Originally Posted by chef2sail
Well, since there remains a great deal of factual information that apparently will forever be unknown to us regarding the RULE 62 tragedy, and we are still awaiting the final determination of an "official investigation" which appears likely never to occur...
Wouldn't any attempt to answer your question involve, by your definition, little more than "speculation" on our part? (grin)JOnEisberg
In the case of Rule 62 we have a few similar notes to this incident
The Captain made a poor decision and brought his vessel into an area where a "rage" was occuring and it contributed to the sinking of the boat.
Are you willing to state that the Captain of the Rulke 62 and his actions led to their deaths. He in charge made a decision which ultimately cost the life of people, therefore he was ultimately responsible, correct?
In the case of the Farlones...the CG found they "cut to close" Are you willing to state the Captain caused the death of the others on the boat?
Not meant to be argumentative...just want to see the thinking with these incidents also.
Of course both skippers shoulder the ultimate responsibility, of that there is no question... However, I believe there are significant differences in their respective "degrees" of responsibility, the 2 incidents seem to me not to be so easily compared...
The Farallones incident by definition entailed a bit more risk, by virtue of the fact that they were racing. Everyone aboard that boat likely understood the challenging and risky nature of racing around that rock - that's a large part of the appeal, thrill, and satisfaction of doing so, of course. What was going on aboard that boat involved much more of a 'team effort' than would have been the case aboard RULE 62. The helmsman would have been taking some guidance from the navigator as to the course sailed, and some of the crew would have been riding the rail, looking to seaward. At no point in Bryan Chong's detailed account of the wreck, was any mention made of any concern from any of the crew that they might be cutting the islands dangerously close. Other boats had sailed a similar track, and IMHO had they been in that particular spot either a minute earlier, or a minute later, their rounding of the Farallones may have been uneventful... Elements of risk, mistaken judgement, and sheer bad luck all conspired in that particular tragedy, and in my view the mistake made by the person in command were nowhere nearly as egregious, or clearly defined, as the decisions made aboard RULE 62, or in the case of the BOUNTY...
FWIW, the primary lessons to be learned from the RULE 62 tragedy are the dangers of making a bluewater passage with an untested crew, the over-reliance and overconfidence in electronic navigation, and the failure to master or even attempt the practice of heaving-to...
And, perhaps most importantly, the failure to have large scale PAPER charts aboard... I'd be willing to bet almost anything that skipper did not have the ability to spread out a large chart of the Abacos/NE Providence Channel on a table before him, otherwise a number of perfectly safe options would have become apparent to him at a glance... However, that is pure 'speculation' on my part, of course... (grin)
Amazing to me, that one of the required items of the Caribbean 1500's Safety Inspection is not a compliment of paper charts for the Bahamas and Greater Amtilles, as potential bailout points from the rally... Perhaps that's changed now, but last time I heard, such was not the case...