Fatal accident on Buzzards Bay - Page 11 - SailNet Community
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post #101 of 221 Old 08-17-2008
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Deadly mistakes happens in the Commerical community also. There have been numberous loses here in the Gulf do to human error. The latest was the oil barge that was sliced into by a large tanker on the Mississippi in New Orleans.
Sometimes we become so sure that we have control and in reality WE DON'T. And that is the gist of life.

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post #102 of 221 Old 08-17-2008
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I've found it wise to neither root for or against convictions in cases I know nothing or little about. As it appears there will be a trial of some sort it's best to await it's results and presumably all of the relevant facts.

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post #103 of 221 Old 08-18-2008
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I was sailing in Bluzzard Bay the day this "accident" happened and will put in that the day was very clear and the wind moderate. I am starting to believe that every power boat owner should be required to go out on a sailboat to understand what their actions mean to us. Between the wakes and the "games of chicken" it gets a little old. I noticed yesterday that not 1 single powerboat changed course to past behind me, all raced to cross in front of me (later I was motoring and changed course to past way behind a little rowboat). We can talk about the rules of the road all we want, but it always comes down to the Bigger Boat rule where the boat that can survive the hit "wins". Kind of like semi-trucks on the road. Of course that leaves us flapping in the breeze as we "stand-on" hoping the other guy is paying attention.

Last edited by Don0190; 08-18-2008 at 06:59 AM.
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post #104 of 221 Old 08-18-2008
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Well stated Sailaway. I agree completely and am torn in this instance. It appears that Mr. Bevins' actions or inaction led to someone losing their life. That is tragic. I searched his name on the net and read every hit on the net for for Mr. Bevins and other than some traffic tickets he appears to have a clean record. If I had seen some DUI's and other nasty little things it would have been easier to build up a good hate for him.

Sending him to jail will penalize him, but it appears to be an accident and punishment is not needed to prevent recidivism. And it certainly cannot be used as an example for other less reponsible boaters to take care. They will still be as idiotic the day after they convict and sentence Mr. Bevins.

My personal belief and I know if it were me, my concience would punish me daily.

I am sure the civil lawsuit will provide some pretty harsh punishment also. If Mr. Bevins does not have a $1.0 million umbrella policy or more I have little doubt he will be facing bankruptcy.

He is not a repeat offender and from everything I have read, there is little risk he would be involved something like this again whether he goes to jail or not.

Very tragic for everyone from every angle you look at it.

Last edited by Jonesee; 08-18-2008 at 09:38 AM.
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post #105 of 221 Old 08-18-2008
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My immediate reaction upon first hearing the initial report of this event, was to condemn the PB's helmsman as being stereotypical. But, after reading subsequent reports of the owner's character, I began to share sway's views.

However, after inspecting the published photos showing Mr. Bevins running full bore inside New Bedford Harbor . . . just days after the collision - I have re-examined my perception of this man's integrity and conscience.


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post #106 of 221 Old 08-18-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue View Post
My immediate reaction upon first hearing the initial report of this event, was to condemn the PB's helmsman as being stereotypical. But, after reading subsequent reports of the owner's character, I began to share sway's views.

However, after inspecting the published photos showing Mr. Bevins running full bore inside New Bedford Harbor . . . just days after the collision - I have re-examined my perception of this man's integrity and conscience.

I preface this by saying that these are my sailing grounds and i sail my laser in that exact spot prob 2-3 times a week and race there once a week. Also that my opinion is that this guy should see some jail time, but would like to believe that him having to live with the fact that he killed a man would be justice enough. This pictures is taken right off Fort Rodman which is well outside the dike/harbor (Fort Rodman, New Bedford, MA - Google Maps) where it is perfectly fine to go "full bore". Now i have not seen these reports. So i do not know what they say about him approaching/exiting the dike/harbor. But i know that that picture shows nothing wrong.
-kai

Last edited by kai34; 08-18-2008 at 11:17 AM.
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post #107 of 221 Old 08-18-2008
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Typical Sea Ray driver....more money than brains....ignorant morons...a few years back I was passing thru Ceasars Creek near Key Largo in a 34' DuFour...barely making it thru the shallow water without bottoming out and a 42' SeaRay came up behind us at half throttle pulling a 6foot wake...needless to say we bottomed out several times as he passed...with out the courtesy of making an effort to slow and reduce his wake...

People that buy boats like that have no sea sense what so ever...all they have is lots of money to spend for a new toy....they dont take the time to learn how to operate their vessel.

Those of you who have ever spent any time in the Intra Coastal waterway between Miami and West Palm Beach know all about what Im saying here.
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post #108 of 221 Old 08-18-2008
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Many comments here about the potential jail time but can someone explain the boating laws applicable? Bevins is being charged with homicide by vessel, a misdemeanor under Massachusetts law. Even if they added operating to endanger, it would still be a misdemeanor.

Am I correct that if this incident happened 10nm further west in RI waters, he could face a felony charge of operating a boat to endanger, death resulting? Although a much different case, a Barrington teen is currently awaiting trial for 2nd degree murder after a grand jury found wanton recklessness.

I agree with above reactions on leaving New Bedford after killing someone. Commonsense law would say headway speed is appropriate.
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post #109 of 221 Old 08-19-2008
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Regardless of the legal findings, there is one overarching issue here - COMMON COURTESY. I have a fairly large sailboat in Buzzard’s Bay. I cannot tell you how many times a powerboat throwing a large wake has placed me in danger. Try Woods Hole on a Saturday afternoon with a strong current.
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post #110 of 221 Old 08-19-2008
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Here is the latest I've seen on this subject. Mr. Bevins' claim of adjusting his GPS when the accident occured.

NEW BEDFORD — The owner of the powerboat involved in a July 18 accident that killed a Dartmouth man was resetting his GPS system in the moments before the crash, he claimed in a written note to the Coast Guard boarding team just before invoking his Fifth Amendment rights.

Fred M. Bevins III of Gloucester was issued a summons by the New Bedford District Court clerk magistrate Friday on a criminal complaint of homicide by vessel officially filed by the state Environmental Police, who led the investigation. He was ordered to appear to answer the charge on Sept. 19.

Sgt. Richard Sylvia, the investigator whose report was the basis of the complaint, wrote that by the time Mr. Bevins' 63-foot boat arrived on its own power at the Fairhaven Shipyard, Mr. Bevins had already gone silent.

"I met with the operator of the MV Reasons, Bevins, who stated that he had already given a statement to the Coast Guard and had been in touch with his attorney via cell phone and was advised to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights" against self-incrimination, he wrote in his report.

With that, Sgt. Sylvia said, he ordered both the Reasons and the Priority, the sailboat owned by David J. Walsh, 64, of Dartmouth, hauled out of the water "for investigation and analysis."

On the recording of Mr. Bevins' mayday call, he said: "We just had a collision with a sailboat. We ran over that sailboat. There's one missing. The guy who was at the helm is missing. Hold on a sec. The guy I swear he came out of nowhere."

Mr. Bevins' written statement said, "I was setting waypoint on GPS, looked up to see sailboat in front of me. No time to avoid crash."

After studying the available data and interviewing eyewitnesses, investigators concluded that Mr. Walsh's boat, which measured 35 feet, had the right of way under international navigation rules since it was fully under sail.

"In addition, video from the Coast Guard helicopter shows both sails in the up position, flapping," said the report.

Examining the damage to the boats, police painted a picture of a horrific crash that threw Mr. Walsh into the water with fatal injuries.

"Point of impact and angle of impact along with the severe damage to the sailboat's helm area, hull structure and transfer evidence from the motorboat along with the damage and transfer evidence on the bottom of the hull, shafts and propellers of the motorboat are consistent with the motorboat striking the sailboat and running over the helm/stern of the sailboat," said the report.

An autopsy by the medical examiner classified the cause of Mr. Walsh's death as "blunt force trauma to the head, torso and extremities."

"Preliminary findings in this case indicate that there was an insufficient lookout being maintained on the M/V Reasons (as required by state and federal law) and that the S/V Priority had the right of way in terms of the rules of nautical passage," the report concluded.

If Mr. Bevins is convicted as charged, he will be subject to a prison term of no less than 30 days and no more than 30 months, a fine of up to $3,000 and mandatory loss of his driver's license for 10 years.
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