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View Poll Results: Poll: How Young? vs Freedom?
Any Age… Parents and their young sailor have that right to decide 37 52.11%
Any Age… Provided that young sailor passes independent evaluation by sailing experts and child psychologists of their readiness. 8 11.27%
Age 18… Minimum departure Age 16 22.54%
Age 16… Minimum departure Age 10 14.08%
Age 14… Minimum departure Age 0 0%
Voters: 71. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-09-2009, 15:14   #46
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That can obviously be read to mean that no single-handed sailor maintain a proper look-out as well...
I tend to agree with that. Failure to maintain adequate watch is already a criminal offence. There is a law already. There are no unless you don't want to provisions. A note from your mom just does not go as far as it did as when I was kid.

Since it would be impossible for any minor child to conduct a trip record setting or not without parental permission the idea that it should be required seems mostly a diversion. So what if they werre only going half way around the world? At this point parents are required to give permission. Without permission the definition is a debate between child abandonmnet or a runaway. It could become failure to maintain watch - on your child. While not the same thing it's no suprise they are about the same ideas.

So if parents can decide this on behalf ot their children is a note from your mom good enough?
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Old 10-09-2009, 15:19   #47
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I believe this poll should have had two possible answers, with this question: If Jessica Watson had been killed in her collision (thank God she was not), who would YOU hold responsible?

1.- Jessica Watson

2. - Her parents
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Old 10-09-2009, 15:29   #48
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A health issue

My wife brought up this issue - a child is still growing. Being at sea solo for the better part of a year is going to have consequences on the physical development of a child - erratic sleep patterns and chronic sleep-deprivation, limited opportunities for exercise, and a limited diet, with possible prolonged bouts of mad-de-mer could cause permanent damage.
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Old 10-09-2009, 16:15   #49
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There you go.
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Old 10-09-2009, 16:19   #50
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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
My wife brought up this issue - a child is still growing. Being at sea solo for the better part of a year is going to have consequences on the physical development of a child - erratic sleep patterns and chronic sleep-deprivation, limited opportunities for exercise, and a limited diet, with possible prolonged bouts of mad-de-mer could cause permanent damage.
That's it!
That's what is wrong!

My excuse!

I can check most of those for a lot of my childhood.

Hey you all!!!

Please send me my handout.

Any currency will be fine, thank you.
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Old 10-09-2009, 17:14   #51
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I take it you don't have children? We're not talking about making decisions for "other people" - we're talking about making decisions for children. This should be the job of the parents, but when they are not doing their job, then someone should step in.

Anarchists complain about the government butting in, but when something happens they're the first ones standing in line, cap in hand, bitching loudest that the govenment isn't acting fast enough.
Sounds like your ARE talking about making decisions for other people. You say "someone" should step in. Who's this "someone"? What makes their decisions right? What is right? What is wrong? This can go on forever, that is why nobody should makes decisions for other people or for other people's children.

Your anarchist's comment sounds like something out of Harper's book, no facts, no basis, just sounds tough!
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Old 10-09-2009, 17:20   #52
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Whilst i beleive that 16 is too young for this type of 'adventure' i don't condone any government interference,mainly because legislation normally is a knee jerk reaction to an event that could of been avoided using common sense.

People always have and always will do crazy irresponsible things,sometimes these actions lead to catastrophy but sometimes they lead to great discovery,remember it was 'common sense' at one time that the world was flat an if u sailed too far u'd fall off the edge,took a crazy irresponsible act to disprove that one.

I don't believe solo circumnavigation by teens now will lead to any great discoveries(though it may inspire some kids to check out the world outside their loungeroom).

However IMHO there are already enough rules and regulations.

The only problem with these attempts is the risk on other people who may have to assist them if it all goes bad,so send em off with no epirb or radio transmitting devices then if neptune decides they're not ready the case will be closed.
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Old 10-09-2009, 18:18   #53
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I asked myself one question,would I give my 13 year old permission to live by her or himself in an apartment in a large city?
Probably against the law too.
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Old 10-09-2009, 18:39   #54
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I tend to agree with that. Failure to maintain adequate watch is already a criminal offence. There is a law already.
So what will happen now?

I don't have facts on this but can infer that she was the stand on vessel because she was under sail.

However, it is possible she failed to maintain adequate watch and could have avoided the collision.

So does a 16 y/o get held responsible? dDd the shipping company incur losses? Did the ship stop? Did the ship even know there was a collision?

And if there was losses to the ship and the inadequate watch vessel was at fault would the situation be the same for a 13 y/o? 10 y/o 6 y/o?

Inquiring minds may never get to find out...
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Old 10-09-2009, 18:44   #55
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Inquiring minds may never get to find out...
That is the sad truth. All the specualtion here won't ever be resolved. We won't really know the details of how this resolves since it will be off the media radar. Sorry folks, Internet news moves a whole lot faster than we do.
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Old 10-09-2009, 19:40   #56
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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
So does a 16 y/o get held responsible? dDd the shipping company incur losses? Did the ship stop? Did the ship even know there was a collision?

And if there was losses to the ship and the inadequate watch vessel was at fault would the situation be the same for a 13 y/o? 10 y/o 6 y/o?

I don't know if this yacht was insured. Certainly no insurance company would insure a 12 year old at sea?
In Australia a 12 year old has no legal liability as they are deemed too young to be negligent at law.

Perhaps the sponsors (Ella Bache in this case) could be sued if the yacht was in an incident where it was at fault. Power hitting sail in this one means the sail would hardly ever be liable.

But remember these circumnavigations have a fair few cheats in the rules: Solo, non-stop, unassisted circumnavigation. They don't touch land so there are no other countries laws to worry about. There is little chance of hitting anything once a day from land. This also shows how critical it is for these people to get offshore fast.

Of course these sort of things must have these cheats because there are many countries where navigating a vessel would be controlled. All Europe requires a certificate of competency for example. Then other countries would just be impossible for a kid to clear into... many Muslim countries would probably be an impossibility, if not downright dangerous for a young female. Having just had a fun clearing in and out of Indonesia I can tell you it just wouldnt happen - no way could a 16yo F clear in by themselves without mum and a support team flown in!

So what is acceptable - or at least not specifically against any law currently written - in our countries guides these 'record' attempts. Its changed from where 'non-stop around the world' was difficult to where 'non-stop' is the easiest, or only, way for these people to go.

While it is fun for us to watch from afar, these cruise attempts will bring law changes as did the 7 year old American trying to fly over the USA.

The law of the country you leave and come back to in a non-stop loop at sea is the country whos laws one is accountable.

Currently in Australia (NSW) the law only relates to speed of boat. So sailing on a yacht under 10 kts is legal and does not require a license.


Quote:
General Licence
A licence for people aged 16 years and over to
drive any vessel, except a PWC at 10 knots or
more.

General Young Adult Licence
A restricted licence for those aged from 12 to
under 16 years. A Young Adult Licensee must:
(1) be accompanied by the holder of a General
Licence when travelling at 10 knots or more
Of course these laws can be changed in one quick sitting of parliament as soon as the first pre-teen circumnavigator dies. Hopefully, and not facetiously, before anyone dies!

To those that express the opinion that there should be no laws for anyone: you are right. But you need to find an island, yet unlaimed by any other country, and sit on it

Finally, the original poster wanted a Mod to alter this poll to include the younger ages. I see that as important. Because its not the age of this particular case, but the age of the people in the next case and those that follow.

Mark

(Sorry for the formatting errors, I had to do this in Word)

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Old 10-09-2009, 20:25   #57
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Originally Posted by Christian Van H View Post
I believe this poll should have had two possible answers, with this question: If Jessica Watson had been killed in her collision (thank God she was not), who would YOU hold responsible?

1.- Jessica Watson

2. - Her parents
Perhaps the person doing the killing and if no one was DIRECTLY doing the killing, let's consider the concept of accidental death.
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Old 10-09-2009, 20:41   #58
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Perhaps the person doing the killing and if no one was DIRECTLY doing the killing, let's consider the concept of accidental death.
I understand where you are coming from. As a parent, my prime directive is to keep my son from dying an accidental death. Of course, I have continued to help him avoid this, even after he became a legal adult.
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Old 10-09-2009, 21:03   #59
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To clarify:


This Poll is about setting Minimum Age Limits for:
Single Handed non-stop sailing Circumnavigation around the World

Really interesting and compelling answers on both sides and as someone has already said… “It is a tough call!”

My attempt with this poll was to take away any side issues/personalities and focus on the Freedom of Rights of a Parent and Child versus Social Responsibilities.

Ignore COLREGS because we could argue ad-nausea Rule 2a and/or that a sleeping single hander could just fly the NUC shapes and lights when off watch and other vessels are bound to keep clear.

In this Poll….FREEDOM and anti big government is definitely carrying the majority and who can argue with that sentiment?

Others (and I include myself here) feel that you have to draw the line somewhere or else abuse of that freedom will happen and a child’s life will be taken or destroyed.

So, if I understand our Majority correctly: “Freedom for the greater good of all us sailors and the individual…. far outweighs our social responsibility to protect a child from unnecessary sailing danger.”

Let me be the devil’s advocate here and ask the question:

What if in this Poll instead of setting Minimum Age Limits for:
Single Handed non-stop sailing Circumnavigation around the World

Was instead about… setting Minimum Age Limits for:

  • A person willingly working full time to advance their prospects?…or
  • A person willingly deciding to have sex to consummate their love of another?

Obviously there are historically endless documentations of child abuse in these more common examples.

Why is “Freedom of Choice” in those cases ignored? Simply because of the large numbers that confirms to Society the real need for protection?

I am arguing in this very rare sailing situation that:… Even with the very best of intent, by the guardians of the Child and the child’s own willingness… common sense and a wealth of experience from knowledgeable sailors indicates a real and inherent danger within a solo sailing circumnavigation attempt.

I argue that Society still has that responsibility to protect a child regardless of how rarified and romantic the privilege of a solo circumnavigation presents itself.

That an Age Limit needs to be set by Society.

Good Debate!
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Old 10-09-2009, 21:06   #60
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So what will happen now?........Inquiring minds may never get to find out...
Exactly.

What Australian state was the yacht registered in - each state has slightly different requirements regarding regulation. For instance in WA, Jessica would have to hold a Recreational Skippers Ticket to operate that vessel, therefore presumably she would be the held responsible for the operation of the vessel while it was under her command regardless of any parental input, consent or otherwise. MarkJ posts that license wise this is not the case in NSW.
As Jessica departed from QLD, let's assume its a QLD registered vessel so she would need to hold a QLD recreational marine drivers license (minimum age is 16)

As to a non-stop circumnavigation, there is (perhaps) no technical requirement to clear custom and immigration at your port of departure but it is my understanding that it is usually (always?) done. Certainly prudent to do so if case one has to alter the plan and enter a foreign port.

So presumably Jessica was planning to clear and therefore the ship's paperwork would show she was the master of the vessel. Again, she would then be held responsible for the operation of the vessel, not her parents.

It looks to me that there is already enough regulation in place to manage these events (stunts to some).

Extract from the WA RST info :

A person under the age of 10 CANNOT DRIVE ANY powered recreational vessel, either alone or under supervision.

Anybody 10 or older can drive a vessel with a motor UP TO 4.5 kilowatts (6 HP)

A person aged between 14 and 16 cannot be in charge of an RST vessel (ie with a motor that exceeds 4.5 kilowatts (6 HP)) unless they hold an RST. Restrictions also apply to this age group - vessels may be operated only during daylight hours and at a maximum speed of 8 knots.
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