Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-02-2013, 17:37   #1
Registered User
 
Reefmagnet's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: puɐןsuǝǝnb 'ʎɐʞɔɐɯ
Boat: Nantucket Island 33
Posts: 2,735
Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

Unfreakin' believable. This is what happens when common sense starts to become uncommon.

Quote:
LOOSE and adrift vessels in Mackay are causing a headache for Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR).

An ongoing and expensive legal battle has forced the organisation to ban its volunteers from retrieving unmanned vessels when they become unsecured.

In 2006, VMR volunteers were asked by police to retrieve an older vessel on the Gold Coast, Marine Rescue Queensland secretary manager Harry Hubner said.

Mr Hubner said the vessel, which he predicted was not worth more than $5000, was owned by a New Zealander who was now suing the organisation for $70,000 for damage he claimed was caused during the "rescue".

The case is still ongoing and has already cost the organisation more than $20,000 in legal fees.

"We've now turned around and said, 'You can't touch any boats that are unmanned'," Mr Hubner said.

With a vessel coming loose in Mackay last week, Peter Smith, president of VMR Mackay said they were "stuck between a rock and a hard place".

Mr Smith said it wasn't that they didn't want to help, it's that they couldn't afford to be held responsible for damage that might happen after the boat is re-anchored.

"On the other hand, if we had the owner with us that's different, the responsibility is on him," he said.

Mr Hubner admitted not everyone was happy about the ruling, with police often asking the organisation to assist in the retrieval of unmanned vessels.

"We've said 'no' to both Maritime Safety Queensland and police," he said.

"We've asked them to put in writing that we won't be held accountable - we're a bunch of volunteers - but they won't.

"If we get these stupid claims, our premiums (will) just keep rising."

Mr Hubner said they would continue to fight their current legal battle and have refused to settle out of court.
"If this guy wins this case, we're screwed," he said.

"He will set a precedent that will open a can or worms."
Source: Unsecured vessels cause headache for VMR | Mackay Daily Mercury
__________________

__________________
Reefmagnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 18:17   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,003
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

I thought the US legal system was totally screwed. Small comfort that the Oz system is even worse.
__________________

__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 20:23   #3
Wayfaring Mariner
 
captain58sailin's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Homer, AK is my home port
Boat: Skookum 53'
Posts: 4,045
Images: 5
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

It is unfortunate that no good deed goes unpunished. I am sorry for their troubles, one shouldn't be liable in that situation, what does the owner think would happen if allowed to drift around?
__________________
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
captain58sailin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 20:35   #4
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,666
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

This isn't about logic, it's about using the Courts as a form of lottery. Shame on him!

Ann Cate, s/v Insatiable II
__________________
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 20:37   #5
Moderator
 
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

An interesting case. There's a bit more here, here and here.

The latest reference that I could find is well over 2 years ago. Pity the reporter didn't dig a little deeper.

And a reminder to all of us that once we take control of another's boat without authorisation from the owner we also assume liability for the outcome.
__________________
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 20:42   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

Sounds like a good opportunity of salvager's to make some money.
__________________
Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful! ........
A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves!

Unprepared boaters, end up as floatsum!.......
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 21:01   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Melbourne Australia
Boat: Paper Tiger 14 foot, Gemini 105MC 34 foot Catamaran Hull no 825
Posts: 1,616
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

VMR do an excellent job under usually extreme circumstances,

They should have a Govt waiver on being sued,

This bloke from what I have read, should be standing before a Magistrate facing numerous charges,

In both NZ and OZ.

Oppurtunist trying for a new boat,
__________________
Mr B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 21:32   #8
Registered User
 
Reefmagnet's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: puɐןsuǝǝnb 'ʎɐʞɔɐɯ
Boat: Nantucket Island 33
Posts: 2,735
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
An interesting case. There's a bit more here, here and here.

The latest reference that I could find is well over 2 years ago. Pity the reporter didn't dig a little deeper.

And a reminder to all of us that once we take control of another's boat without authorisation from the owner we also assume liability for the outcome.
That was interesting reading and filled in some missing pieces. Thanks!

Problem we have up here is that aside from the VMR we have no-one. No Sea-Tows, no Coast guard and for all intents and purposes no water police. And whilst I wasn't aware of the VMR policy of not rescuing unattended vessels, I was aware that they will refuse to save or tow a vessel if the crew have previously declared a Mayday - even if the crew try and downgrade their emergency whilst the rescue is under way. I'm now guessing this is for the same reasons they don't want to know about unattended boats as they would be obligated to remove all crew from the boat, effectively leaving it unattended.
__________________
Reefmagnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 22:04   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: WTB Lagoon or Leopard 38'-40'
Posts: 1,273
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
I was aware that they will refuse to save or tow a vessel if the crew have previously declared a Mayday - even if the crew try and downgrade their emergency whilst the rescue is under way. I'm now guessing this is for the same reasons they don't want to know about unattended boats as they would be obligated to remove all crew from the boat, effectively leaving it unattended.
My guess is that the "Mayday" call indicates that the boat is not seaworthy and that the crew is therefore in imminent danger. Naturally, they don't want to turn a volunteer rescue effort into a volunteer towing and salvage operation. If you call "Mayday" to get help, you are asking for your life to be saved, not your beer cooler.
__________________
ArtM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 22:43   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

The problem isn't the guy who is suing. The problem is a legal system that is giving legitimacy to nonsense.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 22:55   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,441
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

Cases like this make me wish there was some form of penalty for taking a vexatious litigation, in cases where (if it were won) it would demonstrably damage the fabric of civil society.

This determination could perhaps be made in a higher court, and to different standards of proof, and could proceed whether the litigation succeeded or failed.

Probably (I haven't enough legal smarts) it should not overturn a successful vexatious suit ... because the focus of the latter is the individual ... but act as an overarching disincentive.

And the penalty exacted could be set against any damages asked or won in the suit, perhaps outweighing them in some cases.

It's not tenable for isolated dickheads to shape society in their twisted image.

Hell's teeth, I'm momentarily ashamed to be a kiwi.
__________________
Andrew Troup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 00:26   #12
Registered User
 
Tomm0's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Melbourne, australia
Boat: Joubert Koala 24
Posts: 114
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

He hasn't won the case yet...
__________________
Tomm0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 00:43   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Mackay,QLD, Australia
Boat: planning a approx 45ft cat
Posts: 3,651
Images: 3
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Cases like this make me wish there was some form of penalty for taking a vexatious litigation, in cases where (if it were won) it would demonstrably damage the fabric of civil society.

This determination could perhaps be made in a higher court, and to different standards of proof, and could proceed whether the litigation succeeded or failed.

Probably (I haven't enough legal smarts) it should not overturn a successful vexatious suit ... because the focus of the latter is the individual ... but act as an overarching disincentive.

And the penalty exacted could be set against any damages asked or won in the suit, perhaps outweighing them in some cases.

It's not tenable for isolated dickheads to shape society in their twisted image.

Hell's teeth, I'm momentarily ashamed to be a kiwi.

He is probably also using our free legal assistance as any private soliciters/barristers here would require money up front before they do anything other than an inital briefing. When the money runs out, more up front to continue.

Nice bloke.
__________________
downunder is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 00:50   #14
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,401
Images: 7
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomm0 View Post
He hasn't won the case yet...
He doesn't have to win. He's already wrecked the system IMO. Once you're exposed to liability, you don't even have to lose, you can't afford to go to court in the first place so you stop doing the good deed at all.
__________________
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 00:54   #15
Registered User
 
Tomm0's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Melbourne, australia
Boat: Joubert Koala 24
Posts: 114
Re: Perfect example how one bad apple ruins it for all

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
He doesn't have to win. He's already wrecked the system IMO. Once you're exposed to liability, you don't even have to lose, you can't afford to go to court in the first place so you stop doing the good deed at all.
My insurer would go to court, rather than me. I can afford for my insurer to go to court - because it doesn't cost me anything. Same with the VCG.

One danger is that the insurer settles, then sets this as a pseudo-precedent, in that they then settle all similar instances as well. The insurer then builds this cost, with its associated risk, into the premiums in future - OR - puts in an exclusion for it, basically making the VCG stop doing it because they wouldn't be insured.
__________________

__________________
Tomm0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 22:07.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.