Fatal accident on Buzzards Bay - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 221 Old 07-20-2008
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This is a tremdous lesson in situational awareness and not assuming that the Jackass coming near you has a clue as to what he is doing or is even at the wheel for that matter. This was a senseless tragedy.
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post #12 of 221 Old 07-20-2008
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Thumbs down Buzzard's Bay accident

The USCG should take Mr. Bevin's power boat & blow it out of the water to save
the lives of other boaters he will eventually run over. What a disgusting, wealthy, individual. Lots of money and NO brains.
What does he do, put his future on autopilot? I hope he had a lovely afternoon that day & didn't blemish his oversize powerboat's gelcoat.
May he rot in hell.

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post #13 of 221 Old 07-20-2008
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With all due respect, I have to disagree with the 'freak accident' discription of this, or any other similar incident of this nature. I'm not sure I even buy into the 'accident' term. A conscience, premeditated decision was made by someone to engage autopilot and leave the helm(or otherwise become so distracted) of the boat with no REQUIRED lookout. This scenario may or may not have been the case, but HOW else can you explain what happened. I can't imagine anyone of average intelligence not seeing or even considering running over a 35' sailboat while at the helm. This mindset is right up there with the once accepted practice of killing someone(well at least the lack of any REAL consequences) while driving an automobile intoxicated...."Sorry, I was drunk and was just having fun, I really didn't mean too"! The at fault gets a $50 dollar fine(some of us older guys remember those days) and the family of the deceased is left with a lifetime of grief. Thank god for MADD!

Until this kind of irresponsible behavior is met with SERIOUS jail time and wealth taken from the 'responsible', IMO this type of incident will just continue. Yeah, I'm sure who ever was driving the boat feels just terrible, but other than loosing a heap of cash, the beat goes on for him. But I'm sure Mr. Walsh, after working all his life to achieve retirement, had some other interests to explore.

As someone that was almost rundown by a sportfish with no watch at the helm, almost killed by a guy that ran a red light by 3 sec., who watched my wife being cut out of the wreckage while Mr. Mocho commented to the investigating officer that "I thought I could MAKE IT" and was almost 'T' boned and run off the road by a guy that was too ingrossed in the inside of his nose, I have absolutely no sympathy for these unthinking @$$holes!

Our only defense seems to be to keep a close watch for the "OTHER" guy and the stupidity that some are capable of. Yes, the sport of boating can't be beat as a form of relaxation but one can NEVER, EVER let the 'guard' down.

This incident is a very sad commentary on some of the boating public's attitude on safety...or the lack of. Heart felt sympathies to Mr. Walsh's family and friends.

Sorry...this kind of story just FRIES me....End of rant.

Be Careful Out There!

Last edited by fullkeel7; 07-20-2008 at 03:59 PM. Reason: mis sp
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post #14 of 221 Old 07-20-2008
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In my opinion, every sailor should have neat to hand the devices required for "signals to attract attention". Practically speaking these consist of a small air horn and a powerful flashlight. Combine these with an ever vigilant lookout and the sailor has a chance to avoid catastrophe.

I'll not comment on the case at hand for obvious reasons and I'd discourage anyone from attempting to reach conclusions based solely upon reports from the media.

It's been said before, and bears repeating, that we sailors can grow complacent based upon the fact that we are under sail and most of the vessels out on the water are required to give way to us. The very opposite should be true. We are the sitting ducks and we are the ones least able to avoid, or run away from, trouble. The powered vessel has much more of an opportunity to alter course when in a close quarters situation and avoid a collision. We do not have that luxury as we're slow moving and will always be slow moving. Our only hope is the ability to attract attention and the hope that other vessels see our signals in time.

If we do not have those signaling devices within easy reach they're as useless as if we had them not at all.

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post #15 of 221 Old 07-20-2008
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I don't know who referred to this as a freak accident, but it was either an accident or premeditated.
I'm not saying it can be justified. I can't see how it could. But it was an accident.
Stuff happens. Sometimes horrible, cruel and unfair stuff happens.
Stupidity isn't a crime yet but you sure as hell can be sued for it.
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post #16 of 221 Old 07-20-2008
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This was no freak accident!

A 35' sailboat under sail in broad daylight with decent visibility and light winds, making about 4 knots, run down by a full-powered 63' powerboat at speed....no, this was criminal negligence, no matter how you cut it.

There simply are no excuses, save the possibility of the helmsman overcome by a heart attack, and that doesn't seem to be the case at all. At least not before the accident.

By all accounts thus far, and on the face of it alone, this was an avoidable tragedy caused by gross incompetence on the part of the operator(s) of the power boat.

Unfortunately, as was mentioned, this type of occurrence is becoming more commonplace, as numbskulls with more money than learning or common sense link their autopilots to their GPS, press the buttons, and head out at full speed leaving the electronics to take care of the boat's trajectory.

I agree with the sentiment that this incident is so blatant that it should be prosecuted in both criminal and civil courts, and those responsible should be punished very severely.

There should be no room on our waters for these kinds of imbeciles.

Bill
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post #17 of 221 Old 07-20-2008
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Actually depending on the findings of the investigation, Negligent Homicide could be a criminal charge pending. Although I know a man who ran down a jetski killed 2 people and never stood criminal charges.

There will most definitely be a civil suit.

As for the accident being a freak accident or not. I plotted the lat/lon from the mayday call. As I have never sailed up in this area and am not familiar with the area. It appears to have happened in 56' of water, a couple of miles from the nearest shoreline and not in a defined channel. That alone makes it somewhat of a freak accident. Maybe you all have 10,000 boats at any time and you can walk from boat to boat, but not where I sail (nw Florida). I am NOT minimizeing what this skipper did!! But there was alot of water out there for them to find one another. It would seem a more common accident in channel or close to a port or shore where boats are forced together.

As for the skipper of the power boat. I think when the investigation is done he will have no rational reason for allowing this tragedy to happen.
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post #18 of 221 Old 07-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullkeel7 View Post
With all due respect, I have to disagree with the 'freak accident' discription of this, or any other similar incident of this nature.
Folks, the "freak accident" quote was taken from my post. The point I apparently failed to make clearly was that I do not consider it any such thing. Poor wording on my part -- I should have begun with something more to the effect: "While some non-sailors may dismiss this as nothing more than a freak accident, unfortunately it's an all too common occurrence..."

Apologies for the confusion.


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post #19 of 221 Old 07-20-2008
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John, I must agree with you that this is an all too common occurrence. Kitty and I were motor sailing Tamure back from Nassau to West Palm Beach in light winds when the engine quit. It was at night and we were about three miles off Great Isaacs light. We were just ghosting along when I looked around and saw a big mega-yacht coming towards us. I got on the radio on channel 16 and called "the Power yacht at position......" no answer. then I got out my search light and shinned them on my sails. No reaction. The power boat was on a collision course and coming at me fast. I then turned the search light into his wheel house and when they were about 50 yards away the man at the wheel must have finally noticed my search light and they did a sharp 90 degree turn and continued on their way. Still no answer on the VHF when I tried to call them again. Let me tell you my heart was pounding. I am sure he was on auto pilot with a mark just off Great Isaacs Light as a way point.
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post #20 of 221 Old 07-20-2008
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My heart goes out to the Walsh family and to Mr. Hathaway and his family. I have been in similar circumstances.

It can happen

I still do not understand how these things happen. Lack of attention! Maybe. But the power boat in this collision and the power boat in my collision both had family members aboard. Don't these skippers care about their own family's? Or is it attitude that they are the biggest boat, and the rest of us need get the hell out of their way! I don't know!

All I know is these collisions do not need to happen!

Last edited by bubb2; 07-20-2008 at 06:37 PM.
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