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Old 21-06-2015, 14:58   #61
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

I'm not surprised to see that the Officer aboard the dredger was give jail time reduced to probation. Usually, in my experience, when a certified Officer aboard a commercial vessel is involved with a pleasure craft collision, he/she is held to a higher standard of seamanship and interpretation and practice of applicable ColRegs.
Having been 'in care and control' of a pleasure craft at anchor when another pleasure craft drifted down on us in the small hours one night, because I held a 100 ton Master ticket, I and the owner of the vessel that was hit ended up in court being sued by the drifting vessel. The judge found that we were not at fault to any degree but noted in his opinion that as a 'licensed marine officer', I was held to a higher standard than a weekend warrior out for a fun time, drunk and being an *******.
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Old 21-06-2015, 15:00   #62
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
Had not seen this. Thanks for posting. Terribly sad. Rule 5 is absolutely the MOST important of the COLREGS.
Michael - You must be a Structural Engineer - because you have stated very clearly the truth. I am only a civil, but for the last two and a half decades my practice has been mainly engineering for single family residences - new construction or for additions and remodels..
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Old 21-06-2015, 15:04   #63
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Michael - You must be a Structural Engineer - because you have stated very clearly the truth. I am only a civil, but for the last two and a half decades my practice has been mainly engineering for single family residences - new construction or for additions and remodels..
?

There are a lot people who state that rule 5 is the most important. Most of them are not engineers. Perhaps you can shed light on this seemingly bizarre statement?
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Old 21-06-2015, 15:09   #64
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Jon I think I'll have to get one if those. Might be handy for the next loudmouth big drinker we have aboard..." Wait I'll get you the special BIG beer mug..."
Ok sorry, return to topic now..
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Old 21-06-2015, 15:46   #65
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

I don't quite understand the doubt as to who is ultimately responsible for this tragic family event.

Deep pity aside,
....the yacht skipper failed to get out of the way of a large easily seen vessel as a result of abandoning his ability to monitor the change in CPA.

Yes...the dredge did not maintain a proper lookout.... But the yacht had no lookout!

Just remember... the ultimate responsibility in keeping YOUR crew safe...rests with the skipper, not with the other vessel.

Best way to learn lessons from this event....is to remember that indisputable fact.

and to always use any lookout available if you need to go down below.
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Old 21-06-2015, 15:49   #66
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

I think there is a lesson here, too, for women who are "passengers" on their boats and their skippers. If this hypothetical woman does not know how to keep a rudimentary watch nor turn off the autopilot and on the motor and turn away from danger, she is at risk. The skipper's duty is to inform her what to do. Even just a passenger.

The second deal, about the life jackets. This year, as part of the Wooden Boat Festival in Tasmania, a bunch of volunteers jumped into the waters of Constitution Dock, while wearing different kinds of self-inflating life jackets. Only one functioned properly and kept the wearer's head out of the water. Anyhow, I view them as likely to not work correctly, plus the automatic one can trap you, and that's really scary to me! I think one is better off in most cases to have the manually/personally blow the air into it kind. Nonetheless, I think Dockhead's point relative to the boom smacking you is certainly valid, as well. You have to decide whether the risk of getting trapped exceeds that of being knocked unconscious.

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Old 21-06-2015, 16:00   #67
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
I think there is a lesson here, too, for women who are "passengers" on their boats and their skippers. If this hypothetical woman does not know how to keep a rudimentary watch nor turn off the autopilot and on the motor and turn away from danger, she is at risk. The skipper's duty is to inform her what to do. Even just a passenger.

The second deal, about the life jackets. This year, as part of the Wooden Boat Festival in Tasmania, a bunch of volunteers jumped into the waters of Constitution Dock, while wearing different kinds of self-inflating life jackets. Only one functioned properly and kept the wearer's head out of the water. Anyhow, I view them as likely to not work correctly, plus the automatic one can trap you, and that's really scary to me! I think one is better off in most cases to have the manually/personally blow the air into it kind. Nonetheless, I think Dockhead's point relative to the boom smacking you is certainly valid, as well. You have to decide whether the risk of getting trapped exceeds that of being knocked unconscious.

Ann
You will not be trapped IN the vessel if you only wear it while on deck. Also all wearers of harness/lifejackets should have a knife ready to hand attached to the harness/jacket on a lanyard preferably. Easy to smack your head on the way over, on boom, fitting, or side of vessel. One must assume unconsciousness on entering the water or shortly thereafter. Blow only inflation is worse than useless. Hard to take that second breath underwater!


Good points about "nonsailing crew". I always give a comprehensive briefing to all crew who come to sea with me, whether true "crew" or just passengers. One may not assume that those competent will be there for the duration of the trip!
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Old 21-06-2015, 16:08   #68
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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I couldn't agree more.

For George, the unusually rude poster: there was a great discussion earlier this month about what constitutes "PROPER".

IIRC, the use of all available techniques was suggested to be the most reasonable.

One example: a dark and stormy night: Mark I eyeballs can't stand up to radar and/or AIS for identifying and tracking other vessels.

If ALL proper means ONLY eyeballs, sorry, your point is simply incorrect and meaningless.

Why not learn to play nice, huh?

"Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight as well as by hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision."

That's what the rule actually says. I take it that "at all times" means just what it says. Then, there are 3 methods mentioned that must be used to keep a proper watch and these are by sight, by hearing, and by all available means appropriate. Sight and hearing are always available to us so should be used "at all times," but the "all other means appropriate" can vary depending on the ships equipment and circumstances and conditions. So, on a dark and stormy night, while you are right that AIS or radar might be more useful than eyeballs, especially at longer ranges, that doesn't imply that you can stop looking or listening in favor of some of your "all available means" that you happen to have onboard that you think are more useful. The first two methods, looking and listening, are still required "at all times," otherwise there would have been two "or's" in the rule in place of the two uses of the phrase "as well as."

In the example in the video, both watchkeepers were at fault with tragic results. In the case of the yacht skipper, he was doing something we've all done countless times, whether we be singlehander or crewed sailor and it was only a very short lapse. He just had really unfortunate timing and much worse luck than the rest of us.

I've found that it's not at all unusual for fishermen to give themselves a "pass" on watchkeeping for periods of time much longer than 5 minutes while actively involved in fishing. Where I live in Maine, it's mostly lobstermen but many other fishermen have a similar attitude. Many of them feel that it's just not realistic for them to maintain a constant and proper watch because they're way too busy FISHING to do that and everyone else, especially "tourists" in yachts should look out for them because they're BUSY making a living, and besides, they hardly ever run into or kill anyone while fishing and they've been doing it for years. Many singlehanders would like to give themselves a similar pass from keeping a proper watch "at all times," using a similar rationale to that which many fishermen use, basically that it's inconvenient to be constantly looking out and besides, they've always done it without causing too much damage. They're right that usually nothing bad happens, but sometimes when anyone, whether he be fisherman, commercial vessel operator, crewed yacht yachtsman, or singlehander, fails to keep a proper watch, tragic circumstances like the one in the video result.

Every vessel shall at all times.....I just don't see a lot of wiggle room there! If you have to take a leak or get a cuppa, call for someone else aboard to take your place on watch. No more "Mr. Nice Guy" and letting everyone else aboard nap, cook dinner, read a book, etc., and singlehanders need to face the fact that there's no way they can even come close to keeping a proper watch "at all times" as the colregs require. I'm not so unrealistic to think we will ever reach the point where we actually all keep proper watches at all times, but as long as fishing vessels give themselves a pass from vigilant watchkeeping because it's inconvenient and difficult to do both simultaneously, and large commercial vessel watchkeepers occasionally treat their responsibilities casually while offshore, and singlehanders tell themselves that it's OK for them to take a 30 minute (or longer) nap, and those of us on crewed vessels continue to take even 5 minute breaks down below, then incidents like this will continue to happen, and as traffic increases, so will collisions. Is it right for fishermen, singlehanders, crewed private boats, or large commercial vessels to give themselves a "pass" from doing what colreg 5 clearly requires, and if so, how long should that pass be for? 1 minute, 5 minutes, 30 minutes, all day while 50+ miles from land, what SHOULD a "realistic" version of colreg 5 say?
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Old 21-06-2015, 16:17   #69
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
I think there is a lesson here, too, for women who are "passengers" on their boats and their skippers. If this hypothetical woman does not know how to keep a rudimentary watch nor turn off the autopilot and on the motor and turn away from danger, she is at risk. The skipper's duty is to inform her what to do. Even just a passenger.
IIRC, the poor woman who perished was in the cockpit, leaning with her back against the cabin, facing aft! We don't know how long the husband and wife had owned the boat together, or whether she knew port from starboard.

Scary that "passengers" can be spouses, too.

I sail alone on SF Bay (for the past 25 years), a rather busy stretch of water, although small compared to other sailing grounds.

I go below for relief sometimes, ain't been hit yet, nor anything even resembling close. What this gentleman did for over 5 minutes is beyond me. I would be freakin' out if I was "chained down below" for more than 2 minutes without a lookout, even on uncrowded weekdays around here.

Tragic.
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Old 21-06-2015, 16:36   #70
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Good post jtsailjt

For the very reasons above I am definitely not a Mr. Nice Guy ....when it comes to lookout responsibility.

Everyone takes their turn in a very formal way.

No slouching/reading/knitting...... eyes scanning and they need to be formally relieved before going down below for something.

Creating that formal atmosphere works just as well on a small yacht as it does for me on a commercial ship or Superyacht.

It also helps to train newbies to the ultimate responsibility of being a good lookout or watchkeeper..... rather than just a guest or passenger.
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Old 21-06-2015, 16:42   #71
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
"Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight as well as by hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision."

That's what the rule actually says. I take it that "at all times" means just what it says. Then, there are 3 methods mentioned that must be used to keep a proper watch and these are by sight, by hearing, and by all available means appropriate. Sight and hearing are always available to us so should be used "at all times," but the "all other means appropriate" can vary depending on the ships equipment and circumstances and conditions. So, on a dark and stormy night, while you are right that AIS or radar might be more useful than eyeballs, especially at longer ranges, that doesn't imply that you can stop looking or listening in favor of some of your "all available means" that you happen to have onboard that you think are more useful. The first two methods, looking and listening, are still required "at all times," otherwise there would have been two "or's" in the rule in place of the two uses of the phrase "as well as."

In the example in the video, both watchkeepers were at fault with tragic results. In the case of the yacht skipper, he was doing something we've all done countless times, whether we be singlehander or crewed sailor and it was only a very short lapse. He just had really unfortunate timing and much worse luck than the rest of us.

I've found that it's not at all unusual for fishermen to give themselves a "pass" on watchkeeping for periods of time much longer than 5 minutes while actively involved in fishing. Where I live in Maine, it's mostly lobstermen but many other fishermen have a similar attitude. Many of them feel that it's just not realistic for them to maintain a constant and proper watch because they're way too busy FISHING to do that and everyone else, especially "tourists" in yachts should look out for them because they're BUSY making a living, and besides, they hardly ever run into or kill anyone while fishing and they've been doing it for years. Many singlehanders would like to give themselves a similar pass from keeping a proper watch "at all times," using a similar rationale to that which many fishermen use, basically that it's inconvenient to be constantly looking out and besides, they've always done it without causing too much damage. They're right that usually nothing bad happens, but sometimes when anyone, whether he be fisherman, commercial vessel operator, crewed yacht yachtsman, or singlehander, fails to keep a proper watch, tragic circumstances like the one in the video result.

Every vessel shall at all times.....I just don't see a lot of wiggle room there! If you have to take a leak or get a cuppa, call for someone else aboard to take your place on watch. No more "Mr. Nice Guy" and letting everyone else aboard nap, cook dinner, read a book, etc., and singlehanders need to face the fact that there's no way they can even come close to keeping a proper watch "at all times" as the colregs require. I'm not so unrealistic to think we will ever reach the point where we actually all keep proper watches at all times, but as long as fishing vessels give themselves a pass from vigilant watchkeeping because it's inconvenient and difficult to do both simultaneously, and large commercial vessel watchkeepers occasionally treat their responsibilities casually while offshore, and singlehanders tell themselves that it's OK for them to take a 30 minute (or longer) nap, and those of us on crewed vessels continue to take even 5 minute breaks down below, then incidents like this will continue to happen, and as traffic increases, so will collisions. Is it right for fishermen, singlehanders, crewed private boats, or large commercial vessels to give themselves a "pass" from doing what colreg 5 clearly requires, and if so, how long should that pass be for? 1 minute, 5 minutes, 30 minutes, all day while 50+ miles from land, what SHOULD a "realistic" version of colreg 5 say?
Goodness! a rehash of everything you have said previously.
I love the attempt at legalese to define what the colregs mean, and then apportion blame to fishermen and people who take a leak.

Heres the bottom line. Rather than point fingers, you follow what you think it means.

It applies to everyone, but I cannot force you to comply, and in saying that, no government has ever banned single handed sailing. Until that happens, the rule must be open to interpretation other than your definition.

A court will apportion responsibility in the event of an incident. A court might very well define the lack of an on duty watch as negligence, NOT because there was a lack of a physical watch on deck, but because there was NO watch even using other means available and in consideration of the conditions. If a person was watching RADAR and was alerted to a problem, they would have taken steps to avert it. That is a watch.

By your reckoning, a Submarine is in breach of rule 5.

It is not as clear cut as you would like it be. Common sense dictates that awareness of the surrounds is mandatory. I would argue that the environment and weather and location will determine sight and sound and by other means necessary or available. I would argue that a properly set up RADAR and AIS and sonar will alert a mariner far quicker than manual sight and sound in nearly all situations. This means I have "sight and sound" at all times.

You freely admit to "breaching" your own understanding of the rules. That is ...... a liberty taken that has no excuse. In the next breath you argue time limits on taking a pee and disparage fisherfolk. Well in the two minutes you go below and get hit, you will admit that a watch was not kept. I would agree, You never set the sonar or the RADAR or the AIS for 1/2 mile watch or if crewed or guests, you never asked to be covered or the instruments watched.

Sorry Pelagic, it is not a good post.
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Old 21-06-2015, 16:42   #72
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
I think there is a lesson here, too, for women who are "passengers" on their boats and their skippers. If this hypothetical woman does not know how to keep a rudimentary watch nor turn off the autopilot and on the motor and turn away from danger, she is at risk. The skipper's duty is to inform her what to do. Even just a passenger.

The second deal, about the life jackets. This year, as part of the Wooden Boat Festival in Tasmania, a bunch of volunteers jumped into the waters of Constitution Dock, while wearing different kinds of self-inflating life jackets. Only one functioned properly and kept the wearer's head out of the water. Anyhow, I view them as likely to not work correctly, plus the automatic one can trap you, and that's really scary to me! I think one is better off in most cases to have the manually/personally blow the air into it kind. Nonetheless, I think Dockhead's point relative to the boom smacking you is certainly valid, as well. You have to decide whether the risk of getting trapped exceeds that of being knocked unconscious.

Ann
A very good point about women aboard thinking of themselves as a passenger! My wife is new to sailing in the last couple of years, but on a recent cruise, while I had been below shaving/showering/dressing for 15-20 minutes, as I looked up through a closed hatch in our aft cabin after getting out of the shower, I took a few minutes to watch her and was heartened and proud to see her standing at the helm but regularly moving her head several feet from side to side to be sure to be able to see any obstructions that might be hidden behind the mast. It's something I'd mentioned to her a few times quite a while ago but it was really nice to catch her actually doing it as part of her own habit pattern while being responsible for our boat on watch. Part of that habit where we live is necessitated by the need to avoid numerous lobster buoys, but no matter what the motivation, it's a great habit to get into and it made me feel safer to see that my wife has adopted it even when nobody else is seemingly nearby or looking at her. She already "gets it" that even though I happen to be the one with the license and sailing experience, it's still a partnership and she's definitely not just a passenger, especially when she's the only one of us in the cockpit. I'm hopeful that attitude will take us a long way in safety.
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Old 21-06-2015, 16:51   #73
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Who out of us doesn't go below for a minute to take a leak, or make a cuppa? There but for the grace of God go I . . .

This case is deeply disturbing.
At 1300h on a clear day? Yes, it is. When skipper went below, he should have sent up crew.

Frankly, if I have to leak on watch in close quarters, I'd rather just exercise the scuppers and to hell with propriety.

We were under sail in our 33 footer travelling west in Lake Ontario a few years ago. My wife and son were aboard and it was late morning, cloudy but clear. Being October and a weekday, I saw very few sailboats out (like perhaps three over a 50 NM passage), despite fine and clement weather for it. I noticed a somewhat smaller boat on a course 90 degrees to ours some distance away, but making decent speed. For 15 minutes, we closed courses; I could see from our relative bearings that a collision was possible. I could also see no one on deck or in the cockpit through binoculars. My wife wanted us to veer away, but I wanted to see if the missing skipper would ever appear, so I steered so as to "take his stern". Sure enough, when we passed by, we gave the appropriate blasts on our horn; we were "race course close" (about three metres off his stern) and saw him below making coffee and presumably under autopilot. His assumption must have been "ah, no one will be on the lake today!", but he was very wrong. If we both had been under AP, we would have collided and probably would have both sunk, given our speeds, about three miles offshore. Maintaining a watch is neither optional nor negotiable; to not do so is directly comparable to texting while driving, and we have many examples of how foolish that is.
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Old 21-06-2015, 16:54   #74
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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.......I took a few minutes to watch her and was heartened and proud to see her standing at the helm but regularly moving her head several feet from side to side to be sure to be able to see any obstructions that might be hidden behind the mast.......
But was she looking astern?... thats where a lot of bad stuff comes from.

I don't know how many times I have sat in the cockpit and observed the helmsman blissfully unaware of something big and nasty coming up astern until its pointed out to them..... best done at about a mile or less.... its a lesson few forget in a hurry...
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Old 21-06-2015, 17:00   #75
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Does this thread just keep going on and on live a sailors forum whist spending the eternity in hell?

Good grief, Charlie Brown.
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