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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 01-21-2011
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Actually I would hold the Owner/Captain at fault. He neglected his responsibilities as the captain by putting an inexperience person on the helm.
Then gave the order not to bother him(?)
This would be total neglect on part of the Owner/Captain. Or could it be that he didn't know what to do either? Ignorance can kill you out on open waters or In Restricted Navable waters...
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  #12  
Old 01-22-2011
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Here is what the new crew member was cited for:

Rule 5
> Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and
> hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing
> circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation
> and of the risk of collision.
>
> 327.33 Reckless or careless operation of vessel.—
> (1) It is unlawful to operate a vessel in a reckless manner. A person is
> guilty of reckless operation of a vessel who operates any vessel, or
> manipulates any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device, in willful or
> wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property at a speed or in a
> manner as to endanger, or likely to endanger, life or limb, or damage the
> property of, or injure any person. Reckless operation of a vessel includes,
> but is not limited to, a violation of s. 327.331(6). Any person who violates
> a provision of this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the first degree,
> punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
> (2) Any person operating a vessel upon the waters of this state shall
> operate the vessel in a reasonable and prudent manner, having regard for
> other waterborne traffic, posted speed and wake restrictions, and all other
> attendant circumstances so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of
> any person. The failure to operate a vessel in a manner described in this
> subsection constitutes careless operation. However, vessel wake and
> shoreline wash resulting from the reasonable and prudent operation of a
> vessel shall, absent negligence, not constitute damage or endangerment to
> property. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection commits
> a noncriminal violation as defined in s. 775.08.
> (3) Each person operating a vessel upon the waters of this state shall
> comply with the navigation rules.
> (a) A person whose violation of the navigation rules results in a boating
> accident, but whose violation did not constitute reckless operation of a
> vessel, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as
> provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
> (b) A person whose violation of the navigation rules does not result in a
> boating accident and does not constitute reckless operation of a vessel is
> guilty of a noncriminal violation as defined in s. 775.08.
> (c) Law enforcement vessels may deviate from the navigational rules when
> such diversion is necessary to the performance of their duties and when such
> deviation may be safely accomplished.
> (4) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the ascertainment of fault
> in vessel operations and boating accidents shall be determined according to
> the navigation rules.
> History.—s. 1, ch. 59-400; s. 3, ch. 63-105; s. 1, ch. 65-361; s. 6, ch.
> 81-100; s. 6, ch. 84-188; s. 6, ch. 86-35; s. 2, ch. 88-133; s. 2, ch.
> 89-136; s. 45, ch. 91-224; s. 1, ch. 92-92; s. 6, ch. 2000-362.
> Note.—Former s. 371.50.
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  #13  
Old 01-22-2011
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The Captain is ultimately responsible for the safety of the vessel and the crew.

However, many states now require an operators license or boating safety certificate. Was this state one that required such a certificate? Was the crew member in compliance?

In either case, The captain was negligent, and the crew member failed to use good judgment, ( self preservation was a great way to put it).
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2011
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This is beginning to sound interesting. There are lots of questions. Did the owner receive a similar citation? The law holds the person operating the vessel as liable. Who is the operator here? Is it the owner/skppper or the crew at the helm who is the actual operator, according to the law where this happened? To put it into "landspeak", what if the driver of a car going towards a tollbooth at 55 mph told his front-seat passenger to "Take the wheel while I tie my shoe."? Whose fault would that accident be?
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Old 01-23-2011
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"If a relatively new crew member of sailboat"
Was this hired crew, or did you mean a guest?

When all is said and done, I'm guessing the helmsman cold and did have the option to say "I CAN'T HANDLE THAT" and REFUSE TO TAKE THE HELM. And certainly to shout "Help! Captain! Help! Crash!".

But apparently the guest allowed himself to be intimidated, and he WAS AT THE HELM when he hit the bridge. Ayeah, that would seem to make him responsible for hitting it. No one was holding a knife to his throat, forcing him to hold that course, were they?
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  #16  
Old 01-23-2011
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According to the OP...the crew member did shout for help and was IGNORED...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"If a relatively new crew member of sailboat"
Was this hired crew, or did you mean a guest?

When all is said and done, I'm guessing the helmsman cold and did have the option to say "I CAN'T HANDLE THAT" and REFUSE TO TAKE THE HELM. And certainly to shout "Help! Captain! Help! Crash!".

But apparently the guest allowed himself to be intimidated, and he WAS AT THE HELM when he hit the bridge. Ayeah, that would seem to make him responsible for hitting it. No one was holding a knife to his throat, forcing him to hold that course, were they?
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  #17  
Old 01-24-2011
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According to the rules there must be a proper watch at all times, and the helmsman cannot be the lookout.
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  #18  
Old 01-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleRuckus View Post
According to the rules there must be a proper watch at all times, and the helmsman cannot be the lookout.
I can't imagine that many recreational boats do this. Most are lucky to have the helmsman keeping a watch of some sort.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #19  
Old 01-24-2011
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Charging someone with a crime, and finding them guilty are two different things.

The cop can cite anyone for ANYTHING. However, the burden of proof should fall to the cop.

For example, a couple of years ago, my wife was cited - delivered via USPS - for operating without an inspection sticker. The vehicle that she was supposedly operating was my son's car. This car has a manual transmission, that she does not know how to drive! Furthermore, she was out of state on the date that the citation was written. I told her to fight it, but she decided it was easier to pay the citation.

It seems that the person at the helm has a story to tell, and should be given the opportunity to tell it. Depending upon what is at stake here (damage to the boat, bridge damage?), I suggest that the helmsman prepare to defend himself, and get a lawyer.
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Old 01-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleRuckus View Post
According to the rules there must be a proper watch at all times, and the helmsman cannot be the lookout.
Can you provide a citation for this?
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