Technology vs. using senses (and common sense) - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-01-2014 Thread Starter
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Technology vs. using senses (and common sense)

Here is a horror story of a guy who misused technology, when simply using his eyes, ears and common sense probably would have kept him safe. It also demonstrates how worthless certificates can be.
For those who will say "don't criticize others", save your post. Several professionals went out of their way to save this guy from himself, and he still managed to hit a ship!
Please....Learn the rules of the road and how to handle your boat before even considering using GPS or other technology. If you can't hear your radio (VHF not AM/FM) while motoring, it's worthless.
Oh...and look out of the cockpit once in a while!
Transportation Safety Board of Canada - Marine Investigation Report M05L0192

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post #2 of 9 Old 02-01-2014
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re: Technology vs. using senses (and common sense)

My dearly departed dad used to have a couple of sayings that were appropriate with situations such as these:

1. Common sense ain't very damned common these days.

2. The average person is well below average.

Dad didn't go very far in school, but he was pretty darned smart.

Gary
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Technology vs. using senses (and common sense)

Bad show by the sailboat, awful course layout almost guaranteed to confuse commercial shipping, and a poor job of lookout by both eye and ear.

And therefore a good read, I recommend it. Sailboat skipper no doubt thought he was being careful....

"Experience is a tough teacher, she gives the test first and the lesson later". ;-)
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Technology vs. using senses (and common sense)

It is tempting to just extract from the report this little tidbit and dismiss the whole thing

Sailboat, Hunter 30

(Just kidding)

But the truth is the captain of the Hunter was licensed by the government and has been sailing, or at least has owned boats, for more than 20 years. Therefore I conclude that he is either a fool or was drunk. There is no mention in the report of him being intoxicated.


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post #5 of 9 Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Technology vs. using senses (and common sense)

The sailor seemed like he had quite a bit of experience. The lack of judgement was evident. Travelling the St Lawerence at night? Wow, either he had done this trip many times or he has big b****.
I haven't done that section yet; but, having done the kingston to Clayton section, i wouldn't want to do it at night.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-02-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Technology vs. using senses (and common sense)

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Originally Posted by vega1860 View Post
It is tempting to just extract from the report this little tidbit and dismiss the whole thing
Sailboat, Hunter 30
(Just kidding)
Didn't want to say it in the OP, but I was waiting for that! Didn't take long!
Ironic ain't it? (or...is it?)

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Originally Posted by vega1860 View Post
But the truth is the captain of the Hunter was licensed by the government and has been sailing, or at least has owned boats, for more than 20 years. Therefore I conclude that he is either a fool or was drunk. There is no mention in the report of him being intoxicated.
I noticed that as well. I've checked out three different incident reports on the site. All were excellent and very thorough. One listed sleep deprivation as a probable contributing cause pertaining to a tug crew, but none have even mentioned sobriety, or even tests. Surely a commercial (tug) crew would be tested with millions of dollars in damage involved. In addition, would this clown have been allowed to continue (12 miles no less) if he was drunk?

The site does say it's purpose is not to asses blame. However if alcohol or drugs (possibly prescribed) were a factor (as seems to me, the only plausible explanation in this case), I would think they would mention it.
I suspect the Canadian SN member who first provided a link to the site in another thread will chime in anytime now, and may clear this up for me.

In any case, the site is very informative, and I think the US should have a similar one. Unfortunately, apparetnly many states (including California) don't allow the USCG to release the information to the public.

Last edited by L124C; 02-02-2014 at 05:14 PM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-02-2014
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Re: Technology vs. using senses (and common sense)

Not familiar with the area. Maybe not the best passage at night? If his original WPs were outside of the channel, he wouldn't have had this trouble on the return trip.

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post #8 of 9 Old 02-02-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Technology vs. using senses (and common sense)

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Sailboat skipper no doubt thought he was being careful....
Did he?

1. He had a near miss with a dredge, only averted by the dredge's evasive action. If that didn't tell him he was possibly doing something wrong, what would have?

2. A spotlight shined down on him, from what have must have seemed like the heavens, and he decided to head toward that light. It could have been on land for all he knew. In any case, you don't want to put your boat near the source of the light! It probably won't (and hence didn't,) work out well for you. Had the crew of the tanker not been so diligent, they might have cut his boat in half, and never even realized it.

3. He's apparently been a "skipper" for a while and didn't notice (or care) that he couldn't hear his VHF while motoring (single handing at night no less!)?

4. Even after the collision, he didn't take the time to consult charts and his two GPS units to figure out where he was, and go to the nearest harbor. At the very least, to regroup, figure out what the hell he was doing wrong and change underwear. Instead, he continued 12 miles in what could have been a compromised vessel. I suspect he didn't even know how lucky he had been (and therefore, his underwear was clean!).

What gives you any indication he had reason to "think" he was being careful? Doesn't seem to me thinking was in his plan at all!
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-02-2014
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Re: Technology vs. using senses (and common sense)

The character of the river changes considerably as you go farther downstream. That said, the shipping channel there is pretty narrow. My money is on impaired due to lack of sleep.
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