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Old 13-08-2019, 23:24   #31
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
So then, just what plausible and rational excuse IS there for a power boat (or any boat not constrained by draft) to hit a sailboat (or any form of boat).

It is clear from COLREGS that no such situation exists.

Jim
Jim......I find the situation you allude to a rare happening. Most of us who contribute in these forums have years of experience on the water and can relate to challenges encountered when approaching sailboat races. I do my very best to avoid getting anywhere near them, not for respect of them but because of their disrespect for me. The nicest guys one meets on the streets suddenly become arrogant, get out of my way creeps when racing a sailboat.

They ignore the COLREGS! Fxykty’s above post tells how COLREGS applies to every boat and then goes on and described how he once in a race sailed under the bow of a passing ship that was sounding its warning horn

And then there are fatalities, some occurring in races such as the tragedy of Newport. Maybe that could have been avoided if greater respect was given to others sharing the same water. Not all boating accidents are related to racing though. Back in 2008 a guy named Bevins powering a 63’ (Bayliner??) ran over a 30-36’ sailboat in Buzzards Bay killing one of the occupants. This very same guy crashed his boat again against another sailboat around 2014 or so. I forget all the details but I don’t believe the sailboat was even moving. I remember the these accidents because when the first happened I kept my boat at Fairhaven Ship Yard, the same place both boats were taken for investigation.

I know this, I never ever challenge anybody when on the water. I give way always if there is the slightest possibility of being in a collision. That is my solution to COLREGS.
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Old 14-08-2019, 00:13   #32
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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Old 14-08-2019, 00:15   #33
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
Jim......I find the situation you allude to a rare happening. Most of us who contribute in these forums have years of experience on the water and can relate to challenges encountered when approaching sailboat races. I do my very best to avoid getting anywhere near them, not for respect of them but because of their disrespect for me. The nicest guys one meets on the streets suddenly become arrogant, get out of my way creeps when racing a sailboat.

They ignore the COLREGS! Fxykty’s above post tells how COLREGS applies to every boat and then goes on and described how he once in a race sailed under the bow of a passing ship that was sounding its warning horn

And then there are fatalities, some occurring in races such as the tragedy of Newport. Maybe that could have been avoided if greater respect was given to others sharing the same water. Not all boating accidents are related to racing though. Back in 2008 a guy named Bevins powering a 63’ (Bayliner??) ran over a 30-36’ sailboat in Buzzards Bay killing one of the occupants. This very same guy crashed his boat again against another sailboat around 2014 or so. I forget all the details but I don’t believe the sailboat was even moving. I remember the these accidents because when the first happened I kept my boat at Fairhaven Ship Yard, the same place both boats were taken for investigation.

I know this, I never ever challenge anybody when on the water. I give way always if there is the slightest possibility of being in a collision. That is my solution to COLREGS.
All very well, Foggy, but you didn't answer my question: "So then, just what plausible and rational excuse IS there for a power boat (or any boat not constrained by draft) to hit a sailboat (or any form of boat)."

That is where the discussion was leading.

Jim
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Old 14-08-2019, 00:19   #34
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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I think the basic problem that causes the types of situation you described could be summed up from the concept "right of way". It seems most people read COLREGS as one boat having the "right of way" to do what they want while the other boat has to avoid them. This is distinctly not the case, however. Per Colregs, "Where one of two vessels is to keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course and speed." That stand-on vessel has an equal and equally important responsibility as the give-way vessel, they are required to keep their course and speed. They don't have some kind of "right of way" to do what they want or "precedence" or anything else of that nature.....they have a clearly designated responsibility which is equally as important as the give-way vessel's responsibility and that is to keep their course and speed.
I blame the way the brain works and as a result how we teach COLREGS for most of this. But I certainly would encourage everyone to emphasize this misconception whenever they share COLREGS with others!

You and Ken are absolutely right about this, and your formulation of this principle is really excellent . This is a crucial feature of the COLREGS and something which, unfortunately, many sailors don't completely understand. Once you start to think in terms of "right of way" it all goes wrong.


I'd like to just add one subtlety to the question --


There is a Victorian-era maritime case which is still good law, which holds that the obligation to stand-on might not in all cases require the vessel so obligated to hold the exact same course and speed. The stand-on vessel might carry on doing what it could be reasonably be expected to do -- slow down to pick up a pilot in the law case. This has been interpreted to mean that a sailing vessel deviating somewhat from its course and speed due to ordinary effects of the wind may still be standing on properly, and even tacking if this is predictable. The give-way vessel is obligated to take account of this.


Nevertheless, yours and Ken's comments are all correct and a sailing vessel in a risk of collision situation with a power driven vessel does NOT indeed have the right to just maneuver around willy nilly thinking that it's entirely the problem of the give-way vessel to deal with it. No. When there's a risk of collision, the stand-on vessel must concentrate on the crossing, must hold course and speed as best it can, must see and verify that the give-way vessel has resolved the situation, and must be ready to maneuver itself if the situation is not resolved in time. You are never allowed to just consider it the other vessel's problem and carry on racing as you like.



This is very hard for racers to do, because it so much contradicts everything else they are doing, but they must do so, failing which, people can get killed.



It would be good if sailors would understand all this better.


Speaking of power boats -- certainly there are plenty of fools in charge of power boats, but where I sail, at least, it's not a higher percentage than those in charge of sailboats. Around the Solent actually the big problem is racers knowing nothing about COLREGS, maneuvering aggressively and dangerously, and shouting at anyone who gets in their way. Sometimes doing stuff like tacking right under your bows and thinking that's ok and your problem . The majority of power boaters in the Solent are fine seamen, skillful, and courteous. They certainly cause me less concern than the racers.


One more comment on this:


Many of us don't really understand maneuverability and what it means. There are two aspects of it: (a) the ability to change course rapidly; and (b) your speed in relation to whatever it is you are trying to avoid. Of these in most cases (b) is the most important thing. This was no doubt a factor in the tragedy which is the subject of this thread -- the catamaran was sailing too fast for the power boat to avoid easily, and/or he misjudged the speed. Be careful with that, guys. A lot of sailors think their boats are so "maneuverable" compared to big ships, but in fact at 6 knots there is very little you can do once you get into close quarters with a ship making 20 knots. You can change directions, but you can't travel far enough to do much. Likewise, a power boater might think that he can just dodge out of the way of whatever at the last minute, so doesn't think he needs to plan ahead. But suddenly he's dealing with a racing cat making 20 knots, and whatever he does at the last minute is too late. This also needs to be taken into account in all collision avoidance maneuvers.
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Old 14-08-2019, 00:24   #35
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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The article stated

Would the USCG not be involved?
My thought exactly, only I preceeded the question, to myself, with "WTF!!!".
Cannot imagine the treehuggers know anything about maritime rules of right of way or that they have practical experience.
And the reporter did a dissercice to both parties by using only irrelevant quota
tions.
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Old 14-08-2019, 00:57   #36
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

Here’s another arrogant racer situation I encountered last summer up in Nova Scotia, and again not related as far as I know to the accident.

We arrived about noon on a sunny clear day in a small town and dropped our anchor in what appeared to be a perfect spot in a designated anchorage way out of way... no other boats in the anchorage then put out our black day sign ball (which nobody in North America seems to use or know what it means). Within 20 minutes, we found ourselves completely swarmed by 40 or so 25ft-28ft kamikazi sailboats all sceaming at us to get out of their f***ing way. For Gods sake... we were anchored... how were we supposed to know there was some sort of famous annual regatta taking place and the turn around race buoy was 100 meters off our bow. When we anchored... there were no sailboats anywhere in sight. To not want any more hassles, we picked up our anchor and moved 1/4 mile to a less desirable spot, only to not see another racing sailboat go past were we’d been for the remainder of the day.

This sort of behavior of racers thinking they own the entire bay... does not serve to endear them to responsible non-racers, powerboat or otherwise.

Ken
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Old 14-08-2019, 01:08   #37
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Here’s another arrogant racer situation I encountered last summer up in Nova Scotia, and again not related as far as I know to the accident.

We arrived about noon on a sunny clear day in a small town and dropped our anchor in what appeared to be a perfect spot in a designated anchorage way out of way... no other boats in the anchorage then put out our black day sign ball (which nobody in North America seems to use or know what it means). Within 20 minutes, we found ourselves completely swarmed by 40 or so 25ft-28ft kamikazi sailboats all sceaming at us to get out of their f***ing way. For Gods sake... we were anchored... how were we supposed to know there was some sort of famous annual regatta taking place and the turn around race buoy was 100 meters off our bow. When we anchored... there were no sailboats anywhere in sight. To not want any more hassles, we picked up our anchor and moved 1/4 mile to a less desirable spot, only to not see another racing sailboat go past were we’d been for the remainder of the day.

This sort of behavior of racers thinking they own the entire bay... does not serve to endear them to responsible non-racers, powerboat or otherwise.

Ken

That's hilarious


Racers seem to live in another world. I stay as far away from them as possible, especially when they are actually racing, and give them space whenever possible, but it's not always possible. I wish they wouldn't bring all their testosterone and aggression into encounters with non-racers.
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Old 14-08-2019, 05:32   #38
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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All very well, Foggy, but you didn't answer my question: "So then, just what plausible and rational excuse IS there for a power boat (or any boat not constrained by draft) to hit a sailboat (or any form of boat)."

That is where the discussion was leading.

Jim

Jim, I answered your question in my very first sentence.
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Old 14-08-2019, 05:51   #39
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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Sure, just as absurd as you implying “no plausible rational excuse for a power boater to hit a sailboat” Yes, your sailboat attitude projected into your post is clear. It appears to me you might be part of the problem.
Making childish inappropriate personal attacks is unacceptable here as in anyplace. A little introspection on your part might be more appropriate.

Regardless, power boats are far more easily controlled than is any sailboat which prompts my original question regarding what rational or plausible excuse might exist to justify any power boat hitting and subsequently killing any sailboat/occupant.

A question has thus far gone unanswered ( hint - rules are rules, not an answer).
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Old 14-08-2019, 05:59   #40
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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Making childish inappropriate personal attacks is unacceptable here as in anyplace. A little introspection on your part might be more appropriate.

Regardless, power boats are far more easily controlled than is any sailboat which prompts my original question regarding what rational or plausible excuse might exist to justify any power boat hitting and subsequently killing any sailboat/occupant.

A question has thus far gone unanswered ( hint - rules are rules, not an answer).

I'm not sure if anyone really understands the question.


Of course there's no excuse -- the power boater obviously screwed up. What kind of screwup it was, none of us knows, because none of us was there.


I guess the sailor screwed up too.


It usually, perhaps not always, but almost always, takes at least some kind of screwup on both sides, to result in a collision.




It was suggested that the very high speed of the catamaran would have made it easy for the power boater to misjudge the crossing. Sounds plausible, but pure speculation on our part. Maybe he was below taking a leak. Maybe he was keeping a bad watch and didn't see the speeding cat until it was too late. Maybe he was trying, but just misjudged the crossing. Maybe even the cat altered course under his bows at high speed, when it was too late for him to avoid (good luck proving that). Who knows? Probably no one knows for sure but the one survivor of the incident, and I guess he's not telling.




The relative "controllability" of the two vessels is hardly at issue here -- both should have been keeping a careful watch, and should have taken action in time to prevent the collision, whatever the "control" challenges.
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Old 14-08-2019, 06:45   #41
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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Making childish inappropriate personal attacks is unacceptable here as in anyplace. A little introspection on your part might be more appropriate.

Regardless, power boats are far more easily controlled than is any sailboat which prompts my original question regarding what rational or plausible excuse might exist to justify any power boat hitting and subsequently killing any sailboat/occupant.

A question has thus far gone unanswered ( hint - rules are rules, not an answer).
Under the international rules both vessels involved have an equal obligation to do everything possible to avoid a collision when it becomes apparent that a possible or probable collision has become inevitable if no action is taken. The sailboat under sail is not excused from that responsibility by some sense of entitlement or perceved “right of way.”

The rules are very clear about this; sailing vessels do not have any special “right of way” to do whatever they wish and to interfere with a powerboat.
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Old 14-08-2019, 06:54   #42
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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Under the international rules both vessels involved have an equal obligation to do everything possible to avoid a collision when it becomes apparent that a collision has become inevitable if no action is taken. The sailboat under sail is not excused from that responsibility by some sense of entitlement or perceved “right of way.”

The rules are very clear about this.

Was S/V Illusion saying that? I hope not.


Ken is right, of course. "Sense of entitlement or perceived 'right of way'" is totally inappropriate and contradicts the Rules.


Rule 17(b):


When, from any cause, the vessel required to keep her course and speed finds herself so close that collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, she shall take such action as will best aid to avoid collision.
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We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 14-08-2019, 07:00   #43
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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How hard is it for a powerboat to stay away from a sailboat and especially a regatta? [rhetorical question]



We've sailed around Newport for decades and there is no plausible rational excuse for a power boater to hit a sailboat unless the operator is among the large 'more money than brains' navy. Tragic and avoidable is a terrible combination.
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Was S/V Illusion saying that? I hope not.


Ken is right, of course. "Sense of entitlement or perceived 'right of way'" is totally inappropriate and contradicts the Rules.


Rule 17(b):


When, from any cause, the vessel required to keep her course and speed finds herself so close that collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, she shall take such action as will best aid to avoid collision.
Here is Illusion’s original statement which heavily implies the powerboater is always at fault or possilby mentally challenged in some way.

I’m a sailboat owner, and because of that... a powerboat operator 80% of the time by default. I see both sides of the issue and follow the rules as they are written, and always give way when in doubt. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone did the same?

It’s not always possible for a power driven vessel to get out of the way of a sailboat.
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Old 14-08-2019, 07:40   #44
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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It’s not always possible for a power driven vessel to get out of the way of a sailboat.
Here’s an example: With 9ft of draft, there’re times while operating our sailboat when we become a “power driven vessel constrained by her draft.” If I put the proper signal out, I seriously doubt most sailboat racers would even know what it meant or if they’d even see it. Yes there are situations where the sailboat becomes the give way vessel.... even if they’re “racing.”

Here’s rule #18 which applies to this situation:

a ) Any vessel other than a vessel not under command or a vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid impeding the safe passage of a vessel constrained by her draft, exhibiting the signals in Rule 28.
(ii) A vessel constrained by her draft shall navigate with particular
caution having full regard to her special condition.
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Old 14-08-2019, 07:54   #45
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Re: Tragic accident on East Passage near Newport

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Here’s an example: With 9ft of draft, there’re times while operating our sailboat when we become a “power driven vessel constrained by her draft.” If I put the proper signal out, I seriously doubt most sailboat racers would even know what it meant or if they’d even see it.

Here’s rule #18 which applies to this situation:

a ) Any vessel other than a vessel not under command or a vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid impeding the safe passage of a vessel constrained by her draft, exhibiting the signals in Rule 28.
(ii) A vessel constrained by her draft shall navigate with particular
caution having full regard to her special condition.

Indeed.


But the main point is broader -- whatever the status of the other vessel, you NEVER have the right to just charge on and assume that the other vessel will resolve the situation. That's what it means to say that there is no such thing as right of way at sea (at least under International Rules). There are lots of reasons why the give way vessel might not be able to resolve the situation, and you are required to be ready to do it yourself even if you are the stand-on vessel.


Just one example, but a very common reason for such a situation is that the give way vessel is dealing with other traffic, and can't maneuver without getting in the way of a different vessel. He ought to call you and discuss it in that case, but he might not, and in that case you must maneuver.


Or maybe he is just keeping a sloppy watch or went below to take a leak.


Or maybe he's not showing CBD but there is in fact some objective reason why he can't maneuver; maybe there's some obstacle which you can't see.



It doesn't matter why the give way vessel doesn't maneuver, IF he doesn't, THEN you are obligated to take action.
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