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  #1  
Old 12-21-2009
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Coast Guard Boat Crash Kills Boy

This is in today's San Diego Union.
During the SD Christmas Boat Parade, a Coast Guard boat responding to a call
crashed into another boat killing an 8 years old boy

Coast Guard vessel hits pleasure boat, killing boy - Local Breaking News - SignOnSanDiego.com
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Old 12-21-2009
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Awe, jeez, what a tragedy.

The CG will have to study this one carefully.
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Old 12-21-2009
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After watching a small boat parade at Vero Beach, we can understand the problem mariner's may have with visibility. The bright lights can completely remove your night vision as well as disguising any navigation lights.

We watched a Santa Claus on the foredeck screaming at the helmsman that he was going to run into a mark. (Very unSanta-like) and then the boat backed and came within just a couple of feet from a boat on a mooring.

What I can't understand is why, under those conditions, the Coast Guard was traveling at 30 to 40 knots - for a boat aground. I mean, if it's aground, it's not going to sink.

Of course, not knowing all of the circumstances, we certainly cannot pass judgment. Maybe the boat was on fire and they were speeding to rescue the passengers. But if there were not extenuating circumstances, I would have to question the actions of the Coast Guard in this particular case.

For the vast majority of the time, in my experience, the Coast Guard is well trained and does exemplary work many times in conditions which could easily lead to tragedy.
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Old 12-21-2009
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for the most part uscg does ok. in this bay they have a practice of running too fast for conditions and this is an example--in turning around --returning to station from a call out--running down a small boat is not cool----will be interesting how this pans out over time---this bay is a poster child for irresponsible boating from the harbies to uscg to yacht clubbies to joe the broke jerk sailor-----

the uscg was called out apparently for a grounding--on perhaps zuniga jetty, whereon folks get grounded frequently and is not a dire emergency.....and witnesses were saying the uscg boat had turned around to go back to station---now how does that constitute an emergency of proportions necessary to warrant killing a kid??or anyone, for that matter..there is light in a boat parade--every boat is lit--the spectators here also get dressed up in lights for christmas----lol--go figger --they gots some splaining to do ...lots of it..
Coast Guard vessel hits boat, killing boy - Local Breaking News - SignOnSanDiego.com
Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine.
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Old 12-21-2009
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I live in San Diego and would agree that there are too many times I see Navy Security, USCG, ICE/Customs boats screaming through the bay at +40 kts. Scary, to say the least. In terms of the a safe speed during last nights parade of lights I looked up in the COLREGS the following excerpt.

Rule 6

Safe Speed

Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.

In determining a safe speed the following factors shall be among those taken into account:

(a) By all vessels:


(i) The state of visibility;

(ii) The traffic density including concentrations of fishing vessels or any other vessels;

(iii) The manageability of the vessel with special reference to stopping distance and turning ability in the prevailing conditions;

(iv) At night the presence of background light such as from shore lights or from back scatter from her own lights;

(v) The state of wind, sea and current, and the proximity of navigational hazards;

(vi) The draft in relation to the available depth of water.

(b) Additionally, by vessels with operational radar:

(i) The characteristics, efficiency and limitations of the radar equipment;

(ii) Any constrains imposed by the radar range scale in use;

(iii) The effect on radar detection of the sea state, weather and other sources of interference;

(iv) The possibility that small vessels, ice and other floating objects may not be detected by radar at an adequate range;

(v) The number location and movement of vessels detected by radar;

(vi) The more exact assessment of the visibility that may be possible when radar is used to determine the range of vessels or other objects in the vicinity.

Rule 7

Risk of Collision

(a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist.

(b) Proper use shall be made of radar equipment if fitted and operational, including long-range scanning to obtain early warning of risk of collision and radar plotting or equivalent systematic observation of detected objects.

(c) Assumptions shall not be made on the basis of scanty information, especially scanty radar information.

(d) In determining if risk of collision exists the following considerations shall be among those taken into account:

(i) Such risk shall be deemed to exist if the compass bearing of an approaching vessel does not appreciably change;

(ii) Such risk may sometimes exist even when an appreciable bearing change is evident, particularly when approaching a very large vessel or a tow or when approaching a vessel at close range.

Very sad to see this happen and the USCG does more good than harm.... but negligence can hapen. We'll see what comes out from the investigation.
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Old 12-22-2009
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This is an update from the San Diego Union Tribune:

Coast Guard boat going too fast, witnesses say - Metro - SignOnSanDiego.com
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Old 12-22-2009
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The facts are still out in San Diego, but it reminds me of a case a couple of years ago in Clear lake CA.. A lady on a sailboat was killed by a speedboat. Can't trust your eyes at high speed at night. Hell...I've been fooled doing 5 knots! However, at 5 knots, you have a lot more time to correct, and if you do screw up, the consequences will be considerably less!
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Old 12-22-2009
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during a boat parade in a bay containing 10,000 pertmenantly registered/documented boats of whatever size,as well as how many trailered boats-- a christmas parade of lights is not the place to speed......even 5 kts can be too fast---especially at dusk..btw--the grounding was NOT zuniga jetty--was a soft grounding in front of shelter island. right there where the parade was ......the crew of that number 11 uscg boat is on admin leave as of yesterday......popcorn popping--watching this closely--see if we learned anything from clear lake......
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Old 12-24-2009
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Here is another update:

‘No excuse’ for deadly crash, says attorney - Metro - SignOnSanDiego.com
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Old 12-24-2009
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A tragedy for everyone involved. My sincerest sympathies to the family.

But I will reserve judgement pending the outcome of this investigation. Indications are that the runabout was hit from astern, and the claim is that they were displaying proper running lights.

That 24 footer had 13 occupants aboard. That is quite a few passengers -- probably far more than the boat is rated for. It's not inconceivable that the crowded seating or standing position of the occupants caused the running lights to be fully or partially obscured. We simply don't know.

I'm not defending or absolving the CG here -- merely suggesting we wait to hear all the facts before passing judgement. There could be some mitigating or contributing circumstances of which we are unaware.
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