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Old 25-01-2012, 22:30   #1
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Who is Responsible for Anchor Dragging

Recently a boat drug anchor during a storm and destroyed another boat in it's path. The dragging boat had no insurance. However, the dragging boat did hire a diving and boat salvage company to set his anchor for him. Could that company be held responsible for damages from a boat dragging anchor that they set if the boat owner had no insurance?
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Old 25-01-2012, 22:33   #2
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Re: Who is responsible for anchor dragging

How big was the dragging boat and why did he hire a diver to set the anchor, ??????????????????????????????
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Old 25-01-2012, 23:08   #3
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Re: Who is responsible for anchor dragging

The dragging boat was about 55' cement hull. The damaged boat was about 47' wood hull. Extensive damage was done. The dragging boat was a live-aboard vessel captained by an elder man who has health problems and needed help with his anchoring.
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Old 25-01-2012, 23:17   #4
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Re: Who is responsible for anchor dragging

The skipper is always the responsible party.
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Old 25-01-2012, 23:19   #5
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Re: Who is responsible for anchor dragging

Should Captian Stuffit be absolved of all responsibility of what happens aboard his cruise ship after he steps ashore?
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Old 25-01-2012, 23:20   #6
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Re: Who is responsible for anchor dragging

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The skipper is always the responsible party.
Yup.
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Old 25-01-2012, 23:26   #7
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Re: Who is responsible for anchor dragging

The Captian/skipper/owner is responsible for what ever his boat/crew does.
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Old 26-01-2012, 01:26   #8
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Re: Who is responsible for anchor dragging

Skipper's responsible whether he paid someone to set / check the anchor or not, whether he was on the boat at the time or not. What was the anchor by the way? a 55 ft ferro will be pretty hefty and need an anchor to match.
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Old 26-01-2012, 02:08   #9
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Re: Who is responsible for anchor dragging

not sure what the anchor was. Think it was a CQR or two, which don't work so well around here in this mud zone.
I guess the beat-up boat captain will have to sue the dragging boat owner (who's broke) and hope he can get a lean against his boat for damages. Good luck.
Thanks for the help.
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Old 26-01-2012, 04:12   #10
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Ultimately, the skipped is responsible, but that doesn't absolve other parties to at least partial liability. I know for a fact that the USCG has been successfully sued after a boat ran aground when a buoy was off station. Even though the skipper had responsibility, the Coast Guard had some too. Of course, this all depends on local laws and any contractual language he had with the dive and salvage company.
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Old 26-01-2012, 04:34   #11
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Re: Who is Responsible for Anchor Dragging

only a judge can say, and not until money has crossed the palms of lawyers!
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Old 26-01-2012, 05:01   #12
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Re: Who is Responsible for Anchor Dragging

Where did this happen? (What state if in the US?)

The real question here I am guessing, is if the elderly gentleman could pursue damages based on negligence in Civil court?

My initial thoughts are "Sure, he can sue", but that is going to be very difficult to pursue successfully. The "salvage" company no doubt is insured, which means free representation. I would also be willing to guess that no documentation what so ever can be produced stating the detailed circumstances of services provided to him, except the receipt he signed that stated the company is by no means responsible for damage caused by "acts of god".

Would love to know some more details about this.
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Old 26-01-2012, 05:34   #13
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Re: Who is Responsible for Anchor Dragging

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Originally Posted by Pyrate View Post
Ultimately, the skipped is responsible, but that doesn't absolve other parties to at least partial liability. I know for a fact that the USCG has been successfully sued after a boat ran aground when a buoy was off station. Even though the skipper had responsibility, the Coast Guard had some too. Of course, this all depends on local laws and any contractual language he had with the dive and salvage company.


You have to love legal advice on the internet. So this advise is not to be relied on by any party, advice given is worth 2 cent minus the legal fees that the layers will charge. What is written here is based on Australia law that may or may not be the same as the relevant US/State laws.

The contract to set the anchor was between fero boat and salvage company. Wood boat has no direct action available against salvage company under contract law. Wood boat probably has an action available to them against Fero boat. Fero boat may be able to join Salvage company in the action claiming that their action caused fero boat to drag, but good luck with that. That depends a lot on the terms and conditions of the contract and any warranties given by the salvage company. Then Fero boat would need to prove that there was a direct causal effect flowing from the breach of contract.

Case "quote" of successful action against USCG Would probable been argued under duty of care. That is to say that USCG is charge by legislation with marking the channel and that they operate with the expectation that the information will be relied on by users of the channel. There is a direct relationship between the boater and USCG as well as a provable cause and effect, a very different situation.

Most applicable legal maxim "sue and be dammed"
Most probable outcome, layers fees pay for speed boats. Wood and Fero end up broke and out of pocket
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Old 26-01-2012, 07:14   #14
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Re: Who is Responsible for Anchor Dragging

Most people fail to realize that when they travel to a different country that they are an alien. The laws of their home country nolonger apply. The host country seldom mediates property damage between two aliens, and if the mediation envolves an alien and a citizen then the rules are adjusted.

If we don't know more details ie: country and nationalities then we have no basis for judgement.
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Old 26-01-2012, 07:39   #15
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Re: Who is Responsible for Anchor Dragging

It happened in Washington State, USA. Ferro boat owner/captain gave no apologies and denies responsibility. Diving/Salvage company also denies responsibility and plans to re-anchor ferro again at owner's request as soon as possible. Wood boat owner considers his boat totaled and left to resolve problems/issues on own. Ferro owner has no insurance. Both boat owners are American citizens. Ferro boat is a documented boat (no state registration). Wooden (damaged) boat is licensed in WA state.
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