Originally Posted by casey1999
Could the Coast Guard have prevented the Bounty from sailing when it left the dock prior to hurricane Sandy? If so, under what regulation? If someone had called the CG and said they did not think Bounty should sail, would the CG do anything or just let her go? Can the CG restrict boats/ships from sailing into certain weather systems like a northeaster or hurricane, seeing the CG will be called for help when somthing goes wrong?
Had an interesting example of this last year. We were in the Galapagos when the earthquake and tsunami from Japan happened. The first reaction of the Port Captain, actually connected to the Ecuadorean navy, was to close the harbor and not allow anyone to leave. They actually sent a patrol boat out to retrieve one boat that had left, not because of the tsunami but just because they were leaving and had their zarpe (clearance document). This was obviously the wrong decision since the harbor pointed pretty clearly toward Japan, but we had several hours notice. I was going to go ashore to the Port Captain's office and explain why I was going to leave, clearance, closed port or not and why others should leave - when the PC got word from someone that everyone should be in deep water (not hard there) an hour before the tsunami was to hit.
I think this points out the sometimes difficult dynamic between the responsibilities of the governing body (USGC, Ecuadorean navy, et al) and the responsibilities of the master of a vessel. I hope I am never in the shoes of the captain of the Bounty, but I think it is simplistic to suggest that it was a clearcut decision either way.