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Old 26-07-2010, 10:00   #31
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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
In the event I see a yacht in distress as described by the OP, I will do what I can to remedy the situation and think no more of it. I don't expect thanks and I am unlikely to receive criticism ...
... Sometimes ya just gotta do the right thing, no?
FWIW...
Ethics is supposed to override self-interest: if we have a moral obligation to do something, we ought to do it even when it's not in our own interests to do so.

I hope we’d all like to do the right thing. You (HyLyte) do, and did, for which I thank you. Thanks also for elucidating the basic ethics.
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Old 26-07-2010, 10:09   #32
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Actually, it wasn't...
Sorry. My comment was directed to fishwife's Google.

The “Good Samaritan Doctrine” can be successfully used in legal defence of those persons who act to prevent or contain property damage.
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Old 27-07-2010, 02:09   #33
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Wot-

In the Land of Oz, you folks seem to still have a sense of community and an overall better attitude than we do here in the U.S.

In the U.S., good intentions are often rewarded with litigation at worst, and total indifference at best.
BubbleH,
I hear you (and believe you); I am also heartened by the fact that at least some of the USA CF community have posted that they are still willing to take a risk and help out without any expectations of reward or fear of litigation.

As Gord said: if we have a moral obligation to do something, we ought to do it even when it's not in our own interests to do so.


At the risk of going off topic, I fear that we (Oz) might be heading towards that same litigatious (sp?) state that you describe.
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Old 27-07-2010, 03:51   #34
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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
The “Good Samaritan Doctrine” can be successfully used in legal defence of those persons who act to prevent or contain property damage.
Not if the good samaritan is considered to have acted recklessly or with gross negligence. And the common law concept has been modified by statute in many states, and sometimes applies only to cases where someone's life is in danger. In any case, in our grossly litigious society, legal liability in a good samritan case is a real risk. But a decent human being, all the more a sailor, will not think about certain risks to himself, if he can do some good. Anyway, how will he get caught?

The only thing more revolting than the trial lawyer lobby is a person who will stand by and let another sailor's boat sink or burn because of some slight risk that he may be sued if he does something to help.
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Old 27-07-2010, 04:11   #35
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every 10 days or so, it misses the fenders and bounces directly against a pier (fiberglass to post). I am tempted to fix it,
Steal the fender and have more fun more often!


OK we be the good neighbourly types.

We are at a marina at the moment (!!!) and it was blowing hard when this other guy tried to get in alongside some beautifully varnished old (junker)wooden (tub). Nic, who normally slags off the maintenance freaks, went boat hopping with one of our own fenders to ensure the landing was soft.
Sometimes theres no time to think the repercussions out so just save the neighbours boat.

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Old 27-07-2010, 06:51   #36
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Originally Posted by GordMay
The “Good Samaritan Doctrine” can be successfully used in legal defence of those persons who act to prevent or contain property damage.
My misunderstanding then, concerning your comment about the Duty to Rescue doctrine.

But are you certain about Good Samaritan laws? I'm sure the interpretation would vary somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Like I said, the Florida law very specifically and exclusively addresses medical assistance rendered to people. It says nothing about situations where property is the only thing at risk. There is certainly room to argue that it should apply to property-only situations, but I still think a sharp attorney could make a pretty good argument that it does not apply in such a situation.

Of course, the only way to know for sure would be to go to court and let the lawyers argue it out. I have searched, but have not found any precedent in Florida where the Good Samaritan Law came up as a defense in a case that involved only damage to property. So I would say--at least in Florida--that it remains to be seen.

(And, of course, that leaves aside the question of whether or not the damage caused to a boat by being improperly docked would qualify as an "emergency".)
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Old 27-07-2010, 07:05   #37
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But a decent human being, all the more a sailor, will not think about certain risks to himself, if he can do some good.
I have to disagree. I do not see anything wrong with considering the consequences to oneself.

As I said, if push came to shove, I would not stand by and watch someone else's boat sink just because I was worried about the slight possibility that I might get sued. Nonetheless, I take exception to the suggestion that I cannot be a "decent human being" just because the legal consequences might flash through my mind for a few moments as I decide what to do.

I am beginning to repeat myself, so I will let it go with just the following few statements...

1. In this litigious society in which we live, for better or worse, I think it is very risky not to at least briefly consider the legal consequences of your actions when you can.

2. Most especially, when you can both protect yourself legally AND render needed assistance to others it seems quite silly to me not to do so. Of course, doing so requires that you at least think a bit about the legal consequences of your actions.

3. Remember that we are talking about a boat that is bouncing against the dock every couple of weeks or so, because it is badly tied up. We are NOT talking about a situation where a life is in danger, or even a situation where the boat is in imminent danger of sinking. It is getting the hull a bit banged up now and then. That's all. There is MORE than enough time, in this situation, to think about consequences, attempt to contact the owner, and so on.
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Old 27-07-2010, 12:10   #38
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What if you saw a boat at an anchorage and you'd seen the people jump into their dinghy to go off for the day, not knowing them, and their hatches are left open.

And its starts raining!

Do you go close them for these strangers?




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Old 27-07-2010, 12:49   #39
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Do you go close them for these strangers?
No strangers on my dock. I know everyone at least well enough to close a hatch for them. I'd only feel comfortable closing the hatch externally, of course. Boarding a boat and going below are two different things.
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Old 27-07-2010, 13:03   #40
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Although very nice to hear legal absolutes (on this subject and also now and again on others) would be useful to qualify these facts with the part of the world that these certainties are claimed to apply in - even if some of us would have trouble finding them on a map (hey, it's not just the one country that has trouble with the foreign places thing ).

FWIW I can see local customs and practices having as much of a bearing as the legal side - and also whether you / they are locals (and therefore are sure of what you can do / is expected / is normal) or are simply passing through.

Open hatches? starts to rain? that'll learn them besides how do I 100% know there is no one onboard? unless I have been taking a very close interest in their comings and goings............
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Old 27-07-2010, 13:08   #41
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Mark was asking about closing hatches in an anchorage.
I expect I’d close a dock-mate’s hatch; certainly if I was passing by, or thought about it (which I may not, if out of sight).

I wanted to give a blanket yes; but I’m afraid I might not bother to dinghy over and climb aboard a stranger’s boat, in the rain. A better man, than I, would.

I wouldn't be overly concerned about legal liability. What could go wrong, in lowering a hatch?
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Old 27-07-2010, 13:11   #42
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... Open hatches? starts to rain? that'll learn them besides how do I 100% know there is no one onboard? unless I have been taking a very close interest in their comings and goings............
Most cruisers tend to be very aware of what is going on around them.
This results from a healthy interest in people, and prudence - not prurience.
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Old 27-07-2010, 13:23   #43
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I wouldn't be overly concerned about legal liability. What could go wrong, in lowering a hatch?
- You step in wet paint and traipse it over the deck?
- You lean over the hatch to close it, just as a naked female wakes, looks up and starts screaming? (just as you realise that Mankini was a mistake )
- you disturb 27 Somali Pirates plotting their next evil deeds / using CF to select an anchor

I agree that keeping a track of who is onboard other people's boats can be easy, but not always.

BTW I am in the camp of willing to put myself out to help, just not interested in Nannying.
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Old 27-07-2010, 13:54   #44
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What could possibly go wrong?
Baseball Coach Loans Ferraris to Teenagers. What Could Go Wrong?
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Old 27-07-2010, 13:58   #45
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Help

I have helped many people out in my life, sometimes at both legal and physical risk. It's just the right thing to do. I'd try to contact the owner through the marina and neighbors and if 24-48 hours passed with no results I'd use my spare line to tie the boat up with a note explaining who I was, why I did it and where they could return my lines. If I got yelled at, well that wouldn't be a first, I'm married and a Navy veteran. If I got a free barley pop for my efforts I wouldn't begrudge that either.

Fair Winds to All!!
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