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Old 30-12-2018, 11:43   #76
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

Interesting case, moral dilemma: Should we save ourselves and let the crazy guy sink, or should we turn back and retrieve, then restrain him?
I take strangers onboard my charter boat all the time, paying pax, but only for a few hours and not only within sight of land, but within yards of land.
(River, sightseeing cruises in Fort Lauderdale)
Boat police, Marine sheriffs, US coast guard minutes, even seconds away, easy..

(OdinCharters| WireFrame Home)

Never taken strangers on my sailboat on long passages, or even short ones, only friends and family.
Reading this thread, looks like I will continue that policy...
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Old 30-12-2018, 11:53   #77
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

Its all about decisions. This wasn't just seasickness. He was showing irrational behavior. He wasn't a well man. He was 57, obese, with lower extremity edema bad enough to not be able to get his shoes on. He wasn't keeping liquids or food down. There was worry about dehydration. Even non medical personnel could see the danger.
And he was unknown to captain and crew. No knowledge of his past medical history or the allergies/meds he was on. Captain takes responsibility for knowing this basic information and has it in his manifest. Enough doubts right there to turn
around.

He wasn't a young fit sailor adjusting to his sea legs. Otherwise I agree, you get better in a few days. USUAllY.
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Old 30-12-2018, 11:58   #78
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

How I'm seeing this is that for amateurs, like me, one might not understand that the owner was "in distress, just about from the very beginning. One would do what one could to help the guy with his seasickness, perhaps not putting it together in one's own mind that this is "distress" and you should take him somewhere.

But the moment he becomes violent he is a "danger to others", and the moment his feet leave the deck, he's a "danger to himself". It is the lack of perspective on the captain's part, possibly his adrenalin rush when attacked impaired his ability to consider the situation from a proper skipperly point of view.

Boatie's had training (you don't skipper large vessels without it). He wrote: "He then failed in his duty of care by not heading for shore after 24hrs at sea observing the continuing distress the man was suffering.. each following day in my opinion was a repeat offense and a cumulative failure of care which worsened his condition and led up to the tragedy."

The issue of the scop patches is interesting. Had my doctor at the time not advised me to try them ashore before going out on the water because of the hallucination problem, I wouldn't have known. If you've never seen someone hallucinate before, you might not understand what you were seeing, nor the need to remove the patch. They're effective, used properly, for 3 days. Removal would not reverse the process fast. What has got into your blood stream's there, and its effectiveness would taper off over time. If what this is mostly about is a bad reaction to scop, then what a tragedy that the owner lost his life because of it, as well as the skipper losing his freedom and possibly his livelihood.

Even we amateurs could get caught up in the duty of care problem. One would need to guard against just reacting to someone acting annoying and belligerent, and understand that behavior as "distress". I think one should understand it that way, I just don't know if i might get caught up in the emotions of the situation and behave incorrectly. We do have the duty of care, too, just like a professional.

Even I, though, would understand the need to try to rescue the one who went overboard.

Ann
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Old 30-12-2018, 12:14   #79
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pirate Re: Lost crew captain charged

Ann.. The owner of the boat is the skipper who's being charged..
The deceased was a new to all on board crew member who joined to fill in for someone leaving the boat in Beaufort.
The skipper and his two friends had never met the guy before so I guess no loyalties to pressure for turning round and following a MOB pattern and recovery.
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Old 30-12-2018, 12:31   #80
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

^^^^Thanks for setting me straight, Boatie.

So, owner-skipper, perhaps not even understanding the duty of care.....all along. If it is the scopolamine that caused irrational behavior, the whole incident is a great tragedy.

Ann
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Old 30-12-2018, 13:44   #81
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

In another scenario, what if the captain turned around and found him, hauled him back on board and while they are trying to restrain him he kills one of the crew.

Leaving out the sea sickness patch, is the captain up for manslaughter by knowingly bringing a violent unstable big guy on board?
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Old 30-12-2018, 17:50   #82
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_S View Post
In another scenario, what if the captain turned around and found him, hauled him back on board and while they are trying to restrain him he kills one of the crew.

Leaving out the sea sickness patch, is the captain up for manslaughter by knowingly bringing a violent unstable big guy on board?
Another Interesting angle. The Devils choice, can’t win..

Not sure what the correct answers is, but if my boat I would probably have restrained the fat guy, with the help of the other crew, before he went suicidal.
Easy to be the Monday Morning Quarterback however, the Jury and the Judge should remember that also..
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Old 30-12-2018, 18:40   #83
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingScot View Post
A lot of good comments and unfortunate events like these help me think about what I should do as captain or even as crew on another boat. It is good that you think of how you will meet the exigent circumstance before it occurs. A formal risk matrix would be beneficial.

What I don't understand is how many people keep saying that the sea sickness is reason to turn around or head to the closest port. I understand that people can take 3 days to adjust. Should we always turn around if a crew person feels sick on day 2? If someone has experience at sea and on boats before mean we should give them more time or less time to acclimate?
Think of the sea sickness as a contributing factor, just one more link in the chain.

To answer your question, first recognize that not all people and and their conditions are the same. Again referring to a risk matrix, it may be best to not leave the dock with a particular person. As things progress, it may be the best course of action is to return to port ASAP.

Someone said the patch is prescription only. That means the drug would come with literature which describes, among other things, symptoms including discontinuing symptoms. The Captain should monitor the 'patient' whether directly or by assigning another crew to observe. Captain should have already had a plan of how to meet the circumstance before it gets out of hand.
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Old 30-12-2018, 18:58   #84
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
How I'm seeing this is that for amateurs, like me, one might not understand that the owner was "in distress, just about from the very beginning. One would do what one could to help the guy with his seasickness, perhaps not putting it together in one's own mind that this is "distress" and you should take him somewhere.

But the moment he becomes violent he is a "danger to others", and the moment his feet leave the deck, he's a "danger to himself". It is the lack of perspective on the captain's part, possibly his adrenalin rush when attacked impaired his ability to consider the situation from a proper skipperly point of view.

Boatie's had training (you don't skipper large vessels without it). He wrote: "He then failed in his duty of care by not heading for shore after 24hrs at sea observing the continuing distress the man was suffering.. each following day in my opinion was a repeat offense and a cumulative failure of care which worsened his condition and led up to the tragedy."

The issue of the scop patches is interesting. Had my doctor at the time not advised me to try them ashore before going out on the water because of the hallucination problem, I wouldn't have known. If you've never seen someone hallucinate before, you might not understand what you were seeing, nor the need to remove the patch. They're effective, used properly, for 3 days. Removal would not reverse the process fast. What has got into your blood stream's there, and its effectiveness would taper off over time. If what this is mostly about is a bad reaction to scop, then what a tragedy that the owner lost his life because of it, as well as the skipper losing his freedom and possibly his livelihood.

Even we amateurs could get caught up in the duty of care problem. One would need to guard against just reacting to someone acting annoying and belligerent, and understand that behavior as "distress". I think one should understand it that way, I just don't know if i might get caught up in the emotions of the situation and behave incorrectly. We do have the duty of care, too, just like a professional.

Even I, though, would understand the need to try to rescue the one who went overboard.

Ann
Ann, in reading your good comment I am reminded of a written out risk matrix that I have. It is for aviation but would be well suited for mariners. Its around here somewhere, I should look for it, it is fairly concise.

It goes like this (modified for sailing): Preparing to cast off the dock - 1; with unknown/less familiar crew - 3; in inclement/building weather - 5; at night - 5; overnight passage - 5; all systems fully functioning - minus1; some systems less functioning/inoperable - 3...etc. Add up the numbers, the higher the total number, decide whether to accept the risk.

Anchor(s) and rode well capable and secured, sufficient fuel + reserves for ALL engines, proper clothing and gear for all anticipated conditions for all persons, etc can be added and assigned a numerical value which correlates to the risk level of each factor. State of readiness of each factor can be expressed by a numerical value.

In the aftermath we can see there was some multi-dimensional distress aboard that vessel. The burning question yet unanswered is where was the mind of that experienced Captain? It seems that to say it was complacency is woefully inadequate an answer.
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Old 30-12-2018, 20:22   #85
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

There is a weird vibe here regarding the discussion of this weird tale.
We have a professional mariner solution stated as MOB/SAR no-matter-what versus an amatuer cruiser good-riddance philosophy. The best question is: what would you have done? I suspect the answer is not so black and white.

Put aside the legal bit for a moment. We can (almost) all agree that a proper MOB search SHOULD have been done... but what would YOU have done? Put yourself in Rick Smith's boots (according the the USCG report)...

You're the captain. You're at the helm in the middle of the night. You've just been punched in the face TWICE by a hallucinating guy that outweighs you by 100lb. One hundred. Now he's choking you- trying to kill you. You eek out a whisper for help to the ONE other male crew onboard, Jacob, while the female hides below.(collecting zip ties, no doubt) Jacob doesn't know HOW to help because "he's never been in a fight". You manage to swing the wheel, knock the crazy man off balance, and across the cockpit. Crazy man then jumps into the abyss, uttering nonsense as his last words.

Sitting here on land, I'm pretty sure I would have simply performed the MOB we have practiced so many times.
Then again, Mike Tyson's words should not be easily dismissed:
"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."
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Old 30-12-2018, 22:24   #86
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

cyan, I think the above is very well imagined. I can only say I really don't know what I would do. It is possible if I were socked really hard while on the helm, I would lose consciousness! hope i'd had a designated 2nd helmsperson! If not injured, I might feel furious! Your body says, just let him go, but your mind should say MOB!!!

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Old 30-12-2018, 22:38   #87
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyan View Post
There is a weird vibe here regarding the discussion of this weird tale.
We have a professional mariner solution stated as MOB/SAR no-matter-what versus an amatuer cruiser good-riddance philosophy. The best question is: what would you have done? I suspect the answer is not so black and white.

Put aside the legal bit for a moment. We can (almost) all agree that a proper MOB search SHOULD have been done... but what would YOU have done? Put yourself in Rick Smith's boots (according the the USCG report)...

You're the captain. You're at the helm in the middle of the night. You've just been punched in the face TWICE by a hallucinating guy that outweighs you by 100lb. One hundred. Now he's choking you- trying to kill you. You eek out a whisper for help to the ONE other male crew onboard, Jacob, while the female hides below.(collecting zip ties, no doubt) Jacob doesn't know HOW to help because "he's never been in a fight". You manage to swing the wheel, knock the crazy man off balance, and across the cockpit. Crazy man then jumps into the abyss, uttering nonsense as his last words.

Sitting here on land, I'm pretty sure I would have simply performed the MOB we have practiced so many times.
Then again, Mike Tyson's words should not be easily dismissed:
"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

Possibly carried out a MOB search emulating the behaviour of Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen?



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Old 31-12-2018, 02:03   #88
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

Also, getting into a street fight with a really fat guy is typically more comical than dangerous, but only because you can easily outrun him if things turn south. Taking on a sumo wrestler whilst locked together in a small area is different altogether.
Sure, we all have zip ties and duct tape onboard, but who actually carries a taser? I don’t even think a fancy lightweight carbon fiber winch handle would be a good weapon. (I’ll take aluminum.)
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Old 31-12-2018, 02:45   #89
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pirate Re: Lost crew captain charged

Methinks a lot of boat owners/skippers need to take some basic self defense classes before considering taking on crew from internet sites..
Eye gouging, knee to testicles or grab and squeeze and twist, how to stick the nut on someone without hurting oneself, if someone has grabbed you by the throat grip their little fingers and twist outwards and up.. they will let go as the fingers break.. learn how to half nelson someone so they lose conciousness.. usually 30 seconds..
Or.. if your carrying a gun as these were, shoot him in the leg.
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Old 31-12-2018, 05:52   #90
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Re: Lost crew captain charged

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyan View Post
....
We have a professional mariner solution stated as MOB/SAR no-matter-what versus an amatuer cruiser good-riddance philosophy.
....
Then again, Mike Tyson's words should not be easily dismissed:
"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

Regarding your first point- the owner held a USCG license of some type. And IMHO any owner who hires crew should be held to a similar level. The “amateur” excuse is not applicable.

The reality is that if they recovered this guy he would most likely be exhausted and compliant. Keep in mind they had a weapon aboard.


The Tyson quote is one of my favorites- together with “the first fatality in a disaster is THE PLAN”, because no disaster ever follows your plan. In a previous post I stated that one of the keys to crisis is to evaluate before acting. You need to adjust the plan for the specific problem.

If there is one single failure point that resulted in the death of the mutineer it is the failure to evaluate.

The failure to evaluate was also seen in the absence of any documented medical conversations with the mutineer (he was on some serious meds) and again in dispensing of a perscription drug by a non-physician to a stranger versus numerous OTCs that are effective.

Part of vessel management should be understanding the importance of evaluating a problem before acting. Doing nothing IS a conscious act.
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