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Old 25-12-2007, 03:59   #151
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... Finally, they say the lights were taken to a lab and the lab determined they were not one, implying there was some forensic basis for that, but the only actual statement to support that claim is that the panel switch for the running lights was in the "OFF" position, not something you need a lab to determine, so that seems like kind of a non sequitir...
Forensic scientists are often able to establish the functional state (“On” or “Off”), and more, of lightbulbs during a crash.

Forensic Light Bulb Examinations:
http://www.drb-mattech.co.uk/Light%20Bulb%20Examinations.pdf

Lights On, Lights Off
General Aspects of Forensic Lamp Examinations for Private Investigators
Forensic Light Examinations
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Old 25-12-2007, 07:25   #152
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Fascinating stuff

This was very interesting stuff. I guess we have to wait to see if this kind of testimony comes out in the trial. The DOJ report did not give any details on this, it did not even say the bulbs were broken.

In fact, if you read the DOJ report, you are not at all sure they independently communicated with the lab that looked at the lights.

The bottom line for me is, if they are trying to clear things up, why do they not cover these important points.

I realize the trial is pending, and maybe they can't go into everything that might be evidence, but not covering this point seems like a huge hole in the report.

Do you think this is going to trial? I thought they were going to dump it at the last minute, but if a lab can convince the jury the state of the light bulbs at time of impact can be absolutely known, they could win it.

Personally, I am never blaming Dinius for the accident, when the boat's owner was sitting right there. The analogy to car leasing companies being blamed for accidents caused by lessees is ridiculous to me. This is the owner, who asked Dinius to take a ride with him, and the fact Dinius was closest to the tiller means next to nothing. Of course, when you get to the helm, you should doublecheck everything that has been done to that point in time, ie, Are the running lights on?, but still, the owner should have made sure the lights were on when he was right there and he initiated the trip.

Now, last point, did you notice in the report that they said the bow light was ON? I did not understand that claim, but now, with this information on forensic post-crash light bulb exams, I have to think if the bow light was on, then the running lights were on, and if the stern light was out, it was due to a burned out light bulb, not due to the running light switch being out.

Last point. I wonder if Perdock was wearing any kind of glasses, or googles? A good bright stern light might be seen a long way off, with no wind in your eyes, but if you are going 40 mph, with no eye protection, I doubt you can see much of anything.

I seriously doubt, unless Perdock wears glasses and wears them all the time, and there have been many camera chases of him with no glasses visible, that he had any eye protection on. Sunglasses were likely on the boat, but they would be counterproductive, wouldn't they?
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Old 21-05-2008, 14:42   #153
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Finally, an update from today's 'Lectronic Latitude:

* * * * *

"Preliminary Hearing for Bismark Dinius

"May 21, 2008 – Lake County


(Click on the
photo to enlarge it.)

Prosecutors still insist that the person with his hand on the tiller of a drifting sailboat was at fault for being hit by a speeding powerboat in the dead of night.
Photo Courtesy Channel 7 I-Team
© 2008 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

"The preliminary hearing on vehicular manslaughter charges against Bismarck Dinius, 39, of Carmichael, were held yesterday in Lakeport in Lake County. The charges were filed as a result of the death of Lynn Thornton, 51, who was killed on the O'Day 28 Beats Workin' II on the windless night of April 29, 2006, on Clear Lake. Dinius happened to be sitting at the helmsman's position of the sailboat at the time Thornton suffered the injuries that would kill her.

"That Dinius is having to defend himself on these charges is a travesty of justice, as what really caused Thornton's death is Russell Perdock of Lake County slamming his appropriately named Baja Outlaw 24-ft powerboat into Beats Workin' II at 40 mph or more. Why hasn't Perdock been charged? There can only be one explanation in our mind — he's the number two man at the Lake County Sheriff's Department, and law enforcement up there, based on this case, appears to be corrupt as hell."

* * * * *

For the rest of the update, go to:

Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine

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Old 23-05-2008, 13:44   #154
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Maybe an email to the Atty General will bring justice in this case.




Dinius Prelim Hearing Delayed

May 23, 2008 – Lakeport, Lake County
In Wednesday's 'Lectronic, we reported that Bismarck Dinius' preliminary hearing on vehicular manslaughter charges had begun. After just three days of testimony, the hearing has been put on hold until June 10 due to scheduling conflicts.
One of the more interesting pieces of information to come out of the hearing was Deputy James Beland's testimony that, after Deputy Sheriff Russell Perdock — who slammed his powerboat into the drifting sailboat Beats Workin' II at 40+ mph on a pitch black night on Clear Lake, killing Willows resident Lynn Thornton — had given a blood sample at the local hospital, co-worker Beland "drove him around" for more than an hour before taking him home — with the blood sample in the car, no less. Beland couldn't recall what they did or talked about during that hour, but he insisted they didn't talk about the accident. Really? Did they talk about the weather or how the Red Sox were doing? Perdock testified the next day that he was "certain" Beland didn't drive him home, but he didn't say how he got there.
Outside the courtroom, Deputy District Attorney John Langan told a reporter for the Lake County Record-Bee that his job was "to evaluate the evidence as it is and determine if we can go forward. The issue is whether or not Mr. Dinius committed a negligent act or omission while operating the boat, and whether that act caused the death of Ms. Thornton." In other words, if Dinius could not have predicted or foreseen the accident, he cannot be held liable. Could it be that someone in the Lake County DA's office is finally thinking rationally?

As we were writing this up for today's edition, we got a call from Dinius. "Everyone keeps asking that," he said when asked how he was doing. He said the support he's received from the community — and complete strangers — has renewed his faith in human nature. "I didn't cause this accident or Lynn's death — my conscience is clear. I'm not going to let it run my life."
Indeed, Bismarck Dinius is another study in resolve and bravery. "I'm getting married in June," he revealed, "and will be racing in the Catalina 22 Nationals next week in Grapevine, Texas." Look for his report on the event in a future 'Lectronic.
If you'd like to help a fellow sailor, you can donate to Dinius' defense fund by sending checks made out to Bismarck Dinius, writing “Bismarck Dinius Defense Fund” in the memo section, to Sierra Central Credit Union, Attn: Brian Foxworthy, Branch Manager, 306 N. Sunrise Ave., Roseville, CA 95661.
Another way to help was brought to our attention by ‘Lectronic reader Will Sitch. “An analyst at the Public Investigations Unit of the Attorney General’s office said they were following the case to determine if there has been some impropriety in the actions of the Lake County DA, and that the general public should email their opinions. He said that no one would reply but that the responses would be used primarily for statistical analysis purposes to determine the scope of the level of public interest in the case.”
- latitude / ld
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Old 23-05-2008, 14:27   #155
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He [defense attorney] also queried Slabaugh on specific details from Ostini’s preliminary report that included Perdock's initial declaration of the readouts of his dashboard gauges just moments before the crash.


Perdock told Ostini that his gauges were pointing straight up. Based on that statement, Slabaugh had estimated Perdock was traveling at about 40 miles per hour. However, pictures of the gauges supplied by the defense showed that if the gauges were pointing straight up the boat would have been traveling at about 60 miles per hour.


Slabaugh stated that the conclusions made in his reports to the District Attorney's Office and in earlier testimony were based on an interview with Russ Perdock. His conclusions didn't take into account any direct information from anyone on shore or in boats in the near vicinity of the collision, nor those aboard the sailboat. Slabbaugh also indicated that he made no effort to interview several of these potential witnesses.


He did, however, testify to receiving a copy of the reports made by Ostini and other sources but indicated that he did not consider all the information included within those reports while making his final conclusions.


A key point of contention in the case, and a reason cited for charging Dinius, is that the boat's lights reportedly were not on. During cross-examination Slabaugh indicated that a cabin light toggle switch was in the “on” position. When Haltom asked him if he brought this to the attention of the sheriff's office or investigated it further, Slabaugh said no. When asked why he didn't pursue the matter, Slabaugh said he couldn't recall.

Lake County News | California - Dinius preliminary hearing's second day yields surprises


* * *

Beland estimated it took him an hour to get the blood sample from the hospital to the substation. The hospital and substation are "a couple blocks" apart, according to Beland.

Perdock testified that he was "certain" that Beland did not drive him home, and that he didn't see Beland again that night after the deputy left with the blood sample.

. . .


Dinius' defense attorney Victor Haltom called engineer William Chilcott of the Grass Valley firm Marine Testing Co. to the stand. Chilcott testified that the sailboat's stern light was on at the time of the collision, based on his analysis of the light bulb's filament after the accident.

Also on the stand was marine accident reconstruction instructor Wes Dodd, who said Perdock should have been charged with reckless and negligent operation because he violated six Rules of the Road under Title 14 of state law. Dodd said Perdock did not have a lookout on his boat, drove at an unsafe speed for the dark conditions, did not avoid risk of collision, did not take proper action to avoid a collision, overtook the sailboat and did not give the sailboat the right of way.
"I did not make the charging decision I just got this case in February. My job is to evaluate the evidence as it is and determine if we can go forward," Deputy District Attorney John Langan said outside the courtroom.

Perdock takes the stand - www.record-bee.com

Well, well, the investigating officer is admitting that he ignored lots of evidence.

The experts are testifying that the navigation lights are on. Eye witnesses will testify next that they saw the nav lights were on.

Experts are testifying that Perdock driving the speed boat should have been charged. The deputy's own testimony immediately after the accident indicates that he was doing about 60 mph just before impact.

There is the curious matter that Perdock's blood alcohol sample took an hour to go a couple of blocks to the hospital and the principal witnesses to that can't even agree if they were in the car together. Mmm. I wonder what that suggests.

Most everybody agrees that, even if Dinius was sober, he had no chance of avoiding being hit by this speeding boat.

And the Deputy District Attorney is back pedalling. I wonder why.
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Old 23-05-2008, 15:48   #156
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Disclaimers:
There are so many posts I am not going to go back through to get every one. So some quotes may be inaccurate. And I won’t be accusing any one person. I also won’t be giving credit to those who deserve it, even if I happen to remember who said it.

Factually, I think the power boat probably bears most of the responsibility in this case. But that’s my PERSONAL interpretation of the INCOMPLETE set of facts I have read from what I think are mostly biased sources (see below).

I am restating some things just to put my comments in proper perspective.

I’d say the 2 crime approach makes sense.
1. Power boat too fast for conditions
2. Sail boat, intoxicated boating

Reasons for my post?

1. This thread and the Latitude articles seem biased in favor of the sailboat and against the Deputy Sheriff.
2. This forum seems biased towards sailboats and against power boats
3. The DA et al seems biased towards the Deputy Sheriff and against the other party.
4. Although most posts are good, there are a few that are missing some objectivity.

Notice the difference in the “for” and “against” in the 1-3 statements about bias.

Also note this: I say this forum is biased towards sailboats. I am a power boater and I enjoy being in here. So, please, don’t react to me like I am attacking the forum by this statement. The bias is low key and seldom objectionable. But it’s definitely there. If you can’t objectively look at all the posts in this forum and notice the sail vs. power bias, then you are truly lacking in the ability to be objective. I HAVE noticed several posters that I know are sailboaters that were arguing on the side of the powerboat, so I am not saying all are, or even most. Just that there are many more posters biased towards sailboats than there are posters biased towards powerboats.

So, to the issue at hand:

We don’t know whether the lights were on or not. However, it was stated that the bow light was on but not the running lights. Someone posted that this would mean that lights would have to be burned out (before or during the incident). But if you look at the power panel, there is a separate switch for the bow light (in the on position) and one for the nav lights (off). These are circuit breakers. During impact if it created a short, it could have flipped. Also, someone could have switched it off after the incident. There are mixed reports from witnesses about whether they were on. Balancing all that I have seen in print, my PERSONAL guess is that they were on. But the evidence doesn’t prove this one way or the other. And the evidence, such as it is, can be interpreted either way, taking into account the articles posted on the reliability of eye witnesses.

“Too fast for conditions”. OK, from the Deputy Sheriff, we had an admission of 40mph. “Possibly faster” is almost certain given human nature, but for discussions like this, we should really use conservative estimates. So, 40mph. What exactly is “Too fast for conditions”? What does “visibility” mean in this context? (A very early post quoted regs that included mention of background lights. Does this set of regs apply in that jurisdiction?) Does it mean you should be going slow enough to be able to see an illegally unlit boat? Or does it mean if there is fog so you wouldn’t be able to see lights, you should be going slower? There’s also the night operating high speed ferry example someone gave. To go back to the car comparison, is 70mph too fast on a dark country freeway when someone is parked sideways across the lane in an old vehicle with no reflectors or lights? I’m not saying that 40mph on the water is EVER safe at night, just asking the questions. There is definitely a grey area. There are several posts where it is stated as fact that it was too fast for conditions. I don’t think it is cut and dried. Should “too fast for conditions” at night be no faster than I can see an unlighted object? Maybe so. But it doesn’t matter what we think it should be, or even what it really should be, it only matters how it is stated in the local regs and the court interprets it. My PERSONAL opinion is that the power boat was going too fast for conditions.

“Adequate watch”. Actually the same applies there. Someone posted “Watchkeeping is more important than having your lights on”. But again, watchkeeping for legal obstacles? Or is posting a watch sufficient for detecting legally operated vessels good enough? If we have to operate a vessel so we are safe around unlighted boats, why require lights at all? Again, my PERSONAL opinion is that, for 40mph at night with shorelight interference, it might be impossible to maintain an adequate watch. On the other side, how can two drunks keep an adequate watch?

Intoxicated? There was a well written post that said it’d be idiotic for someone to be charged if they were stopped in the road, lights on, drunk, and someone rear-ended them. I agree. It would be idiotic. Actually, I should say “It IS idiotic” since that’s the law in Georgia. If someone is legally over the limit, doing the speed limit, staying in their lane, and someone pulls out in front of them, they are automatically guilty just because they are legally drunk. I think it’s unfair, but it’s the law here. I think they call it “presumed diminished capacity”. What’s the law in California? I think someone posted that manslaughter is exempted from this in California, but I don’t remember if they were quoting statutes from the applicable jurisdiction or not. The Deputy Sheriff drunk? We have no evidence of that, only some speculation. My PERSONAL opinion? Complicated. If they hadn’t been drunk (skipper and tillerman) could they have done something? Maybe. We’ll never know. Is it fair to say that if they were drunk we should legally presume they would have been able to react different? I think so. Being drunk and in charge of other peoples lives is inexcusable. Was the Deputy Sheriff drunk? Don’t know. Right after the incident, was he ever close enough to witnesses to be observed? Probably. The fact that it has not been reported that anyone at the scene thought he was drunk (or even had been drinking) might be significant. But there’s not enough to go on. Just some speculation in the reports and some more speculation from me here.

As far as evidence tampering goes. Most cops will not risk getting in trouble themselves. They won’t actively tamper with evidence in any way they might get caught. They might resist taking a statement or something. Flipping a switch? Hmmm, that’s just easy enough that they might. But not if they think someone might have already seen it or if they think someone might see them do it. However, some people are crooked enough to do most anything. So it’s possible. My PERSONAL opinion? There was obstruction going on hampering the investigation. Active evidence tampering? Don’t know. Could be.

The main gist of all this is that sometimes it is difficult to be really objective. The Latitude articles certainly were not. And the 4 articles from that newspaper (or online news, don’t remember which) weren’t either. One said things like “The appropriately named Baja Outlaw” (there were other comments from here, as well. I just don’t remember them offhand). The 4 part article didn’t mention the drinking except almost as an aside in the second article (I don’t THINK they mentioned it in the last 2).

We know what’s been reported as facts. We don’t know the facts. We know some things we don’t know (how fast was the Baja really going, where and how bright were the shore lights in relation to the boats, was the wind from the port so the sail was pointed directly towards the power boat, etc.). We don’t have any idea whatsoever what there is that we have no idea about. What may be in evidence that has not been released.

When reading this thread from the beginning I was first siding with the Baja. Drunk with no lights was enough for me. As it progressed, I moved towards the side of the sailboat. Not because of any arguments from the posts, but because of the reported facts (Note: not facts, reported facts). It’s because there were things I didn’t know about the situation that came to light. Early posts reported they hit head on, later, from dead on the stern and the transom destroyed. Later after seeing the photo showing the totally intact transom, someone said they definitely were hit from the starboard aft quarter. Even with the photo, do we really know? This affects what lights (that were or were not on) could be seen (or not seen). Could something else come along that would make me jump back to the other side? I can’t think of something that could, but I objectively KNOW something COULD. That’s why I still say I don’t know who’s at fault. And I never will. And neither will you. Won’t keep me from speculating, though.


Personal issue:
Totally different issue, but I just gotta comment on this. One quote: “Why do we get the vibe that Lake County law enforcement is like that of the Old South in the ‘60s?” In the 60’s it was no fun for a Southerner to drive up North, either. I got pulled over for no reason at all. Frequently. Just ‘cause I had a Georgia tag. Many things are attributed to the South which should really be attributed to urban areas. There are just more urban areas in the South. The most raving redneck I ever knew was from up-state New York.

I'm headed to the boat for the weekend, so that'll give all you plenty of time to rip all this up.

-dan

EDIT: I just read the previous two posts. Looks a little more likely for the cover-up theory and the higher than 40mph theory.
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Old 23-05-2008, 16:18   #157
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Good post.

But one major quibble

Quote:
Originally Posted by dacust View Post
Should “too fast for conditions” at night be no faster than I can see an unlighted object? Maybe so.
Not "maybe so." Definitely so.

There are water vessels and swimmers which and who are not require to be lit at night. And they have a legal right to be on the lake at night. Therefore, all vessels must travel at speeds that enable them to avoid collision with unlit objects. That's the law everywhere.

Change the facts. Suppose a boater hits an unlit concrete piling that the driver didn't see on account of his speed and a boat passenger is injured. I'm personally aware of this exact scenario where a mother lost her unborn child that night. Was the driver driving too fast? Yes, of course.

A driver is obligated to avoid hitting stuff. Period.

The law definitely does not say drivers are obligated to avoid hitting only the stuff that is lit up or only the things that are easy to avoid hitting. That would be nuts.

This is not rocket science, despite people attempting to pretend it is complicated. Accidents don't just happen in a vacuum. They are largely the product of bad judgment and can be prevented by good judgment.

Disclosure: Until a few years ago, I owned and operated both a motor boat and a sailboat. And it is precisely because I have experience operating a motor boat that I don't have much patience with motor boaters who either don't know the law, or know it and don't obey it. Either is inexcusable. With great speed comes great responsibility.
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Old 23-05-2008, 16:38   #158
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But one major quibble

Not "maybe so." Definitely so.

...

With great speed comes great responsibility.
I think I can take that, but I was not aware of any vessel allowed with out lights. Without permant lights, yes. But I thought any vessel at night is required to have a lantern and/or flashlight. And I bet there are regulations about swimmers, as well. I think it was at Lake Cumberland(?) that I read at night a swimmer is not allowed more than 100 feet from shore or a boat. Since law requires no-wake speed at those distances, the swimmer should be safe even from speeding "fizz" boats.

You are saying you know "definitely so". I am only saying I don't know "definately so" (I am definitely not saying "definitely not"). (That's definitely to many "definitely"s.) A boater is definitely responsible for not hitting anything that has a lawful right to be there, and is responsible for taking reasonable care to avoid an impact even IF the object is there illegally. But are they responsible for maintaining such a slow speed as to avoid an illegally darkend boat? (Before someone jumps, this probably doesn't apply to the current case, as it is sounding more and more likely that the lights were on.)

And I absolutely (notice how I avoided another "definitely"?) have noticed that there are more ignorant powerboaters than sailboaters. By far. In the case at hand, though, we have an ignorant, or possibly criminally irresponsible, sailboater (refering to the intoxication).

EDIT: Let's take this hypothetical situation. A swimmer is out in Charleston Bay. A freighter runs them down. Was the 700' long 50' high freighter supposed have a sufficient watch to be able to avoid that swimmer?
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Old 23-05-2008, 16:40   #159
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If Perdock ran over a swimmer, sure, we can all argue about the sanity of the dead swimmer, but what legal defense could Perdock assert to a criminal charge of recklessness.

A driver is obligated with avoiding collisions with unlit objects, day or night. Period.
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Old 23-05-2008, 16:52   #160
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EDIT: Let's take this hypothetical situation. A swimmer is out in Charleston Bay. A freighter runs them down. Was the 700' long 50' high freighter supposed have a sufficient watch to be able to avoid that swimmer?
You posted while I posted.

Let me say this. Your facts invoke the hierachy established among vessels with draft or steerage issues. But that is a complete red herring.

Where you go wrong is failing to understand that those rules apply only among vessels. They have zero application to a swimmer.

Thus, if the swimmer is legally permitted to swim in the locality (which you correctly pointed out is an issue), then the swimmer always has the right of way. Now, if the swimmer interjected himself into the pathway of a vessel, and the vessel has no means to avoid running over the swimmer, then there is nothing to be done anyhow. But if the vessel has a means of avoiding the swimmer, then the vessel must do so.

The obligation to avoid swimmers has nothing to do with the size of the vessel. Another complete red herring.
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Old 23-05-2008, 16:59   #161
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And let me point out, this is like the cross walk example I floated out earlier. Even if swimmers are not allow in the water, but frequently swim there anyhow and the driver is aware of that fact, the driver is still going to have the duty to drive at a speed sufficient to avoid running over swimmers. You don't get a free pass just because the swimmer is breaking the law, any more than you can recklessly run over jaywalkers.
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Old 23-05-2008, 17:02   #162
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You posted while I posted.

Let me say this. Your facts invoke the hierachy established among vessels with draft or steerage issues. But that is a complete red herring.

Where you go wrong is failing to understand that those rules apply only among vessels. They have zero application to a swimmer.

Thus, if the swimmer is legally permitted to swim in the locality (which you correctly pointed out is an issue), then the swimmer always has the right of way. Now, if the swimmer interjected himself into the pathway of a vessel, and the vessel has no means to avoid running over the swimmer, then there is nothing to be done anyhow. But if the vessel has a means of avoiding the swimmer, then the vessel must do so.

The obligation to avoid swimmers has nothing to do with the size of the vessel. Another complete red herring.
Yeah, sorry, I edited my post.

So, if the swimmer is there illegally them the boat MIGHT be excused if there was no way to avoid. So, if a boat is illegally unlit, might a boat be excused for hitting it if the circumstances mean they couldn't avoid?

Sorry, I just can't see that it's always going to be the fault of the faster vessel. If both vessels are legal, the it would go according the the well known right-of-way rules. But I'm having trouble applying those same rules if one vessel is breaking the law in a way that affects how visible they are to others.

EDIT: Here we go again, but not to the substance of the post. I'm enjoying our exchange, but I gotta hit the road. 6 hours to Charleston and an insurance survey in the morning...
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Old 23-05-2008, 17:05   #163
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The crux of your question is whether the operator has specific duty to look out for swimmers.

That is a function, not of the vessel, but of the nature of the location.
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Old 23-05-2008, 17:12   #164
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<snip>

Also note this: I say this forum is biased towards sailboats. I am a power boater and I enjoy being in here. So, please, don’t react to me like I am attacking the forum by this statement. The bias is low key and seldom objectionable. But it’s definitely there. If you can’t objectively look at all the posts in this forum and notice the sail vs. power bias, then you are truly lacking in the ability to be objective. I HAVE noticed several posters that I know are sailboaters that were arguing on the side of the powerboat, so I am not saying all are, or even most. Just that there are many more posters biased towards sailboats than there are posters biased towards powerboats.

<snip>
While I think the analysis offered in your post is reasonable, for the most part, I also think you may be implying that if a person sails rather that powers his vessel, he can't objectively look at the reported facts in this case and reach an unbiased conclusion.

I disagree.

In my view, the only conclusion that one can logically come to is that the powerboat was operated in an unsafe manner, and it resulted in the death of an innocent passenger on the drifting sailboat. And I would still reach that conclusion even if Chief Deputy Perdock were seated at the helm of the sailboat, drunk, and Mr. Dinius had run down the drifting vessel while operating an extremely high-powered speedboat at as much as 60mph at night and, possibly, also under the influence of alcohol.

Call me naive, if you wish, but I somehow doubt that the "investigation" would have been conducted as it was had the roles been reversed.

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Old 23-05-2008, 17:13   #165
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Originally Posted by dacust View Post
But I'm having trouble applying those same rules if one vessel is breaking the law in a way that affects how visible they are to others.
And I have trouble with speeds at night that make the lighting of a sailboat pretty much irrelevent. As I stated earlier, after the case is over I think it will stand for the proposition that at certain high speeds it doesn't matter whether the impact vessel had its navigational lights on or off. In this case, it increasingly looks like the lights were on and Perdock was going so fast that he never saw them.

If Perdock was going 10 or 15 mph and the sailboat lights were off, I would be singing a diffferent story. But from the beginning this case has never taken on that complexion. From the beginning it looked like a reckless cop and a department doing a cover up. And so far, that initial assessment has only been reinforced.

And if later facts prove our initial assessments correct, it's pretty hard to say we were not rational in our analysis of the case.
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