Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
Thanked 88 Times in 78 Posts
Rep Power: 6
You are absolutely right and this is one of those cases where even the ones that are for total freedom in what regards the need of licences for sailing and to carry as passengers the ones it please them, will think twice.
If someone can do this kind of stuff without any kind of supervision (kind of licence needed, kind of boat that fulfill the basic requirements, number of people that boat can carry under these circumstances and so on) how can they have "trusted this organization to provide a safe sail. When "Captain George"... welcomed them aboard they assumed he knew what the frig he was doing" if, as you have said, they probably don't know nothing about sailing or boats?
How should they know if it's safe or not? Who is telling them that? In whom can they trust?. There are a lot of good intentioned people that don't know what they are doing.
I am glad some people are finally agreeing with me. I stated before that this boat should have been regulated as a vessel for hire. There is no difference between a boat like this giving free rides (and apparently soliciting "registration fees" and voluntary donations) and a water taxi or ferry. There should have been captain certification, regular inspections of the vessel, etc., just like are done for vessels for hire.
Maybe that's what the local regs already required, and this organization simply ignored them. If so, there may be no need for new regulations, just after-the-fact charges against the captain/organization for breaking the law (on multiple occasions).
Even those regulations do not guarantee perfect safety of the passengers - think Baltimore Water Taxi and Philly Duck Boats. But they do hopefully minimize the incidence of egregious repeated safety violations, which some are saying was the case here.
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)