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Old 24-08-2008, 00:12   #1
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Some may not want to be found...

From time to time on this forum we get requests to help find other cruisers.

Search and rescue is not a problem to me, but when we get asked to locate someone with vague details of the boat and no strong indication of marine danger little warning bells start to sound.

Some may not want to be found, and cruising on a yacht is going to be one of the best ways to do it.

Another forum to which I sometimes go has a policy that they will only identify persons in their area of interest if that person gives permission.

In the few cases that I followed that permission was not given.
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Old 24-08-2008, 01:09   #2
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I would suggest that this policy (or whatever is decided by the moderators) needs to be included in the rules.

I have a great deal of scepticism about two almost identical pleas for help being posted almost simultaneously.

Notwithstanding this, our community will always try to pass a message along
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Old 24-08-2008, 05:09   #3
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Notwithstanding this, our community will always try to pass a message along
I think that has been the policy in the past. In the case mentioned above I think the reality is there is no way anyone would find them without extraordinary luck given the few details provided. I think we often get a lot of requests for a great many things from the silly to the important to the dishonest and the sincere. I don't think we can know with much certainty all the details not supplied. In the absence of facts I'm not inclined to assume things seem to be true or false when there may not be.

We are all sailors and so it is part of our nature to consider information more carefully. Even more articulate requests could have alternative motives. Since everything could be suspect I don't see us putting the forum on permanent orange alert status. It won't work here with anyone able to come in and join.

I'm not sure rules will handle this well enough other than to say we reserve the right to remove any posts we feel is in the better interests of the forum. The request to find someone using a forum of many people located in many places could be a tool used for undesirable purposes. So is the entire Internet. Other times I know personally we have helped people in trouble even if not specifically locating someone.

I'm not of a mind to ban someone for being suspicions. It's not been done before so I think it's a good thing. Official requests that might be composed to request additional information would in the case of someone with alternate goals result in additional obfuscation of the truth. Something sincere might yield even less. Asking someone if they are a liar creates the more complex paradox and does not add verification and validation.

Some advice I would offer is that appearances are not always what they seem to be and around here we rely on small bits of information as a useful tool for our ability to expand our sailing skills and enjoyment. If something seems out of line it's appropriate to report it. I always do that. Posts reported are always considered. We have added staff to try and speed that process up. There already Is a thread started in the moderator section on this very subject earlier than this thread. We have people looking all the time.

Cruisers Forum only exists because of the desire by some to help and share on the our better side and members desire to find information and gain advantage on the other side. I know the staff is committed to that purpose and a very large majority of the membership is as well. We are in the request for help business. We pick up some stray flotsam from time to time.
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Old 24-08-2008, 05:11   #4
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Personally, I don't like being "found" either, even thought it is easy to find me since I have the public site that is necessary for work.

I don't mind bumping into a cruiser or two from the forum (always nice), but I try to keep a pretty low profile in general.

In the case of the posters looking for those vague boats, I'm sure they won't be found enroute...
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Old 24-08-2008, 07:01   #5
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It seems rather an easy answer from my perspective. If someone asks to help in locating person A and person B sees the request and knows where person A is, IMHO person B should forward that infomation to Person A not the person looking. It is up to person A to decide if they want to contact the person looking for them. Again; IMNO it is not up to Person B to provide the contact. Hope this makes sense.
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Old 24-08-2008, 07:06   #6
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That makes sense to me, Dave. It's really up to the person being sought to decide if they want to be found. Just common courtesy and respect for a person's privacy.
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Old 24-08-2008, 07:25   #7
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It seems rather an easy answer from my perspective. If someone asks to help in locating person A and person B sees the request and knows where person A is, IMHO person B should forward that infomation to Person A not the person looking. It is up to person A to decide if they want to contact the person looking for them. Again; IMNO it is not up to Person B to provide the contact. Hope this makes sense.
I totally agree. It is this aspect that I thought ought to be enshrined in the rule book.
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Old 24-08-2008, 07:38   #8
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That's a concept I endorse, as well, Dave and Hud. It's like being asked for someone's phone number - you don't know if that person wants his/her number given to the person asking for it, or anyone else. You don't know if he/she would be overjoyed to hear from the person asking, either, so the solution is to take the inquiring party's number, get in touch with the other party, give him/her the inquiring party's number and how you came to be involved, then forget about it. If the second party chooses to return the call of the first party, that's entirely up to him/her.

As to the two threads that Boracay is referring to, above, I tend to look at things like these that may, or may not, be legitimate this way: Does the original poster's thread-opening inquiry ring true, and, if so, do I have anything to offer? And, even if it sounds fishy, can it be the basis for sparking a discussion that may be of value in a generic sense to other cruisers?

In the case of the girl looking for her father, for me that rang true. And, even if it isn't true, it's a valid point of departure for the discussion of how one who is unfamiliar with cruising might go about finding someone who's sailed over the horizon and has left only vague notions of a sailing plan.

In the case of the girl looking for someone to tell him she's pregnant, well, for me that didn't ring quite as true. It's just a gut feeling, I suppose, but I'm a little bit dubious on that one. Nor do I see it as a valid point of departure for a broader generic discussion that other cruisers might find worthwhile - unless, that is, it becomes a question of how best to keep a low profile in the event you absolutely do not want to be found.

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Old 24-08-2008, 08:17   #9
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Hmm... In my neck of the woods, if I can't find someone after trying all the obvious, I toddle off to the police and file a missing person's form.

They investigate and either find them or don't. This seems to me to be the appropriate approach rather than do my own internet search.

Maybe its different in other parts of the world.
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Old 25-08-2008, 01:17   #10
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Just because you can't find them doesn't mean they are missing.

And just maybe they are not "missing" the person who is trying to find them.
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Old 25-08-2008, 02:23   #11
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Dtm, all very very true
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Old 25-08-2008, 03:33   #12
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Dtm, all very very true
I used to "dissapear" for lengthy periods abroad. Not being in contact was not so much part of the attraction - it was most of the attraction . A few times I nearly never came back

There are (were ) folk who can't cope with the concept of someone being out of contact for more than 5 minutes, let alone many months and somehow feel "entitled" to know what is going on. all the time. something that can creep up on you over time........
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Old 25-08-2008, 17:25   #13
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I think it is a personal choice by those answering the question. The internet has fundamentally changed the exchange of information.

"Have you seen this boat?" is not an illigitimate question. Answering is a personal choice.

It's different, IMO, than a phone number or email address.

I just don't think it would be appropriate for the forum to ban this type of posting.
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Old 25-08-2008, 18:31   #14
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can it be the basis for sparking a discussion that may be of value in a generic sense to other cruisers?
In that sense it is the qualification for any new post. We don't ban it and sometimes we probably should but you don't always know that before you do. If it comes up bad we will delete it. We might have a vote or it might just happen. We do tend to let a few things go on that in hindsight we would rather not have let happen. It's not the worst problem here. We have 15,000 members here so we have a full cross section of just about everyone. Some are more desirable than others.
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Old 25-08-2008, 22:20   #15
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I remember a while back I posted a "Have you seen this boat" Thread.

The Boat and Owner left without paying a yard bill

The thread got squashed...which was OK with me....I understood.

I think that if people wanted to let you know where they are...they'd tell you.

Now as far as unusual vessels......Say Marie Celeste or Flying Dutchman...is different
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