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Old 29-12-2018, 08:04   #46
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
I come back to my earlier post— did the owner ask IN WRITING if the crew had med issues? Is the response documented?
Is that the hanging issue? The shoe that fits?

Gonna be a crowded jail.
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Old 29-12-2018, 08:05   #47
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
This is one of those cases where the devil is likely in the details and we won't ever know what those are.

That said, the fact that Smith made no effort whatsoever to recover Pontious, dead or alive, is alarming. The wind was under five knots, the sea was calm, and the moon was nearly full. Just because the individual does not surface immediately does not mean that no effort should be expended to try and recover them.

I could see being conflicted, as a result of anger and fear, and concluding that recovering Pontious alive could present a danger to the boat and crew. But I expect I would have made a good faith effort and dealt with the follow-on challenges as they arose. But I wasn't there.

Not a situation I'd like to ever find myself in, that's for sure.

Gotta love lawyers that have a sense of humor though:
“While the invitation extended in your letter for Mr. Smith to waive his constitutional rights and testify under oath, without an attorney present, in order to charge him with crimes is tempting, we will politely decline to do so at this point.”
I also appreciate the descriptive narrative. For example, I always wondered how to describe a boat deck to someone unfamiliar with the concept, but this pretty much says it all:

"When he wasn’t lying down, Pontious was pacing back and forth on the deck, which is about the size of an average living room but elongated."
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Old 29-12-2018, 08:21   #48
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
From whats been stated about Mary Jane and a gun being dumped overboard seems drugs were accepted on board..
And how is it a skipper licensed to do charters not be trained for a MOB recovery.. or the correct procedure for alerting authorities straight away if an EPIRB was on board.. then stay local till help arrived for a possible recovery.
But everyones different I guess.
My guess would be that the skipper felt the person was a threat given his size and mental issues of the moment, so when he jumped overboard the first thought that went through his mind was not his MOB training, but "well, that problem is solved," and he sailed on. I would assume that is what the prosecutors are also thinking. It was extremely unwise of the skipper not to at least go through the motions of a rescue attempt, and unwise actions sometimes get prosecuted. A nightmare for all concerned.
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Old 29-12-2018, 08:21   #49
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Is that the hanging issue? The shoe that fits?

Gonna be a crowded jail.
The documentation can be a text or an email. I do not want to sound arrogant, but the attention to detail is why I am never low bid on a job.
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Old 29-12-2018, 08:52   #50
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

If the facts we hear here are true and they may not be complete or true. Is there anyone here in this forum that would not have done more to try to retrive MOB. No matter what happened before, this guy is at fault. And the presence of a gun and pot just throws the question of the Captians actions in to deep legal limbo. (if he is willing to break those laws what other laws is he willing to break?)
As for keeping crew and guests or unwelcome boarders controled when things get out of hand for whatever reason?

Captians hidden tool box should have stun gun and zip ties to control the situation for everyones safety.

Am I wrong ?
What do you think ?
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Old 29-12-2018, 08:59   #51
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pirate Re: Lost crew captain charged

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Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
Guess I'm a cowboy and assumer, cause this sounds like a good reason for lawyers' often deservedly bad reputations. Not to mention a waste of taxpayer money if the family is not the entity prosecuting.

if we can believe what is written in the article, seems to me an analogous situation would be a big jerk (psychotic or not) starting a fight with three acquaintances on a ten story rooftop, essentially threatening to throw them off, and then, unable to accomplish that, jumping himself. Unless I owned the building, I'd be hard pressed to feel any need to inform anyone of the trouble-makers' demise. Nor would I trouble myself to see if he might have survived his gravitational experiment...

As for the 'captains responsibility', at probably less than five knots, even with a calm sea, full moon and MOB pressed immediately after the fact, what are the chances of finding the guy, even if he didn't sink immediately?

And what do you do with him, alive or dead? Anyone here tried to get a 250 lb lifeless guy back on board or into a dinghy? What about one who didn't want to come?

Regarding 'fishiness', what purpose on earth could any of the 'survivors' of this sad tale have in substantially altering or fabricating facts? If they were going to lie about anything, seems the first would be that they did in fact 6turn around and look for him.

The only bad judgement here, if the story is accurate, regardless of the verdict, is the bringing of charges against the captain.
I guess maybe you are.. for you the sea is likely a playground.. an escape from the 9 to 5 whatever desk job.
For us who do this for a living its a lot more serious.. we have a lot to lose.
My first solo transat in 2000 came about because my crew who flew out from the UK for the trip to gain miles and experience started freaking out 2nd day out of St Martin for Azores.. morning of the 3rd day I turned round and sailed back to SXM and stayed another 2 weeks while they arranged a flight home and got a tan.. I finally sailed June 14th.
What I am saying is.. everything that happens is the skippers responsibility and he will be judged for his actions.. or lack off.
As far a I can see its 3 people from the same town closing ranks against an outsider so judgement will come down to his professionalism..
Lifes like that.. Suck it up.. You cant take the heat stay outa the kitchen before you burn others.
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Old 29-12-2018, 09:19   #52
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post

…..There is no way my morals would let a shipmate drown.
Would be hard to think of a better example why, at least in the hypothetical ideal world, morals have little place in determining justice, and no place in making decisions regarding safety at sea.

It is very difficult, but possible to be completely or nearly completely amoral, which should, in theory at least, free one to live as ethically as possible.

What if the crazy guy wanted to kill himself?

What if the crazy guy caused harm or death to any or all of the others?

What if a 'rescue' attempt resulted in the loss or harm to other crew?
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Old 29-12-2018, 10:13   #53
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pirate Re: Lost crew captain charged

What ifs do not detract from legal responsibility..
Maybe a lot of you should look into these things before casually advertising for crew.
I hear a Mayday.. do I think what if..???
No.. I alter course and see if I can render assistance.. so far I have been lucky.. commercial vessels have got there first and either saved the crew or stood by while they are helicoptered off..
People who make their living on the sea tend to respond automatically when life is at risk.. its a different world that may be hard to understand but its why RTW racers turn around and sail 200 plus miles to weather.. To Save a Life.
To my mind the situation was manageable bar for stoneheads.. Sorry.!!!
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Old 29-12-2018, 10:30   #54
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
So those of you saying to set off the EPRIB, is this to assist in rescuing the MOB or an attempt to cover your ass by appearing to do as much as possible? Would you make the same decision if instead of being 200 miles offshore you were a thousand miles offshore? If you were Master of a freighter offshore would you also use the EPRIB?
The answer is yes. Any situation where there is grave or imminent danger. Collision Prevention Rules describe the various methods to issue a distress call and that includes EPIRB. Similarly VHF 16 and SSB 2182, 4125, 6215, and 8291 are the monitored distress channels. And just because there's no answer doesn't mean you stop calling, and calling, and calling. Other vessels hearing a distress call may also be obligated to assist in the search.

In respect to the topic, and from my very comfortable arm chair; no body, no gun makes an interesting combination. A missing bag of weed and a psychosis also go together well. Just saying.

But seriously, yet again we are all reminded of the need to seriously vet (unknown) crew/skippers when undertaking deliveries. And clearly there does need to be some sort of written contract in such circumstance.
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Old 29-12-2018, 10:52   #55
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

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Originally Posted by Delfin View Post
My guess would be that the skipper felt the person was a threat given his size and mental issues of the moment, so when he jumped overboard the first thought that went through his mind was not his MOB training, but "well, that problem is solved," and he sailed on. I would assume that is what the prosecutors are also thinking. It was extremely unwise of the skipper not to at least go through the motions of a rescue attempt, and unwise actions sometimes get prosecuted. A nightmare for all concerned.
Perhaps the reason the captain did not go through the standard motions of MOB rescue was the reasonable chance that the nut may be fished out. And that's what the prosecutor is thinking.
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Old 29-12-2018, 13:13   #56
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

Just a thought here but a two way satellite device
would have saved all a lot of grief.
I have done a bunch of deliveries as crew and
all the delivery captains i’ve worked with
have always had either a Sat Phone or an Inreach.
I myself always have my Inreach with me as well
as my own set of paper charts. A bit paranoid but
both have been useful at times
Someone brought up the question if the CG
monitors SSB, I don’t think so BUT would like
an authoritative answer from some of you radio gurus
out there
Cheers
Neil
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Old 29-12-2018, 13:14   #57
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

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Wottie.. Gonna play devils advocate..
1/ Deceased was seen to be in a bad way (allegedly) when he arrived at the boat but was still taken on board.
2/ He was then throwing up constantly after departure from the moment they set sail but the skipper chose to continue.
3/ Allegedly an assualt took place after four days of disturbed, sometimes violent behavior following which the guy allegedly jumped over the side conveniently hitting his head on the rail while doing so.
4/ He then sank instantly..??? bodies dont sink that fast to my knowledge.. trapped air in clothing and body will bring them back up for a while..
5/ Regarding restraints, marine law allows for the master to restrain mutineers or anyone else who represents a potential threat to themslves, the crew or vessel.
6/ Following the failure to manage his vessel and crew the master further compounded the situation by failing to use all means available to raise the alarm or even carry out a rudimentary search for the man.
7/ They have admitted to dumping stuff over the side before arrival at St Thomas, drugs and a weapon.. what else was not reported.

If I were a prosecutor I would be rubbing my hands with glee.. and were I one of the crew of the boat I'd be nervous to say the least.
Hey Boatie, that's a bit mean - I thought I was the one playing devils advocate; it's going to get crowded on this side of the courtroom unless one of us moves.

Nah, it's all good, you stay here with me and I'll amend my argument to line up with yours.

I reckon this could turn out where justice is absent from the courtroom.
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Old 29-12-2018, 22:48   #58
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
What ifs do not detract from legal responsibility..
Maybe a lot of you should look into these things before casually advertising for crew.
I hear a Mayday.. do I think what if..???
No.. I alter course and see if I can render assistance.. so far I have been lucky.. commercial vessels have got there first and either saved the crew or stood by while they are helicoptered off..
People who make their living on the sea tend to respond automatically when life is at risk.. its a different world that may be hard to understand but its why RTW racers turn around and sail 200 plus miles to weather.. To Save a Life.
To my mind the situation was manageable bar for stoneheads.. Sorry.!!!
Boatie, what I think people who have not crossed oceans don't "get" is just how ruddy difficult those 200 mi. to windward to rescue a fellow sailor can be. So they read it, but it doesn't connect meaningfully with their experience. It is sorta like walking barefoot on desert sand, against a headwind, with barely adequate water for two or three days. You're not likely to die from trying it, but the possibility is there, especially if you've a de-lamination issue with your boat. You're risking your life to save the other guy, and he'd do the same for you.

About the time the guy jumped in the water, the whole scenario changes. He's gone from being a stressed out owner acting strangely--which is noticeable, but difficult to figure what on earth is happening with him--to being a danger to himself. [He just showed you that.] At the point he left the deck, he became a victim in need of rescue, and possible restraint. Failure to deal with the new situation is what the skipper was convicted for.

On land, there are actually a few ways of making a crazy person responsible for his or her actions, but once in the water, rescue and restraint is all you have. (!)


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Old 30-12-2018, 03:12   #59
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pirate Re: Lost crew captain charged

Thanks Ann..
Something like I was trying to get at.. but made assumptions that more understanding about a skippers legal responsibilities was out there than actually exists.
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Old 30-12-2018, 03:51   #60
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

There but for the grace of God go any of us. There is no doubt that both parties contributed to this mess.

I see no compelling need to prosecute the Capt. I see no social benefit, other than revenge by the family.

Lots of good comes from discussing this situation. These “after action” round tables are great. And from that perspective I think that there is a lo the Capt should have done differently. And, I’m guessing, that the subject Capt would agree in an honest moment while not under prosecution when he could talk freely. That said the jumper also had great responsibility he shirked. Some very strong mitigating circumstances here.

I just don’t see the need for the prosecution.
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