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  #11  
Old 11-08-2012
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Re: The Emotions Over The Bounty Tragedy

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Originally Posted by wingNwing View Post
And here we are again. In my opinion this got nasty because certain SailNetters seem to have a vested interest in PROVING to the rest of us, again and again ad nauseum, their opinion of 100% fault and blame.
Goodness, Wing. I find this entirely unfair. I'm not trying to prove anything to you, nor did I assign 100% fault and blame. The context of what happened is necessary to explain the emotional question from the OP.

A vested interest? How could you say that?

Since this is a discussion about the emotion of this event, is there not more confrontation (capitals letters) in your reply?

Let's just be friends. I don't get why we can't all express our opinion on the subject without being ridiculed.
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2012
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Re: The Emotions Over The Bounty Tragedy

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Originally Posted by wingNwing View Post

Hey, I've got an idea - why don't these folks offer their services to the Coast Guard inquiry...
Who cares about the Coast Guard inquiry?

It's probably Mickey Mouse in comparison with the coming lawsuits. The captain is dead and the ship is gone.

What are they going to do, pull the deceased captain's license and fine the owner of the boat for failure to maintain or assess the costs of the rescue?

Much to the chagrin of those who believe in government to solve our problems, administrative proceedings are not the be-all and end-all to legal liability.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2012
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Re: The Emotions Over The Bounty Tragedy

Minne, I generally respect your opinions and we generally end up on the same side in discussions. But if you go back to your post #6, you've referred to "known facts" and not "opinions."
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Re: The Emotions Over The Bounty Tragedy

I've been involved over the years, well decades, in a lot of post accident analysis and investigation of sailing vessel accidents. I can understand the, "Let's not speculate, Monday morning quarterback professionals, wait for the facts, etc., etc....". If there was ever an sailing vessel tragedy in which these things don't apply, it's this one. I just don't see any mystery or grey areas here, other than what was going on in the captain's mind in New London.

As for the position of respect for the families and avoiding further pain, the primary burden of responsibility the captain carried on his shoulders was bringing himself and crew back. An asteroid did not fall on this vessel. The families' pain grows out of the decisions made by her master. I doubt any of the families are reading these forums and the idea that what we say here could be significant in the enormous pain and loss they are now experiencing I think is inflation of our importance.

Anyone who takes even the smallest vessel out on the water makes decisions that can have tragic consequences. I think there is great value in all of us pondering how even a mariner as competent and experienced as this ship's master can delude himself. I was once a pilot and also very interested in the human factors of aviation accidents. If I were making a short list of the most common cause of accidents both in the air and on the sea, "self-delusion" would be on it. Events such as this are a mirror we need to look at ourselves in.

I don't get upset about the uninformed things I see posted about events such as this. Thinking about how things like this happen is important and can make everyone safer if they realize that the same decision making dynamics are relevant to a fair summer day on Long Island Sound.

My tolerance for uniformed and naive statements in forums like this is framed by my background which most of you aren't aware of. "Tall Ships Down", is a book that discusses five sailing vessel losses. I was involved in the investigation or analysis of three of them. I did the research and developed the basic regulatory framework that distinguishes the sailing school vessel stability requirements from those for passenger vessel. Founding chairman of the ASTA Technical Committee. Consultant and expert witness for the British government to do stability analysis in the Marques inquiry.
You can look up a thread here I started about the Pride of Baltimore for more history and discussion of how people whose competence one wouldn't think to question can do inexplicable things.

The grandest tradition of the sea is the concept of the Master of a vessel who is responsible for every aspect of the voyage and its outcome. Even if it could be determined that the vessel would have survived the weather but for the failure of a piece of machinery, it would be the captain's responsibility because part of the job description is to know the condition of every system and factor that into voyage decisions.

Responsibility is not the same thing as fault although it is closely related. The magnificent thing about someone becoming the Master of a vessel is accepting the possibility of being responsible for something beyond their control and which isn't their direct fault. It is all too rare a concept in this buck passing and CYA world.

There can be no question, however, that, if the captain had elected to stay in New London, everyone would be alive today. The ship might have been damaged but it's highly unlikely that it would not have been repairable. It is also almost virtually certain that the ship could have moved to a more protected port without incident if there was some compelling reason to leave New London.

It's easy to say something like, "Well, if you want to be perfectly safe, you would never leave port." However, there is a spectrum of risk. The decisions made here are so far out to the extreme risk side of that spectrum and so far separated from the norm as to justify equally unusual responses.
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  #15  
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Re: The Emotions Over The Bounty Tragedy

Okay, Roger, interesting perspective. So, let's wonder more about Minne's three factors: weather, ship design & crew capabilities, captain's decisions. How did those three factors interplay, and were there any other factors? Which dominated? How did they combine? What are mitigating and exacerbating circumstances? Those are the sorts of things the C.G. investigation may tell us, and what I'd like to wait for.

Those who met the captain, and stood on the ship, seem to have tremendous respect for him, and that's why some of this doesn't make sense to us. Did he delude himself, as you suggest, or were there other factors he was aware of that we aren't? Did he count on something (or someone) that failed him? How many of the crew were incapacitated by seasickness, for example?

This becomes the equivalent of the "struck by lightning" phenomenon. How do you decide what is a reasonable risk when leaving port? Are you willing to go sailing when there's a 20% chance of t-storms? 50%? Wouldn't you be safer waiting for a perfect day with a zero percent chance? (The answer is, of course, but then you never go anywhere, as you allude to).
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  #16  
Old 11-08-2012
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Re: The Emotions Over The Bounty Tragedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
I've been involved over the years, well decades, in a lot of post accident analysis and investigation of sailing vessel accidents. I can understand the, "Let's not speculate, Monday morning quarterback professionals, wait for the facts, etc., etc....". If there was ever an sailing vessel tragedy in which these things don't apply, it's this one. I just don't see any mystery or grey areas here, other than what was going on in the captain's mind in New London.
....
Anyone who takes even the smallest vessel out on the water makes decisions that can have tragic consequences. I think there is great value in all of us pondering how even a mariner as competent and experienced as this ship's master can delude himself.

...

My tolerance for uniformed and naive statements in forums like this is framed by my background which most of you aren't aware of. "Tall Ships Down", is a book that discusses five sailing vessel losses. I was involved in the investigation or analysis of three of them. I did the research and developed the basic regulatory framework that distinguishes the sailing school vessel stability requirements from those for passenger vessel. Founding chairman of the ASTA Technical Committee. Consultant and expert witness for the British government to do stability analysis in the Marques inquiry.
...
The grandest tradition of the sea is the concept of the Master of a vessel who is responsible for every aspect of the voyage and its outcome. Even if it could be determined that the vessel would have survived the weather but for the failure of a piece of machinery, it would be the captain's responsibility because part of the job description is to know the condition of every system and factor that into voyage decisions.
...
There can be no question, however, that, if the captain had elected to stay in New London, everyone would be alive today. The ship might have been damaged but it's highly unlikely that it would not have been repairable. It is also almost virtually certain that the ship could have moved to a more protected port without incident if there was some compelling reason to leave New London.

It's easy to say something like, "Well, if you want to be perfectly safe, you would never leave port." However, there is a spectrum of risk. The decisions made here are so far out to the extreme risk side of that spectrum and so far separated from the norm as to justify equally unusual responses.
Your wisdom and knowledge is appreciated. Your post sums it up.

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 11-08-2012 at 08:12 AM.
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  #17  
Old 11-08-2012
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Re: The Emotions Over The Bounty Tragedy

Wonderful post, Roger.

Julie,
In my recollection, there have been multiple long posts arguing for and against the wisdom of the decisions made in most of the tragedies which end up being discussed here. This one may be a little more rancorous, but it follows the pattern of previous discussions.
Except for the personal attacks which follow from these discussions, I think they're good in making us more aware of the gravity of our own decisions. Maybe they'll make us all safer sailors.
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Old 11-08-2012
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Re: The Emotions Over The Bounty Tragedy

Quote:
And here we are again. In my opinion this got nasty because certain SailNetters seem to have a vested interest in PROVING to the rest of us, again and again ad nauseum, their opinion of 100% fault and blame.

Hey, I've got an idea - why don't these folks offer their services to the Coast Guard inquiry, and save the the taxpayers all the cost of the investigation? No need to waste our time with that, since the answers are all so, you know, OBVIOUS-wingnwing.
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Old 11-08-2012
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Re: The Emotions Over The Bounty Tragedy

When reasonable people discuss/argue things face to face, they may have passionate differences of opinion but there is a better sense of when a discussion has reached a dead end. They move on to the next topic or the next beer. Spewing vitriol and making personal attacks over an issue that is largely speculation would not happen in an actual discussion. The conversation would just end or the puffed up, drunken combatants would take it outside and end it that way.
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  #20  
Old 11-08-2012
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Re: The Emotions Over The Bounty Tragedy

LOL, Chef. When somebody does something bizarrely out of character, it merits investigation - if only to figure out whether he blew it (in which case there's nothing to learn because the decisionmaking process didn't apply) or he knew something we didn't (in which case, we all get smarter).

But I think smurphy has it right, too. This thread seems to be our ("we" being SN) way of reestablishing that despite differences of opinion, we still all like each other.
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