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Old 04-08-2018, 10:49   #16
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Re: Does radar increase liability?

The same question can be raised about any piece of equipment. If it was available why was it not used? There may be perfectly valid reasons, but in the event of an accident, especially one where there was injury or death, any skipper would be expected to justify his decisions.

On the other hand, a skipper can also be criticised for not fitting equipment where it would be reasonably suggested that it would have been prudent to do so. Such equipment need not be a legal requirement, indeed some countries have no legal minimum standards.

Unfortunately, such arguments are used retrospectively. In many serious situations having a particular piece of equipment could have made a significant difference, but no boat can carry every bit of safety gear.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:49   #17
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Re: Does radar increase liability?

There was always a surface radar in operation and at least one surface tracking position that was manned 24 hours a day underway on vessels I was attached to.
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Old 04-08-2018, 13:03   #18
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Re: Does radar increase liability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The same question can be raised about any piece of equipment. If it was available why was it not used? There may be perfectly valid reasons, but in the event of an accident, especially one where there was injury or death, any skipper would be expected to justify his decisions.
And the people asking for his justifications will be looking at Rule 5 which says that he should have been using all equipment that is both available and appropriate. So his justification had better be that either, at the time circumstances on board meant that the equipment was unavailable, or that its use was inappropriate for the conditions.

We can all argue about what is meant by 'available' and 'appropriate' and 'proper' use ... But in conditions of poor visibility (appropriate) if there were no circumstances preventing you from using your radar properly (available), would you forgive yourself if you ran into another boat because you were not using it? Would you forgive someone else if they ran into your boat?
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Old 04-08-2018, 13:33   #19
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Re: Does radar increase liability?

This isn't as complicated as some internet lawyers might think.

If you hit something, you can be held liable in whole or in part. It is fundamentally an issue of culpability and, in some cases, negligence. Either requires consideration of the range of circumstances. Radar becomes a consideration only to the extent that not using it contributed to the accident which may have otherwise been avoided. Simply having but not using it doesnt meet a standard of placing liability in the absence of all other contributing causes.

So, if you have it, use it. In other words, common sense.
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Old 04-08-2018, 16:06   #20
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Re: Does radar increase liability?

Sorry absolutely wrong question!
Right question: Does Radar increase safety? ... YES
Who cares about liability when he was sunk by a freighter and DEAD?
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Old 04-08-2018, 16:49   #21
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Re: Does radar increase liability?

Interesting responses, this question turned into one of those Rorschach ink blot tests, you see into it what you want to see. For example, I have a buddy who really reacts to authority figures, one day he wouldn't use his GPS as he felt the voice was telling (ordering) him what to do. I told him I felt the voice as advising me what to do.

My question was about liability with radar, nothing else. Radar today with chart overlay is much easier than when I was in the Canadian Navy in the early seventies. Guys who had earlier radars will know exactly what I am talking about - no chart overlay. Sometimes you couldn't figure out what the "hit" was displaying, especially if you were new at it.

In those days, the way you plotted a position was this. The long paper feeding off of one roll back on to the other roll, moving across the table, reflecting Destroyer speed, was used to plot. So you'd make an X on one hit, then a bit latter another X reflecting the same target, the paper moved so now you had distance between the to X's, you then drew a line and made some conclusions about the targets speed, future estimated position, etc.

The equipment today available for yachts is far more sophisticated than anything available to any countries Navies back in the 70's and earlier.

The short answer to my question is - Yes, there is liability.
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Old 04-08-2018, 19:39   #22
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Re: Does radar increase liability?

Rule 5 - Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means.
The key word is all available means. In case there is a collision with another boat and it results in death or serious injuries, this is how the courts would likely view it. If you have a radar on board and it is not switched on when encountering restricted visibility it is an offence under Rule 5. So in case of a collision your liability can increase. However, if you have a radar on board and it is not switched on because you do not know how to use it. That cannot be an offence. As there is no law which states that a boater must know how to operate a radar. Therefore your liability cannot increase.
But the more important issue here is your own and other boaterís safety. Why wonít you use the radar and learn how to use it properly. Going into a fog or rain cloud without using the radar is like crossing a busy road with a blindfold. That is how stupid it is.
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:26   #23
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Re: Does radar increase liability?

This rule raises another interesting argument: Rule 5 - Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means.

By strict definition, those racing in the Vendee Globe and the like, think there is a long solo race going on right now is there not, perhaps it has been completed, should be considered bad boaters since when they are sleeping, it is not possible to comply with Rule 5.

I think with "wake up" radar now available, technology can help out. But when you are really exhausted as those racing in the VG get, a fog horn could be blaring and they won't hear it in their "deep" sleep cycles.
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