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Old 07-10-2016, 11:09   #346
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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Further.. remember, all we have seen is what the Yachting mag's reported the owners saying re; e-mails sent and received.. based on that there's a flimsy case but if the authorities seized the companies computers etc.. its likely a lot more was uncovered than we.. the public could ever be aware off.
This. I'm sure there are plenty of interviews. Most charter employee at the working level are folks who love boats and sail. Doesn't stretch the imagination to envision that one, upon learning of groundings, may have recommended cancelling a scheduled charter to get the boat hauled for inspection and potential repair, and some director two steps removed saying no no no keep the schedule and customers happy.
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Old 07-10-2016, 15:08   #347
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

Ultimately, I think some form of accountability will be a good thing. Those men died, unpleasantly, due to negligence. It is well that the defendant accept that fact, the "buck" has to stop somewhere.

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Old 07-10-2016, 17:00   #348
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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Manslaughter charges to be brought.

Cheeki Rafiki deaths: gross negligence manslaughter charges to be brought - Yachting World



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It was almost expected. All that talk of previous groundings and probable bodged repairs, including in the MAIB report. No surprise if it turns out to be true. Just one witness statement or email will see them hanged for this. What a sad, sorry truly miserable affair it has been.
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Old 09-10-2016, 04:49   #349
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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It was almost expected. All that talk of previous groundings and probable bodged repairs, including in the MAIB report. No surprise if it turns out to be true. Just one witness statement or email will see them hanged for this. What a sad, sorry truly miserable affair it has been.
Has it was explained on this thread a hard grounding reparation with damage on those boats, due to the way they are built (with an integral matrix) is a very expensive affair. I remember that one of the groundings was described as the boat falling from the top of a wave (while racing) hitting bottom hard. After that one several more were reported (out of the ones that probably were not reported, a normal thing on a charter boat).

A friend that has a Beneteau 40, after a hard grounding (that did not prevent the boat of continuing sailing or turned out in water ingress) paid 20 000 euros for a proper repair (his insurance paid).

I would not be surprised if a charter company avoided to spend such a large amount of money on a almost 10 years old boat.
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:39   #350
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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Has it was explained on this thread a hard grounding reparation with damage on those boats, due to the way they are built (with an integral matrix) is a very expensive affair. I remember that one of the groundings was described as the boat falling from the top of a wave (while racing) hitting bottom hard. After that one several more were reported (out of the ones that probably were not reported, a normal thing on a charter boat).

A friend that has a Beneteau 40, after a hard grounding (that did not prevent the boat of continuing sailing or turned out in water ingress) paid 20 000 euros for a proper repair (his insurance paid).

I would not be surprised if a charter company avoided to spend such a large amount of money on a almost 10 years old boat.
Indeed a difficult and expensive repair. Furthermore hard to see the damage because of the grid and with the repair costs being so destructive of the economics of operating an old charter boat there is a strong motivation to not do the work.

But actually what must happen is that the repair work is done regardless of cost. It might be expected to not do the repair only for someone who has the wrong attitude and if that attitude results in death then the charge is manslaughter.

All known grounding must be investigated thoroughly and no no issue should be brushed under the carpet. The court will go into the detailed facts and those in the dock will suffer greatly if innocent and then their error will have not to have been absolutely thorough in documenting their thoroughness beforehand to demonstrate their irreproachable attitude and if guilty, their suffering will be appropriate.

Whichever way it goes I think this case may well bring about a more rigorous approach to the way charter boats are operated.
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:45   #351
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

At least according to U.S. law, a prosecution for criminal negligence will have to prove a much higher standard than the type of ordinary negligence required for a civil suit. It would amount to evidence that failing to undertake the necessary repairs amounted to a reckless disregard for the safety of the vessel, etc. It seems this would require a certain level of knowledge on the part of the defendants. Given the difficulty of inspecting let alone uncovering such structural problems (as explained in the MAIB report), and in light of the uncertainty surrounding what constitutes a proper repair, it may be hard to prove this higher criminal standard against the charter co. and its principals. And then there's the "Polux Defense", namely evidence of all the similarly situated models of this boat that have not suffered such catastrophic failures.

In a broader sense, I agree with Polux and others that a hard grounding generally shifts responsibility to the boat (or charter) owner to haul out and do the required inspection and any needed repairs, assuming the design & construction does not impede this. But I also think it's fair to say that groundings -- certainly soft ones -- are reasonably foreseeable events for any cruising boat, especially those "rated" for ocean service. You may recall that the MAIB report described how this particular design & construction could be subject to failure over time merely by hard sailing in rough seas.

From a consumer standpoint, most of us are all for modern production techniques that can produce a less expensive, comfortable, and fast cruising boats. The important question -- and one which can be objectified it seems -- is whether they can and should meet minimum safety standards despite their lower production costs, what those minimum standards should be, and if they cannot meet them then whether there should be more consumer-oriented disclosure requirements. Some of these issues may or may not wind up being litigated in this upcoming case.
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:31   #352
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

I know Doug having met him a couple of times and just bought a dinghy off one of his staff. He had a reputation of doing things properly a few years ago before the credit crunch.

I think its a shame they didn't keep the yacht coded (required for charter in UK) which would have required annual inspections of yacht plus equipment and very stringent. The Offshore charter category is as to be expected more rigorous than the day time inshore category I coded to and it may well have found the problem before the disaster. It would have also strenghtened his defence by saying he had the yacht professionally inspected. Wonder what the receipts for the couple of repairs that were carried out said for the work undertaken.

I hope some lessons can be taken away from this disaster and loss of life.

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Old 09-10-2016, 10:48   #353
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

I don't want to put my nose in this thread again,, but keep in mind that the way this boats are built make inspections quite difficult and Beneteau don't have any kind of support to help in this situation, so off course a bunch of groundings can weak those boats but also is true that inspect any weak keel stubs in the First series is voddo unless its someone used to know this boats very well, obviously you can have a toasted keel grid area and don't notice a single crack ,, thanks to the inner grid liner glued to the hull....blame the charter operator and blame Beneteau for making such a irrational thing to inspect for the casual charter operator...
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:03   #354
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pirate Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

I find that a hard grounding leaves a dint/dimple just forward of the first 2 keel bolts.. but thats my view.
Have viewed a couple of boats where thats been filled.
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Old 11-10-2016, 19:32   #355
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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At least according to U.S. law, a prosecution for criminal negligence will have to prove a much higher standard than the type of ordinary negligence required for a civil suit. It would amount to evidence that failing to undertake the necessary repairs amounted to a reckless disregard for the safety of the vessel, etc. It seems this would require a certain level of knowledge on the part of the defendants. Given the difficulty of inspecting let alone uncovering such structural problems (as explained in the MAIB report), and in light of the uncertainty surrounding what constitutes a proper repair, it may be hard to prove this higher criminal standard against the charter co. and its principals. And then there's the "Polux Defense", namely evidence of all the similarly situated models of this boat that have not suffered such catastrophic failures.

In a broader sense, I agree with Polux and others that a hard grounding generally shifts responsibility to the boat (or charter) owner to haul out and do the required inspection and any needed repairs, assuming the design & construction does not impede this. But I also think it's fair to say that groundings -- certainly soft ones -- are reasonably foreseeable events for any cruising boat, especially those "rated" for ocean service. You may recall that the MAIB report described how this particular design & construction could be subject to failure over time merely by hard sailing in rough seas.

From a consumer standpoint, most of us are all for modern production techniques that can produce a less expensive, comfortable, and fast cruising boats. The important question -- and one which can be objectified it seems -- is whether they can and should meet minimum safety standards despite their lower production costs, what those minimum standards should be, and if they cannot meet them then whether there should be more consumer-oriented disclosure requirements. Some of these issues may or may not wind up being litigated in this upcoming case.
This case is much more complex than a simple matter of keel damage and repair.

In this case, proving gross negligent manslaughter, one must prove there was negligent manslaughter while an unlawful act was being committed. That's why we have the charge under section 100 of the merchant shipping act, that's the unlawful act that must be proven, prior to proving the 4 counts of gross negligent manslaughter.

In addition to the keel issues, you have the director picking and choosing what class rules the vessel was operating under, chosing to operate under ISAF rules rather than as a class 2 commercial vessel, which would have required an inspection and also limited the vessel to within 60 miles off shore will likely factor into the case, especially given, this was clearly a commercial operation.

There was also the rather bizarre rout selection. Direct from Antigua to UK with no planned stops? Why? To save money to get the boat back on charter faster?

Sailing from Antigua to UK with no chart of Bermuda on board? Why?

The route appears to me to be a simple great circle route with no accounting for weather? Why? It would be fastest. To get the boat back on charter faster?

No float free life raft on board? The USCG did their survival calculations for people with life jackets and weather gear">foul weather gear on. Does that mean there were no survival suits on board? 720 miles SE of Nova Scotia in May?

Were there two Storm force employees who were originally selected for the trip but decided not to sail at the last minute. Is this even true, if so, why.

The keel question is only 1 part of a much bigger puzzle in my opinion.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:51   #356
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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...

In a broader sense, I agree with Polux and others that a hard grounding generally shifts responsibility to the boat (or charter) owner to haul out and do the required inspection and any needed repairs, assuming the design & construction does not impede this. But I also think it's fair to say that groundings -- certainly soft ones -- are reasonably foreseeable events for any cruising boat, especially those "rated" for ocean service. You may recall that the MAIB report described how this particular design & construction could be subject to failure over time merely by hard sailing in rough seas.

From a consumer standpoint, most of us are all for modern production techniques that can produce a less expensive, comfortable, and fast cruising boats. The important question -- and one which can be objectified it seems -- is whether they can and should meet minimum safety standards despite their lower production costs, what those minimum standards should be, and if they cannot meet them then whether there should be more consumer-oriented disclosure requirements. .....
Yes but over time is the key word and it is good not to forget that we are talking about a boat that is designed taking racing into consideration and most of them were used for racing, namely that one.

Several had done full racing seasons, several years, including very hard Sydney Hobarts without any problem.

Yes, there is evidence that in some cases, with time the forward part of the matrix can start to unglue, that is not a sudden process and in a boat that is designed with racing in mind regular checks and inspections to the keel, rudder and rig should be made much more frequently than in a boat designed to cruise, even more if the boat does actually race and was subjected to groundings.

All that is needed is to repair and maintain the boat in proper seaworthy condition. Some boats demand more work to be maintained, others less. A failure would only occur if the boat is not adequately maintained.

I believe that is the central issue on the charges that have been made. They probably have evidence (or prof) that such inspections/maintenance/repairs were not made in a proper way/time and that the crew took, without knowledge, an unseaworthy boat to an Atlantic Crossing on the North Atlantic.

That is the only thing that justifies a credible authority, backed by a credible investigation to present criminal charges against the owner of the charter operation that owned the boat.
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Old 12-10-2016, 14:12   #357
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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Some boats demand more work to be maintained, others less. A failure would only occur if the boat is not adequately maintained.
Joking, right?
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Old 12-10-2016, 16:35   #358
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

Polux, I really try to avoid posting on this specific forum, but this topic is of more interest to me than most.

I believe the issue of classification is relevant, is, in order to prove the inspection and maintenance schedule was not safe, they need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it wasn't. The keel falling off is not adequate evidence that anybody knowingly did something unsafe.

To prove unsafe, they must define safe. The obvious definition would be the rules established by the classification agency that were intentionally dodged.

The baseline for safe must be established, and I think that baseline will have to be the classification rules for a class 0 commercial vessel.

I think deliberately dodging scheduled inspections established by the classification agency, might be almost as relevant to the outcome as the keel falling off.

Of course, this is just my opinion.
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Old 13-10-2016, 04:36   #359
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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Joking, right?
I was talking about that particular model. We can say that the maintenance needed can be difficult and that it needs more than most, but that is pretty much sums the two years investigation results.

That is why they did not took action against Beneteau neither took out the licensees of other first 40.7 that were coded and were used as charter boats.

That is why they did not charge Beneteau with criminal charges but the owner of the charter company.
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Old 13-10-2016, 04:39   #360
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Re: Cheeki Rafiki loss report

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Polux, I really try to avoid posting on this specific forum, but this topic is of more interest to me than most.

I believe the issue of classification is relevant, is, in order to prove the inspection and maintenance schedule was not safe, they need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it wasn't. The keel falling off is not adequate evidence that anybody knowingly did something unsafe.

To prove unsafe, they must define safe. The obvious definition would be the rules established by the classification agency that were intentionally dodged.

The baseline for safe must be established, and I think that baseline will have to be the classification rules for a class 0 commercial vessel.

I think deliberately dodging scheduled inspections established by the classification agency, might be almost as relevant to the outcome as the keel falling off.

Of course, this is just my opinion.
I agree with you. The fact that they, being a credible institution presented criminal charges probably indicates that they have more information than you or me and that there is clear evidence of gross negligence.

I will be very interesting in knowing what that evidence is.
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