Originally Posted by sailingdog
If this had taken place in clear conditions, whether the boat a fishing trawler or a fishing day charter boat with fishing rods off of it would make a big difference. A trawler with equipment out would have right of way over a sailboat, but a day charter boat with fishing rods out would not.
In either case, both boats should have been keeping a watch, and both boats had a responsibility to take action to avoid a collision. I think that putting a boat on autopilot in heavy fog and then going up to get a cup of tea is a bit irresponsible.
Just a bit?
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217