Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-06-2016, 12:44   #46
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,383
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
No one has legal authority to order a master off his vessel.
Not true according to US courts. As ruled by the federal district court and confirmed by the US First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston the US Coast does have that authority. Read the article linked below.


U.S. court says Coast Guard has the right to order master to abandon sinking ship - Professional Mariner - February 2007
__________________

__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 13:15   #47
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,383
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
The Perfect Storm example is also not as simple as suggested

When the CG arrived, the Satori had been knocked down twice. Their sails were so damaged that they had to motor - and a Westsail 32 does not motor well in good conditions. The life raft had been lost overboard. Only the captain was experienced offshore and he had no help. The two women crew were too panicked to help operate the boat. Look at the pictures below.

The CG had received a Mayday. There's dispute as to whether the Mayday was authorized by the owner but that's doesn't make the Mayday invalid. The moment a Mayday is issued, the "voyage" is over. It is a call to save lives with no further regard for the vessel or cargo. If you want to save your boat - call PAN.

The vessel was CG documented and the owner held a CG issued captain's license. The owner was not required to have these to operate the boat. Since the CG issued these, they are fully in their rights to revoke them. The owner says he followed the CG instructions to abandon partly because he did not want to lose his CG Captain's license.

Cape Hatteras is a very dangerous place in late October. Storms come out of nowhere. Many more ships and lives have been lost in Northeasters in those waters than hurricanes. Satori was only 50 miles out of Portsmouth VA when he received a NOAH forecast for a Northeaster with 30 knot winds. He had time and a fair wind to turn and run back to Portsmouth.

While not intentional, that bad weather decision became part of the tragic string of events that led to the death of a CG swimmer and possibly the failure to reach the crew of the Andrea Gail in time. I'd have some trouble sleeping at night.
Thanks for elaborating more on this event. I had read both sides but mainly wanted to point out the potential for the USCG to order a captain to abandon ship. There are certainly two sides to this story and, no surprise, you get a very different version depending on who you ask.

In addition to losing his captain's license the owner claimed he would not be able to enter a US port for years and he wanted to be with the crew to assist in the process. Not so sure if that claim is correct or not but it is part of the reasoning he gave for agreeing to follow the orders.

However, my understanding issuing a mayday does not mean the voyage is over. It is a call for assistance to prevent imminent loss of life or property. From the USCG website "The distress signal MAYDAY is used to indicate a station is threatened by grave and imminent danger and requests immediate assistance."

I have read of numerous cases where a vessel issued a Mayday call which resulted in the USCG bringing aid that did not result in the voyage ending. For example the CG will drop emergency pumps to vessels to control flooding and if successful the vessel continues the voyage.

By the way, rounded Hatteras once in an October storm and have no desire to do it again.
__________________

__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 13:54   #48
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 2
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I think the key word here is "SINKING"
Neal
__________________
lazypine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 14:01   #49
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,383
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazypine View Post
I think the key word here is "SINKING"
Neal
Read the article. A quote "In a two-to-one decision, the appeals court upheld the lower court's ruling in part. It believed that the Coast Guardsmen at the scene had reason to believe Northern Voyager's captain and crew were facing an at-sea emergency and that the Coast Guard's decision to force the fishermen to abandon ship was reasonable and one that they could not be found liable for."

Note that nothing is said about sinking. Regardless it comes down to, in whose opinion is the boat sinking? In the case of the Westsail 32 Satori the captain was ordered to abandon ship and his boat washed up dry and sound on a beach in MD not long after. Obviously that boat wasn't sinking.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 14:17   #50
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,105
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Read the article. A quote "In a two-to-one decision, the appeals court upheld the lower court's ruling in part. It believed that the Coast Guardsmen at the scene had reason to believe Northern Voyager's captain and crew were facing an at-sea emergency and that the Coast Guard's decision to force the fishermen to abandon ship was reasonable and one that they could not be found liable for."

Note that nothing is said about sinking. Regardless it comes down to, in whose opinion is the boat sinking? In the case of the Westsail 32 Satori the captain was ordered to abandon ship and his boat washed up dry and sound on a beach in MD not long after. Obviously that boat wasn't sinking.
The captain of the Satori did have the right to stay with his boat. His crew wanted to get off of the boat. The CG has the right to order but not to force if the captain finds that in attempting such, that would endanger life. In fact the CG ship in that instance was itself in danger of floundering.

When it comes right down to it, whom would you trust: A government civil serpent or an experienced skipper?
__________________
reed1v is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 15:43   #51
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,383
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
The captain of the Satori did have the right to stay with his boat. His crew wanted to get off of the boat.
In the articles I've read it seems clear that the captain was being ordered off the boat or suffer the penalties and consequences. That was certainly the belief of the captain of the Satori. Here's a quote from the article on the Westsail owners web site. "The Captain of Tamaroa radioed back and told Ray that he had specific orders from Headquarters in Boston to remove everyone from the boat."

Here is a quote from an article on a court case on this issue. "The master was told that if he did not get off, the Coast Guard would remove him." This seems pretty clear to me that the Coast Guard has the authority to order the abandonment and to enforce it.

One can always refuse to obey an order from authorities or refuse to obey a law but that refusal will also include accepting the consequences of that refusal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
When it comes right down to it, whom would you trust: A government civil serpent or an experienced skipper?
I think I've made it clear in my comments my feelings on this. If not I'll repeat here I would seriously consider telling the CG no. In the Satori incident it is unlikely the CG could have forcibly removed the captain due to conditions at the time. If that had happened there would be one of two outcomes. The boat sinks, the captain drowns and the whole issue is moot. OR The boat makes it and the captain is proved correct. In that case if the government tried to enforce penalties I think the captain would have a pretty good case to prove he/she was correct but still might be penalized.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 16:32   #52
Registered User
 
Cadence's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SC
Boat: None,build the one shown of glass, had many from 6' to 48'.
Posts: 6,063
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

I can't imagine having animosity to the Coasties. Risking their lives to save numbnuts and not even making the grades of the Military which is poor enough at that. In a save a life situation I feel sure they at not lawyers.
__________________
Cadence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 16:49   #53
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,383
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
I can't imagine having animosity to the Coasties. Risking their lives to save numbnuts and not even making the grades of the Military which is poor enough at that. In a save a life situation I feel sure they at not lawyers.
I don't disagree at all and hope I have not indicated in any of my posts animosity towards the CG.

Doesn't mean I would always agree with them or not consider making my own decision in a critical situation but would try to do so in a polite manner.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 16:57   #54
Registered User
 
Rustic Charm's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
Posts: 4,898
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
It depends where you are, and as zee suggests, ultimately you have to cooperate or defy them. Here in Oz, and it may vary by State, it is an offense to not obey emergency personnel. I do not know what the procedures would be if one refused, nor whether the CG would forceably remove one, nor what "reasonable force" might be. Perhaps discretion is the better part of valor, but maybe not. Hmmmmmm.

Ann
As much as I don't want to illicit Ann's wrath I just want to clarify that in Australia there is no authority that can order you to leave a vessel.

There are various offences for disobeying 'authorised person', which could include emergency personnel, but that depends on who the emergency personel are. In all cases, it would have to first a 'lawful' order of the emergency person giving the order. And in Australia, right up to the High Court, we consider that question, whether the order was "a Lawful Order" very seriously. Even if it's a police officer, the question will be asked was it a 'lawful order'. And in 'most' cases, to be a lawful order, then there has to be an infraction of some legislation that the police officer has jurisdiction over.

But, certainly in cases of vessels, there are no authorities over here that can order you to abandon a boat on safety grounds. Not without first getting a courts order of some kind.

And most of our emergency personel, have no authority to do zip in any circumstances. In fact most of our emergency personel throughout Australia are in fact volunteers.
__________________
Rustic Charm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 17:09   #55
Registered User
 
Cadence's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SC
Boat: None,build the one shown of glass, had many from 6' to 48'.
Posts: 6,063
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I don't disagree at all and hope I have not indicated in any of my posts animosity towards the CG.

Doesn't mean I would always agree with them or not consider making my own decision in a critical situation but would try to do so in a polite manner.
How did we get to this from someone claiming to be a fireman?

I still like the post about salvage. I guess that could be a possibility. You hear stories about who's line was thrown to whom. Tow or salvage?
__________________
Cadence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 17:13   #56
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,383
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
How did we get to this from someone claiming to be a fireman?

I still like the post about salvage. I guess that could be a possibility. You hear stories about who's line was thrown to whom. Tow or salvage?
Isn't thread drift amazing. Kind of like free association and it sometimes leads to some very interesting discussions and information. Or sometimes turns an innocent discussion into a gun thread that's immediately closed.

I also found the salvage question interesting. I'm just not devious enough to think of that kind of thing and occasionally think I need a little exercise more care/concern/paranoia?
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 18:53   #57
Registered User
 
SimonV's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Posts: 1,316
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

It may have been miscommunication. The good Samaritan may have just been stating he had to go to work, so if the OP wanted to get off it had to be done in 10 minutes as he is a fireman. There would have been so much going through the OPs head, a misunderstanding could very easily have happened. I now try to see the good in people, for too many years I didn't.
__________________
Simon

https://svgoodonya.blogspot.com.au/
SimonV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 19:07   #58
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,970
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

I agree that this stuff is fascinating - and fun to discuss.

While unlikely, let's imagine this actually was a ruse to claim salvage. If so, it was well done.

The Admiralty court was set up to reward salvers for rescuing boats and their cargo to save the insurance company money (LLoyds originally). The court would be highly likely to award salvage rights to the "fireman" if no one was on board a grounded boat when he got on.

But the OP was never ordered to get off the boat much less forced. In the US at least, you have every right to ignore an official who says something like "I want everybody off the boat". That's not an order. If the OP wasn't sure, he could have asked - "Are you ordering me?" And there's nothing illegal about someone saying "I want everybody off the boat". In the case of the salver it's completely honest. He certainly does want everybody off the boat.

And here's where the Fireman was clever. If he HAD issued a lawful order, he could no longer seek compensation as a salver from the Admiralty court as government officials doing their duty can not sue for salvage rights.

Now this is all in fun. But if it was somehow true, it was an uncommonly clever salver probably staying well within the law.
__________________
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 19:20   #59
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Wellington, NZ
Boat: Sold Hereschoff Bounty 68
Posts: 131
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

Here in NZ, if there is no danger, you do not have to abandon. It's not a matter of the authority of the person telling you to do so, its a matter of whether, or not, there is danger to life or property. In the case discussed here, there was no danger, so I'd be telling that fool to either be constructive or %$#@ off.

I've known two NZ skippers, each of whom, in separate incidents, refused to abandon when ordered to do so by rescue services.

Bill fell asleep on autopilot and hit rocks on a calm night at 4 am, about 200 meters from shore. As the boat sunk over a period of hours he set about removing as many fittings as he could to have a diver pick them up more easily later. Rescue services attended, not called him. He repeatedly and unsuccessfully told them to bugger off and was was photographed still working with a wrench when the deck was inches under. He swam for shore as she slipped under.

Pete's converted trawler sunk in rough weather in Cook Straight over a day or so some caulking burst and the pumps got blocked by floating household brik-a-brac. He called for assistance, but despite requests refused to abandon ship again until the very last minute, fighting to save it.

Each was charged under NZ's Maritime Transport Act by the Maritime Safety Authority for, in refusing to abandon when told to do so, "acting in a manner causing unnecessary danger to any person" (i.e. themselves and rescuers).

The charges against Bill were withdrawn, as he successfully put it to them, via solicitors, that there was no further danger caused by him remaining on the vessel, and he was supported in this by arguing that other fools, not he, had called for assistance, and they refused his instruction to them to go away.

Pete was prosecuted under the Act, refused to pay the fine, and, errr was detained by her Majesty for a short time instead.

Here is the relevant passage of the NZ Act. I guess the US and other countries have something equivalent as all our laws tend to come from the same base.

65 Dangerous activity involving ships or maritime products
(1)
Every person commits an offence who—
(a)
operates, maintains, or services; or
(b)
does any other act in respect of—
any ship or maritime product in a manner which causes unnecessary danger or risk to any other person or to any property, irrespective of whether or not in fact any injury or damage occurs.
__________________
Scotty Kiwi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 19:37   #60
Registered User
 
El Pinguino's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Punta Arenas ahorra
Boat: 39' Westerly Sealord
Posts: 3,957
Re: Can a fireman force you to abandon your boat?

The Fire Brigade chappies have a lot... a real lot.. of power in port areas if a ship catches fire as ship fires can turn very nasty real quick... think Texas City 1947.
Thats why they would always go down to the passo ships in the big ports each morning to get their stability data ...to avoid this sort of stuff ... Gladstone Dock.. Empress of Canada.. 1953

An off duty fireman and a boat on the beach? Somewhere south of zero.. imnsho
__________________

El Pinguino is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Abandon Boat in Marina in Florida Rocketman Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 117 31-01-2015 07:35
Can You Force Buyer to Change Boat Name? sailingmonica General Sailing Forum 54 18-02-2014 11:20
force 10 different on west marine vs the force 10 site boatsail Monohull Sailboats 21 18-05-2013 16:13



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:20.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.