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Old 30-11-2008, 10:35   #76
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As I waded through this thread......It doesn't seemed mentioned too often that lights not only identify a vessel but indicate its direction.....i.e. red and green with a white above......means it is comin at ya. etc.

Many people miss the joy of night cruising.......because they are "skeert" of it.

Probably due to ignorance of lights and their use....fine wit me!!!!!
I mentioned in post number five that the lights describe both aspect and status.
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Old 30-11-2008, 10:48   #77
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Hold on

The tug had the proper lights..

The pleasure boater had very little understanding... in fact the main finding of the report is he had no training and no understanding of the lights.

It is very common practice in any course here on the "wet coast" to teach that there are tugs and booms moving all the time. Its almost impossible to see a log boom from a distance in the daytime.

The barge had a lantern that could only be seen from 0.4 miles away not the required 3 miles.

But very important here is the pleasure boater did not hit the barge directly. He ran into the 240 meter cable and was tangled. The barge then ran into him.

The really important question is...

If the barge had a 3 mile light on it, would the pleasure boater have hit the cable between the tug and the barge? I think from reading the report that the pleasure boater had no clue that there was a cable there.

Its not that the pleasure boater looked at the tug and thought Hmmm.... A tug displaying 3 white lights and a yellow towing light ....but hold on I cant see the barge light there must be no barge behind.... I'll just proceed behind this tug clearly displaying towing lights!

One could argue.. that a barge at night looks exactly like a vessel under sail from a forward side angle and the only clue of a cable is the tug lights.

I don't read how the tug could have prevented this?
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Old 30-11-2008, 10:59   #78
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The tug had the proper lights..

The pleasure boater had very little understanding... in fact the main finding of the report is he had no training and no understanding of the lights.

It is very common practice in any course here on the "wet coast" to teach that there are tugs and booms moving all the time. Its almost impossible to see a log boom from a distance in the daytime.

The barge had a lantern that could only be seen from 0.4 miles away not the required 3 miles.

But very important here is the pleasure boater did not hit the barge directly. He ran into the 240 meter cable and was tangled. The barge then ran into him.

The really important question is...

If the barge had a 3 mile light on it, would the pleasure boater have hit the cable between the tug and the barge? I think from reading the report that the pleasure boater had no clue that there was a cable there.

Its not that the pleasure boater looked at the tug and thought Hmmm.... A tug displaying 3 white lights and a yellow towing light ....but hold on I cant see the barge light there must be no barge behind.... I'll just proceed behind this tug clearly displaying towing lights!

One could argue.. that a barge at night looks exactly like a vessel under sail from a forward side angle and the only clue of a cable is the tug lights.

I don't read how the tug could have prevented this?
I agree with you. All points. With a slight caveat. Depending on how close they went to the stern of the tug. If the barge had proper lights, they may have not elected to go between, then again, they might have.

But, to debate this incident, it should probably be in a thread of it's own.

-dan
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Old 30-11-2008, 12:13   #79
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A few years ago...


There was a new power boater out watching the fireworks in Vancouver. Had his family on the boat. In the rush to get back in the dark he failed to notice the tug towing a boom or was it a barge...either way he didn't understand headed towards its stern and killed his family on the cable.

I think the operative words here is in a rush
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Old 30-11-2008, 13:26   #80
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Yes rushing around and not understanding the situation.

Does this bring us full circle to that the rules of the road are too confusing?
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Old 30-11-2008, 13:32   #81
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Yes rushing around and not understanding the situation.

Does this bring us full circle to that the rules of the road are too confusing?
Nope - Life is too confusing, with which our inadequate intelligence often fails to cope.
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Old 30-11-2008, 13:38   #82
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Does this bring us full circle to that the rules of the road are too confusing?
No: The rules are not confusing, they are actually pretty straight forward but a boat operator needs to sit down and study. (memorize)

If one is too lazy or not motivated to study on his or her own, there is severeal good courses available: Sea School, The Power Squadron and a few others come to mind.

Even if one does not have the sea time or other qualifications to take the Coast Guard test for a commercial ticket, one can still take the course and learn the same stuff.

I have been through those courses a couple of times, highly recommended and much easier than changing the rules.
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Old 30-11-2008, 14:29   #83
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Yes rushing around and not understanding the situation.

Does this bring us full circle to that the rules of the road are too confusing?
No. In the case of the recreational boater. it demonstrates the need for much for education and experience. It might also show the need for licensing boaters, including a graduated license for daytime operation only, leading eventually to all conditions. This is the sequence used by most certification organizations, like ASA, CYA, RYA and ISPA.

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Old 30-11-2008, 16:06   #84
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I agree. I agree. I agree!

... just take courses do the practical and take it easy out there as you build up knowledge. I would recommend CYA... to anyone here in Canada.

Hopefully the need to have obtained a PCOC will help, although it is too light in knowledge in my opinion. I hope it doesn't give a false sense of confidence to new boaters that obtain it.

I'm sure we all agree the tug incident was a very tragic accident.. there was 14 people on board that little boat at least one child died.
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Old 30-11-2008, 16:30   #85
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I'm sorta with dacust. Once you learn the lights, and I did to pass the test, you have to use the knowledge regularly or it fades away. We have tons of commerical traffic around here and plenty of opportunity to practice. However, we don't get out at night as much as we would like to, who does?

Better to be cautious and give things a wide berth at night. Most especially in crossing situations.
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Old 30-11-2008, 20:17   #86
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The Tug Captain screwed up!

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The tug had the proper lights..

I don't read how the tug could have prevented this?
I know those waters intimately having towed large barges in and out many times during hi density public fireworks and other events so when I read the Transport Canada report I can visualize clearly what happened. (And what he should have done)

1/The Tug captain ignored the fact that there were a lot of pleasure craft amateurs out that night who were not practiced in night operations, would be in a party atmosphere and generally disoriented.

That should have been enough to order additional lookouts and other precautions but Guild/Union overtime rules and their general “bus driver” mindset would have probably upset his crew from any deviation from their accepted work schedule, which is such a sad commentary on seamanship!

2/Despite extraordinary circumstances, he stuck with his normal procedures to lengthen his tow, speed up and relieve his duty lookout so that the lookout could do other domestic galley chores.

The Captain’s priority was to stick to his schedule and probably get a fresh pot of coffee going.
Instead he should have kept the tow at a relatively short tether of about 90m, light up the barge with his spotlight and keep the lookout’s protected night vision focused on poorly lit or broken down pleasure craft. The Mate should have been monitoring the 2nd Radar at about a 1.5nm close quarters, high sensitivity settings to keep the Captain informed.

Speed would only have dropped by about 1.5knts to around 6knts if the barge was balanced


3/When the Captain realized that some pleasure craft was flashing his spotlight he left the bridge in order to find/regain his lookout/ tried to answer a cell phone and by the time they both got back to the unmanned bridge, there was no time to avoid the tragedy.

This is where he really screwed up.
Protecting his ass, without loosing face he went looking for his lookout, loosing whatever night vision he had and by just ass.uming that there was no imminent danger, he took himself out of the equation.

Instead, sensing unknown boats, he should have backed off on the power (that would have brought his deckhand and mate running). Tried to light up the barge with his powerful spotlight and sounded the danger signal to wake up any other small boats around him to his tow. By backing off on the power the steel towline would also sink.

It may sound like I am being a bit hard on the tug Captain but it is an ethical understanding (with legal precedents) that professional mariners handling vessels of heavy tonnage are supposed to know that some pleasure craft operators have no knowledge or skills in running their boats.

Just like a driver going by a school zone or playground you are expected take extra precautions and know better, when there are innocent kids around.

The Captain screwed up and I imagine retirement was not far behind.
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:08   #87
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Just like a driver going by a school zone or playground you are expected take extra precautions and know better, when there are innocent kids around.
I agree with your assessment about the tug master - he screwed-up repeatedly. I don't entirely agree with this quote - though I understand what you're saying and agree the pro's by default need to watch out for the amateurs - I think it is a sad state of affairs that we allow this to happen. The "operator" of the Sunboy was not a child - he was an adult (supposedly of normal mental competency). In the two years he owned the boat, he apparently made no effort to increase his knowledge or skill-set; this not only endangered his own well-being, but because he chose to take passengers, he endangered others too - the result: five people were killed because of his incompetence.

I've used the phrase "more money than brains" before, and this is one of those cases where it fits. As long as we(society) allow dangerously unqualified persons to proceed to sea, this will continue to happen.

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Old 01-12-2008, 08:51   #88
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I'm sorta with dacust. Once you learn the lights, and I did to pass the test, you have to use the knowledge regularly or it fades away. We have tons of commerical traffic around here and plenty of opportunity to practice. However, we don't get out at night as much as we would like to, who does?

Better to be cautious and give things a wide berth at night. Most especially in crossing situations.
That is excellent advice.

When I was in the school system, one of our truisms was that the best way to learn something was to teach it. As an instructor, I teach the lights several times a year and make about a dozen night passages a year. That helps me to retain the knowledge.

Jack
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:49   #89
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I've used the phrase "more money than brains" before.

Kevin
I call it more green matter than gray matter.

Its generally not the case with people in here but I think lots of boaters don't take boating seriously enough to educate themselves well enough to keep themselves relatively safe.
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Old 01-12-2008, 13:06   #90
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That is excellent advice.
When I was in the school system, one of our truisms was that the best way to learn something was to teach it. As an instructor, I teach the lights several times a year and make about a dozen night passages a year. That helps me to retain the knowledge.
Jack
You do your learning; then your teaching; which helps retain your proficiency.

Do surgeons watch one, do one, teach one?
(I've often used the phrase, & thought I should finally check if it's true)
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