, probably, supressed, and that instead the investigation focussed only on the sailor, who was at most 10% responsible for what happened. "Travesty" is exactly the right word, used with no exaggeration here. On the known facts, it really was a blatant and outrageous case, and in my opinion, people's outrage is absolutely understandable, reasonable, and justified. I signed the petition.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:42   #204
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Re: Sign the petition to prosecute the Lake County Sheriff that killed the sailor

what is the number ONE rule of boating?? AVOID a collision!!!!
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:06   #205
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I disagree with your conclusion, but I think your analysis is reasonable and mostly correct.

Here's the only thing I think you got wrong: the helmsman of the sailboat, even if had he been drunk as a skunk (which he was not), could only have any fault in the accident at all if he had forgotten to switch on nav lights. If the nav lights were off, then he was partially responsible. But it seems like they were on, based on analysis of the filaments. That is the crucial fact.

You cannot require him to light his sails. He had no obligation to do that. It was the obligation of the overtaking vessel not to plow into him, and it was the responsibility of the overtaking skipper to see the drifting sailboat if only it was showing standard nav lights.

Even if the sailboat had been sailing without nav lights, Perdock was still guilty and still 80% or 90% responsible, probably, for the accident because according to the undisputed facts, he was navigating at a totally unsafe speed for the conditions. If standard nav lights were being shown on the sailboat, as seems likely in view of the known facts, then his guilt and responsibility is 100%. If he was intoxicated at the time, which seems likely considering the known facts, then he was triply guilty.

And yes, it really was a travesty that Perdock was not breathalyzed and was not investigated, that the evidence was mishandled or, probably, supressed, and that instead the investigation focussed only on the sailor, who was at most 10% responsible for what happened. "Travesty" is exactly the right word, used with no exaggeration here. On the known facts, it really was a blatant and outrageous case, and in my opinion, people's outrage is absolutely understandable, reasonable, and justified. I signed the petition.
Regarding the lights on teh sailboat, that is another piece of evidence that was mishandled. We can never know conclusively what position the light switch was in, even though the filament evidence "appears" to indicate the lights were on.

80-90% Perdock's resonsibility - at least.

My gripe has always been the skipper being wasted and getting a complete pass even as his friend was prosecuted.

My boat, my responsibility.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:21   #206
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Re: Sign the petition to prosecute the Lake County Sheriff that killed the sailor

You are entitled to your own opinion, Sabray, but keep in mind that the owner was prosecuted for his involvement and there was evidence (including, as I recall, forensic evidence) that the running lights were in fact on. Whether or not the owner of the sailboat was drunk, it does not take away from the reckless operation of a vessel (and likely insobriety) of the off-duty police officer. While you do not seem to think so, it is entirely possible (indeed, it is common) for both operators in a fatal collision to have been acting negligently. In those circumstances, why shouldn't both be prosecuted?

Brad
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:23   #207
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Re: Sign the petition to prosecute the Lake County Sheriff that killed the sailor

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Regarding the lights on teh sailboat, that is another piece of evidence that was mishandled. We can never know conclusively what position the light switch was in, even though the filament evidence "appears" to indicate the lights were on.

80-90% Perdock's resonsibility - at least.

My gripe has always been the skipper being wasted and getting a complete pass even as his friend was prosecuted.

My boat, my responsibility.
Well, I would never be wasted while underway on my boat no matter how good the helmsman is. I might be asleep, however. You are not obligated to be on watch 24/7, just because you own the boat.

So I don't see that the owner's being wasted really had anything to do with anything. Even if the helmsman was wasted -- if being totally sober would not have changed anything -- they were drifting anyway with no possibility to avoid the speeding "Agressor" or whatever it was called -- then it's not relevant to the guilt of Perdock.

It would be good to know for sure whether the nav lights were lit or not. That IS relevant, to the question of everyone's guilt.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:14   #208
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Well, I would never be wasted while underway on my boat no matter how good the helmsman is. I might be asleep, however. You are not obligated to be on watch 24/7, just because you own the boat.

So I don't see that the owner's being wasted really had anything to do with anything. Even if the helmsman was wasted -- if being totally sober would not have changed anything -- they were drifting anyway with no possibility to avoid the speeding "Agressor" or whatever it was called -- then it's not relevant to the guilt of Perdock.

It would be good to know for sure whether the nav lights were lit or not. That IS relevant, to the question of everyone's guilt.
This goes to the qualification of the helmsman.

I don't argue that neither a sober or experienced helm or a sober and experienced skipper at the helm could have avoided the collision. They were clearly struck from the rear at high speed.

The only two points I go back to are

1 - Is it acceptable to be responsible for the safety of the boat and be drunk? If not, who was responisble for the safety of the sailboat? The helm or the skipper? My argument is the person responsible for the safety of the sailboat is at least partly at fault only because they were drunk, not that there action was causative to the collision. The reason for this is because the responsible person was inexperienced and drunk (Dinius) or drunk (Skipper) - Further we can never determine the outcome (could the collision have been avoided by a sober crew) and that is why we don't let the responsible party be drunk while operating the vehicle.

2 - We will never determine the position of the nav light switch.

Your point is that being wasted had nothing to do with anything. I say that being wasted is a) illegal and b) a factor that we cannot determine if it is either causative, or related to the ability of the sailboat crew to do their duty to keep a proper watch and avoid collisions if possible.

Again - Purdock is +95% responsible. I believe someone on the sailboat is also responsible and I fully believe it is the skipper. He was awake (it wasn't an "off watch" situation), he left the helm with an inexperienced person (to get more booze), he was drunk, it was night, he may not have had the lights on and he didn't exercise every caution available, probably because he was impaired.

One final point on the Nav lighhts. If they were off, one would argue the high speed of the powerboat was still reckless. If they were on one could argue they were lost in the background light clutter.

If they were off one could argue that this was causative regardless of anyone's sobriety. Perdock should not have been expected to see the sailboat and while his speed may be viewed as excessive in hindsight, he wasn't breakinng any speed limits. If the lights were on and Perdock was sober, one could argue the background clutter made the sailboat impossible to see and therefore this is just a tragic accident.

I am not defending Purdock here. I am just illustrating how the argumments can go either way especially if "we" start trying to separate the sobriety factors out. Especially if we are only trying to extract the sailboat occupant's sobriety - One must argue the facts as known - everyone was legally drunk (and that is allowing Purdock was drunk regardless of how his test results were flawed)

My bottom line argumment is very simple - If you are the responsible skipper, and you are drunk, and something goes horribly wrong, I believe you should be held at least partially liable.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:19   #209
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Re: Sign the petition to prosecute the Lake County Sheriff that killed the sailor

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My argument is the person responsible for the safety of the sailboat is at least partly at fault only because they were drunk, not that there action was causative to the collision. The reason for this is because the responsible person was inexperienced and drunk (Dinius) or drunk (Skipper) - Further we can never determine the outcome (could the collision have been avoided by a sober crew) and that is why we don't let the responsible party be drunk while operating the vehicle.
There is no basis in law for that line of reasoning. If drinking (on the sailboat) didn't contribute to the accident (which it clearly didn't) then it isn't relevant to the question of fault.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:13   #210
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Re: Sign the petition to prosecute the Lake County Sheriff that killed the sailor

Contributory negligence requires some actual negligence, not just the capacity to be negligent.

A drunk may contribute to an accident if, say, found that slower reflexes contributed to the accident or damage.
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