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Old 06-12-2017, 06:05   #1
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Cruiser killed in Grenada

Yesterday a cruiser died as a result of head injuries in hospital here after a night dinghy collision with a large unlit channel marker. For those who know Grenada it happened in the channel at the north end of Prickly Bay that leads to the dock by Budget Marine. The local coast guard station is here and one assumes that the buoys are for them. They have one largish patrol boat, around 50 feet but it seems never used. Instead they have a number of heavy duty inflatables that are used. In any case, the large steel buoys may in fact not even be needed and if they are needed should be properly painted (they are almost all rusted over) with reflexive tape and lights. Lights were installed by and at the expense of Budget Marine after a similar fatality 7 or 8 years ago but maintenance has not been kept up. Grenada are quite happy to collect cruising permit fees from the many cruising boats here and to have the huge economic benefit that exists, they should be willing to spend more on safety issues.

Cruisers are not exempt from blame. I cannot speak about this fatal accident since I don't have the details but in general dinghy use is often not safe. People just go too fast, day and night. Last night I was almost T-boned by a RIB doing at least 15 knots at night, in the rain, with no lights through a busy mooring field. I had a bright flash light that a point generally forward and was doing perhaps 4 knots. He came around the bow of a moored boat and passed within 15 feet of my bow. I am sure he never saw me, before, during, or after the incident. One thing I have noticed comparing today to ten years ago. People have larger RIBs with much larger engines. Ten years ago most people used 3 to 9.9s with a few people having 15s. Now motors in the 15 to 25 range are common and some people seem to think they need to rocket through anchorages.

End of rant.
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:16   #2
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

I guess it wouldn't have mattered in this instance of a tender crashing into a channel marker in Grenada, but in the US, dinghies are required to be equipped with nav lights if used at night, aren't they? One of the first things you learn as a VFR pilot is that when visibility worsens, throttle back your speed.
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:16   #3
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

Headline should read “Cruiser dies in Grenada,” not “Killed.” “Killed” implies that it happened as a result of someone else’s action such as a robbery or murder.
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:25   #4
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Headline should read “Cruiser dies in Grenada,” not “Killed.” “Killed” implies that it happened as a result of someone else’s action such as a robbery or murder.
Not that it matters in the event described, but the Oxford Dictionary's first definition for 'kill' is

1 Cause the death of (a person, animal, or other living thing)
‘her father was killed in a car crash’
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:31   #5
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

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Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
Not that it matters in the event described, but the Oxford Dictionary's first definition for 'kill' is

1 Cause the death of (a person, animal, or other living thing)
‘her father was killed in a car crash’
Ok so the title could have read "Cruiser Kills Himself in Grenada."

If he was going fast enough to hit an obstruction and receive a fatal head injury at night with whatever light he was using, he was going too fast. It's not any more complicated than that.
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:36   #6
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Darwin's Law.. commiserations to the family.
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:39   #7
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

Hhhmmm I'm trying to figure this out.. Are you talking about the metal post that sticks out of the water (I'm assuming its a channel marker)?

I find it strange that someone would run into it. Was he new to the area? Anyone who has transitted that channel during the day knows where that post is and leaves it well to port or starboard.

Anyway... Very sad...
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:57   #8
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

ok so a buoy was unlit. when does responsibility f or our own actions become a govt issue?
a cruiser speeding perhaps without proper lighting so he could not even think of seeing a buoy that does not move.
perhaps a light would have prevented the buoy from jumping in front of dinghy.
what was guy doing speeding unsafely in an anchorage with a known obstruction in his path?
was the cruiser dronk?. usually those hitting immovable objects in dinghies at night are somewhat tipped over.
it is sad the man died.
is also sad the man disregarded safety practices and sped thru a dark anchorage blindly, obviously. had he not been blindly speeding, perhaps he would not be dead.
it is our cruising responsibility to pay attention.
no one is our nanny.
we need to maintain responsibility for selves. once anyone's govt removes our remaining freedoms, we are doomed. this is a lifestyle demanding our full attention. we live on the edge. it is our own responsibility to save our own lives. seems most forget this.
i have yet to see any safety measures taken in anchorages by cruisers in dinghies. folks speed in darkness.
no lights.
no flashlight to light the obstructions we K|NOW are there even though perhaps unlit.
that man knew that buoy was there--he disregarded safety rationales and sped anyway , right into the damned thing. fatal oopsy. no one is to blame but himself.

i , too, have watched as drunken friends attempt to maintain themselves in dinghies in darkness. eventually they die. their own responsibility as they float face down in a bay. missed footing between dinghy and boat.
not many have been tooo dronk to see the impending doom buoys in their path. moon has been quite bright these days.

i understand why you are angry, as this man was seemingly your buddy, but face it, we each take responsibility for our actions, stupid and otherwise.
my sympathy lies with his family.
i cannot condone the practices cruisers keep with speeding and no lights in an anchorage.
count the lit dinks speeding by. how many actually use the safety regulations and how many disregard them. remember the speed limit in an anchorage is for one's own safety not bureaucratic bs.
it is difficult to represent a dead guy when he was disregarding laws of safety.

IFF he was NOT dronk and IFF he DID have lights and used em, then there is an issue. perhaps his eyes didnot work. i have yet to know a sober soul drive into a deadly situation voluntarily.

what the govt will say is he should have been sober and should have had a light. and used it.
perhaps when you folks demand safety assistance the govt may require helmets while running dinghies. would that help?
this is liken to a gun issue-- isnot the gun nor the buoy that kills, it is the loose nut behind the wheel, same as in car wrecks. wake up cruisers we are not out here to be babysat.
get together with the cruisers there and have safety meetings. grab a can of reflective paint and mark the buoy, with permission of the govt. they may be pleased someone is helping instead of making demands.
request permission before defacing buoy....
helpful hint--donot be in aggro affect when dealing with govt of nations you are visiting. have politeness and courtesy and deal with the issue in a positive manner.
perhaps the cruisers can come up with a solution not based on govt participation.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:08   #9
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

I am curious, how many of the posts in this thread come from people in who are -- like my spouse and I -- anchored or moored in Grenada right now and familiar with present conditions in Prickly Bay?
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:53   #10
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

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Originally Posted by NikiFoxE View Post
I am curious, how many of the posts in this thread come from people in who are -- like my spouse and I -- anchored or moored in Grenada right now and familiar with present conditions in Prickly Bay?
Good point, Niki. Who is going to throw the first stone?
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:27   #11
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

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Originally Posted by NikiFoxE View Post
I am curious, how many of the posts in this thread come from people in who are -- like my spouse and I -- anchored or moored in Grenada right now and familiar with present conditions in Prickly Bay?
I'm curious about your perspective. The last time I was there, the entire bay was filled with moorings- begging caution. Please chime in.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:29   #12
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

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Good point, Niki. Who is going to throw the first stone?
He who is without sin................!
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:30   #13
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

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Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
Yesterday a cruiser died as a result of head injuries in hospital here after a night dinghy collision with a large unlit channel marker. For those who know Grenada it happened in the channel at the north end of Prickly Bay that leads to the dock by Budget Marine. The local coast guard station is here and one assumes that the buoys are for them. They have one largish patrol boat, around 50 feet but it seems never used. Instead they have a number of heavy duty inflatables that are used. In any case, the large steel buoys may in fact not even be needed and if they are needed should be properly painted (they are almost all rusted over) with reflexive tape and lights. Lights were installed by and at the expense of Budget Marine after a similar fatality 7 or 8 years ago but maintenance has not been kept up. Grenada are quite happy to collect cruising permit fees from the many cruising boats here and to have the huge economic benefit that exists, they should be willing to spend more on safety issues.

Cruisers are not exempt from blame. I cannot speak about this fatal accident since I don't have the details but in general dinghy use is often not safe. People just go too fast, day and night. Last night I was almost T-boned by a RIB doing at least 15 knots at night, in the rain, with no lights through a busy mooring field. I had a bright flash light that a point generally forward and was doing perhaps 4 knots. He came around the bow of a moored boat and passed within 15 feet of my bow. I am sure he never saw me, before, during, or after the incident. One thing I have noticed comparing today to ten years ago. People have larger RIBs with much larger engines. Ten years ago most people used 3 to 9.9s with a few people having 15s. Now motors in the 15 to 25 range are common and some people seem to think they need to rocket through anchorages.

End of rant.
Well said, Bruce. In Toronto harbour, even though it was not legally required, I had my Zodiac C310 with a Honda BF100 lit up with an all-around white at the stern on a pole and red/green at the bow. In addition, I carried a spotlight. All this was powered from a motorcycle AGM itself charged from the dynamo on the 9.9. I regularly saw close calls in the harbour, probably due to too much background light as much as ignorance of the rules, and three years ago, after one of those Sail Cinema events, my son, PFD'd and at the mast to warn of traffic I couldn't see, warned me of an imminent collision as a C&C 41 t-boned The Miss Kim Simpson, a low-profile water taxi of some years. Totally avoidable if a kid could see it from the deck of a Viking 33, itself not much higher than a Zodiac.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:40   #14
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

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Originally Posted by NikiFoxE View Post
I am curious, how many of the posts in this thread come from people in who are -- like my spouse and I -- anchored or moored in Grenada right now and familiar with present conditions in Prickly Bay?
Are you implying that anyone who is not there right now has no right to an opinion? Or maybe you are looking for company for cocktails. It's not clear from your question.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:59   #15
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Re: Cruiser killed in Grenada

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Originally Posted by NikiFoxE View Post
I am curious, how many of the posts in this thread come from people in who are -- like my spouse and I -- anchored or moored in Grenada right now and familiar with present conditions in Prickly Bay?
Agreed, lots of opinion and few facts in this thread. I’m not saying that some of the opinion has no merit in general, but in this specific case it would be helpful to know the unfiltered details. Niki, since you’re there, please share what you can so that we can, hopefully, avoid more of the same.

Regards,
David
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