Originally Posted by cburger
. . . Think you could be potentially held liable for damages, "No good deed goes unpunished".
Quite true in a society based on lawsuits. In more basic (e.g., small 3rd World) societies there is a lot more leeway. Helping out an unmanned boat in distress
or potential distress
is looked upon as almost an obligation of community friendship. I cannot count all the times I and others have come to the "rescue" of an unmanned cruising boat while the owner/skipper was ashore on business.
- - However, in the "I-sue-you" societies the opposite is the rule
. Touching, assisting or aiding something or somebody makes you legally liable for subsequent problems.
- - Every boatyard/marina in the USA that I have been in, which is lot on the U.S. east coast
, have buried in the fine print of the slip rental agreement statements authorizing the marina/boatyard to take preventative or any necessary action needed to protect other patrons or the marina/boatyard property.
- - However, this caveat does not include you - who is not a marina/boatyard employee. So you are on your own. It is a tough decision to intervene prior to any actual damage. It is pretty certain that in a court of law you will be partially responsible for the damage should any occur.
- - To get obscene about it from real life occurrences, should you run out in an intersection to save a person from getting run over by a vehicle and in the process the "saved" person breaks an ankle, three guesses who will be legally liable for that broken ankle and the medical
bills - first three guesses don't count - the answer is you. Some communities have had to pass "good samaritan" laws to make it possible for you to "save" that person without jeopardizing your whole life and finances.
- - Bottom line, you are going way out on the limb into financially dangerous areas by "doing it yourself." Better to be a pest and get the marina to send one of their employees to do it.