Overboard: Laura Gainey's Death and the Picton Castle - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 11-30-2007
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Overboard: Laura Gainey's Death and the Picton Castle

The Picton Castle is a former trawler converted to a three-masted sail training "adventure" ship. It is registered in the Cook Islands, but its home port is in Nova Scotia.

This documentary:

http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/overboard/video.html

made me very angry. I hope the "captain" loses his ship over his heinous disregard for crew safety.

The parts where the skipper from better-run sail training ships remarks that he "would be fired for this' when reviewing video of deck operations on the Picton Castle is quite illuminating.

I believe the crewperson who was unnecessarily (in my opinion) drowned in this incident was the same young woman who sold me an oil lantern when my son and I toured the ship last year.

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Old 11-30-2007
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Val,
Christ, what a sad story. The thought I had as the story went on was of the specious "Crew Wanted" postings on this forum, CaptainKris and that TJK fellow in particular. The situation aboard the Picton Castle was similar to Kris's post in that you have a ship being overhauled by inexperienced crew on a vessel captained by someone you can imagine having appalling judgment. God, the arrogance of the skipper on the Picton Castle was just overhwelming in that video tape. You can smell in coming through the computer monitor. I think this shows that crewing on just any boat makes for a lottery kind of situation. If you win, then everything's wonderful. If not, you might very well die. I have two daughters, and seeing something like this makes me ache.
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Old 11-30-2007
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Damn shame that they wouldn't take even the most basic precautions. I think the captain deserves to get his head handed to him on a stick. It is a pretty sad thing to see that my little 28' sailboat has better safety gear than the Picton Castle did on that cruise. If the Picton Castle is supposed to be a sail training ship, shouldn't she be properly equipped and teach the sailor-trainees on her how to use safety gear properly???
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Old 11-30-2007
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That boat had a bad name, even when I was crewing.
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Old 11-30-2007
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Sickening!!!

I made my kids watch it to show them what sort of vessel NEVER to sign aboard.

Valiente, thank you for calling this to our attention. I only wish you had titled this thread "BOYCOTT Picton Castle" so that unsuspecting future recruits would come across it in their web searches and pause to consider before joining a voyage. Clearly there are better choices out there, such as the British-flagged vessel with the Irish captain that also appeared in the video.
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Old 11-30-2007
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Wow. What an amazing and sickening story. It would be interesting to ask a few of the people who sailed on her for that reality show what the safety precautions were at that time. I'll bet they hadn't changed even after just loosing a crew member overboard.
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Old 11-30-2007
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Thanks for posting this, Val. I missed it when it aired.

Sad story for sure... arrogance, bad practice and the chase of the almighty buck at the root of it all.

Really goes to show how risky signing on to an unknown situation can be. I've known people who walked into similar disasters-in-the-making, but luckily they were savvy enough to walk away before it was too late.

Our absent friend "Kacper" had a similar experience not too long ago... and was able to see the wrongs and walk away.
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Old 11-30-2007
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No life jackets, no safety harness. That one girl was even told she couldn't use a safety harness, after she had requested one. In my experience, many people resist putting on life jackets because they don't want to look wimpy. That's why the captain has to make it an order, especially with younger adults.

The cover up was especially disgusting. How can people lie while being presented evidence that exposes the lie?
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Old 11-30-2007
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Does anyone know why the Piton Castle's hull was painted black during the Newport RI Tall Ships Event this past summer?

Here's a photo I took . . .

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Old 11-30-2007
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Stern view . . .


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