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Old 24-08-2013, 12:52   #1
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Abandoning Ship, Maybe Scuttle it Too?

Or does abandoning your boat somehow relieve you of responsibility for the potential hazard to navigation you just left behind?
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Old 24-08-2013, 13:00   #2
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Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

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Originally Posted by Delancy View Post
Or does abandoning your boat somehow relieve you of responsibility for the potential hazard to navigation you just left behind?

I know someone who lost his rudder in heavy seas in the Gulf of Mexico. The Coast Guard took everyone off, would not let him stay behind. They sent him down to open the through holes, and instead he set a transponder to an unused frequency.

He got back to shore, hired a private boat, they followed the transponder, and rescued his boat. But the Coast Guard (to their credit, in rough seas) tried to tow the boat first, even though it had no steering. They couldn't do it.

This person undoubtedly violated some law, but his boat wasn't out there long, it wasn't in a commonly used traffic lane, and he had it back within 24 hours.

Come to think of it, that boat has a Hunter shell. There's that pesky rudder again ...
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Old 24-08-2013, 13:05   #3
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Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

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They sent him down to open the through holes, and instead he set a transponder to an unused frequency.
The only guys I know with transponders which can be set to unused frequencies are in the drug smuggling business.

There is no right answer to the scuttling business.
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Old 24-08-2013, 13:07   #4
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Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

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The only guys I know with transponders which can be set to unused frequencies are in the drug smuggling business.

then you don't know everyone on the planet.
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Old 24-08-2013, 14:08   #5
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Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

How do you know? I seen him around.
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Old 24-08-2013, 14:32   #6
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Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

Just curious. Anyone have knowledge of an abandoned boat ever being hit by another vessel? It seems most end up aground creating potential salvage and expense headaches for the owner. If none have ever been the cause of a collision is it possible the hazard is being overstated?

Just playing devil's advocate, not suggesting scuttling a boat you're abandoning should not be a consideration. But, if there is a chance one may recover the boat - is scuttling the only reasonable thing to do? Assume the batteries are good, have a reasonable charge and can power l.e.d. navigation lights for some time. Even if the lighting is incandescent.
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Old 24-08-2013, 14:51   #7
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Red face Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

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How do you know? I seen him around.

You said, "The only guys I know with transponders which can be set to unused frequencies are in the drug smuggling business."

To which I replied that obviously you don't know every one on the planet -- because you don't know the fellow who pulled this off.

You don't know this guy; I don't know anyone in the drug smuggling business. Clearly we know different people.
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Old 24-08-2013, 14:57   #8
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Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

abandoned boats show up nicely on radar.


those of us serious about keeping our homes will repair stuff not abandon ship.
the capt of the distressed boat has the option of remaining on board.
yes i have known souls who had crew call for rescue. they were rescued and capt stayed on board to sail to whereverville. ihave even sailed with 2 of these souls. lol.
it is not mandatory to leave boat if someone calls for rescue.
one guy i know who had a crew call for rescue because he felt unsafe--- the capt of the allegedly distressed boat was cooking bbq on his rail during 20-30 kt winds off pnw coast and flipping burgers as the uscg helo passed low and asked if he was ok--the follow up visit.....
there are many stories out there, many are even truth--but the facts is , one isnt ordered to scuttle ones ship when one is removed from it. nor is it mandatory to leave ship when uscg rescues one crew.

but what would i know. i only been doing this a few days now......rodlamfao
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:01   #9
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Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

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abandoned boats show up nicely on radar.


but what would i know. i only been doing this a few days now......rodlamfao
Thanks for the clarification!
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:21   #10
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Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

We have friends who did scuttle their boat. She was a timber schooner, and she sprang a garboard strake, which meant she could not handle the sea any more... This was extremely unfortunate, for she was being delivered to its new owner, who of course, never got it. As it happens, other friends were nearby, and our friends were able to salvage personal belongings. They set her sails outside the reef in deep water, opened the seacocks, and watched her go down, with all her flags flying.

Another friend, a singlehander from a respected sailing family and himself an extremely responsible sailor, as well as being a nice guy, also scuttled his beloved vessel, rather than leave her afloat as a hazard to navigation.

Today, it seems that many people abandon ship when there's nothing major wrong, but they are tired, scared, and push the panic button. Of course, there did not used to be such ubiquitous possibility of rescue.

I guess, if you look at the whole tradition, you see the advice, "climb into the liferaft when you have to step up to do it", and before liferafts, those vessels went down with all hands. Scuttling became the tradition and/or standard before life rafts and AAA for boats.

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Old 24-08-2013, 15:39   #11
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Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
We have friends who did scuttle their boat. She was a timber schooner, and she sprang a garboard strake, which meant she could not handle the sea any more... This was extremely unfortunate, for she was being delivered to its new owner, who of course, never got it. As it happens, other friends were nearby, and our friends were able to salvage personal belongings. They set her sails outside the reef in deep water, opened the seacocks, and watched her go down, with all her flags flying.

Another friend, a singlehander from a respected sailing family and himself an extremely responsible sailor, as well as being a nice guy, also scuttled his beloved vessel, rather than leave her afloat as a hazard to navigation.

Today, it seems that many people abandon ship when there's nothing major wrong, but they are tired, scared, and push the panic button. Of course, there did not used to be such ubiquitous possibility of rescue.

I guess, if you look at the whole tradition, you see the advice, "climb into the liferaft when you have to step up to do it", and before liferafts, those vessels went down with all hands. Scuttling became the tradition and/or standard before life rafts and AAA for boats.

Ann

I thought in the case of my acquaintance that it was unreasonable on the Coast Guard's part to insist that the captain leave his ship. If he wanted to do the prudent thing for his crew I'm all for that, but then maybe he should have been able to make his own choice. But I could see the headlines -- "Coast Guard Leaves Captain Behind to his Fate" or something.

In any case, the seas had calmed down enough that someone was able to tow his boat in the next day.

I had to be towed without steering one day, and the waves were only about 3', but that Boat US driver did not have a pleasant 3 - 4 hours with my boat jerking to port and then to starboard behind him until he could finally hip toe me near the marina basin.

I believe in the case I described in the Gulf, the tow line broke twice. I bet the boat owner didn't tell the next tow boat that!
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Old 24-08-2013, 16:10   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
We have friends who did scuttle their boat. She was a timber schooner, and she sprang a garboard strake, which meant she could not handle the sea any more... This was extremely unfortunate, for she was being delivered to its new owner, who of course, never got it. As it happens, other friends were nearby, and our friends were able to salvage personal belongings. They set her sails outside the reef in deep water, opened the seacocks, and watched her go down, with all her flags flying.

Another friend, a singlehander from a respected sailing family and himself an extremely responsible sailor, as well as being a nice guy, also scuttled his beloved vessel, rather than leave her afloat as a hazard to navigation.

Today, it seems that many people abandon ship when there's nothing major wrong, but they are tired, scared, and push the panic button. Of course, there did not used to be such ubiquitous possibility of rescue.

I guess, if you look at the whole tradition, you see the advice, "climb into the liferaft when you have to step up to do it", and before liferafts, those vessels went down with all hands. Scuttling became the tradition and/or standard before life rafts and AAA for boats.

Ann
I'm a bit confused, wouldn't scuttling make more sense after life rafts or rescue became available? If I lived before those options, I don't think I'd be deliberately scuttling anything, since I'd have nowhere else to go and would rather stay above water as long as possible.

Scuttling when taken off the vessel came more from a naval tradition and had more to do with keeping things from other hands I thought.

That being said, if I had to be taken off my boat, and I didn't have a reasonable way to mark it for prompt recovery, down it goes. I've thought about it a lot, and to me the potential liability, and risk to others are too significant without having a strong chance of recovery in short order.

In many old stories it seems that sailors ending up with boats on reefs could later recover from there. Seems like these days you'd have to pay for the environmental impact studies, repairs to the reef or the sand and rock, and for the removal of the boat, whether or not it ess still usable. Cheaper to replace the boat imo.
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Old 24-08-2013, 16:11   #13
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Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

Some scuttle some do not.

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Old 24-08-2013, 16:46   #14
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Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

Hiya Captain 58! When flying, aircraft transponders can be set with any code up to 4 digits as requested by Air Traffic Controllers; so that they can see you on their radar screens and give you aircraft separation information. FYI!

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Old 25-08-2013, 02:51   #15
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Re: Abandoning ship, maybe scuttle it too?

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Or does abandoning your boat somehow relieve you of responsibility for the potential hazard to navigation you just left behind?
I think you need to separate legal from moral - my speciality .

Legally you responsible if the vessel comes ashore (to clean it up).

Afloat if someone hits it then it will not be solely your fault (takes 2 not looking to have a collision!).......but a fair chance you will need some insurance, at least to argue in court even if the result is 50 / 50.


Morally? a tricky one. Scuttling the boat sounds easy - but not without risk. Could get trapped below and sink with the boat (especially if boat already starting to flood and stuff floating around)......or simply that the rescue gets abandoned at the last moment (that ship was not so easy to climb up as it seemed! or the Helicopter got a problem and went home. or crashed!)....in any event won't be scuttling before getting into a liferaft. unless an idjut.

So my answer would be.......it depends . If safe to do so, and no plans to come back for the boat (officially or not!). The impact on the other people is secondary! - if someone can't miss an empty boat likely they would have trouble avoiding a crewed boat (or an empty shore? ).....not my job to be yer mum .

Around these parts I would not be concerned about clean-up up if she came ashore (sea would break her up soon enough - even if I may help with a chainsaw!)........elsewhere that would be a concern (for the bill, not the fish).
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