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post #21 of 44 Old 01-25-2011
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What i want to know is who the heck would crew for such an obvious pr1ck

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post #22 of 44 Old 01-25-2011
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Florida Statutes 327.33 - Reckless or careless operation of vessel :: Lawserver

Event took place in Florida.

According to the same law:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida statutes 327.02 (definitions)
(27) "Operate" means to be in charge of or in command of or in actual physical control of a vessel upon the waters of this state, or to exercise control over or to have responsibility for a vessel’s navigation or safety while the vessel is underway upon the waters of this state, or to control or steer a vessel being towed by another vessel upon the waters of the state.
Sounds like the helmsman in this case could be called the operator, as he was "in actual physical control" of the boat. The owner seems to have abdicated his position of command, and without a rigid command structure in place anyway, it might be hard to show that he was in command.

s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch

Last edited by AdamLein; 01-25-2011 at 02:58 PM. Reason: fixed quote
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post #23 of 44 Old 01-25-2011 Thread Starter
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Actually the crew member was cited:

State Statute: 327.33(3)(a)

Property damage: $15,000.00
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post #24 of 44 Old 01-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aa3jy View Post
Actually the crew member was cited:

State Statute: 327.33(3)(a)

Property damage: $15,000.00
Plus a potential fee of $500 or jail time of up to 60 days. Harsh for hitting a bridge, I think.

Actually I'm surprised to hear that (presumably) a mast caused so much damage to the bridge.

s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch
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post #25 of 44 Old 01-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
Florida Statutes 327.33 - Reckless or careless operation of vessel :: Lawserver

Event took place in Florida.

According to the same law:

(27) "Operate" means to be in charge of or in command of or in actual physical control of a vessel upon the waters of this state, or to exercise control over or to have responsibility for a vessel’s navigation or safety while the vessel is underway upon the waters of this state, or to control or steer a vessel being towed by another vessel upon the waters of the state.

Sounds like the helmsman in this case could be called the operator, as he was "in actual physical control" of the boat. The owner seems to have abdicated his position of command, and without a rigid command structure in place anyway, it might be hard to show that he was in command.
Actually I don't read it that way. The first sentence states "in command OR in actual physical control". Ok, which one is it? Which one of those takes precedence. Most of the time precedence is inferred by order, so in this case being "in charge" is first, "in command" is second, and "in actual physical control" is third. But who knows if the bozo who wrote this statute has any clue about these things.

At the very least, this is a poorly written statute that is very open to interpretation. Unless there are other statutes that clarify things a bit, the best anyone would be able to do is to find some case law where this statute has been ruled on in the past.

The officer on the scene is in no position to interpret this law, nor should he, he is right to cite the helmsman, but he should have also cited the owner with the same violation and let the courts figure it out.

Even if the helmsman is found liable for some or all of the damage, it sounds like he would have a reasonable case against the owner for putting him in a situation for which he was not qualified.

Sounds like a mess. Like others have said, helmsman needs a lawyer.

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post #26 of 44 Old 01-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyle38 View Post
Actually I don't read it that way. The first sentence states "in command OR in actual physical control". Ok, which one is it?
A person is Greek if they were born in Greece, or one of his parents is Greek. I was not born in Greece, but that doesn't matter, since one of my parents is Greek.

Logically, to satisfy a requirement that is "this thing" OR "that thing", satisfying at least one of them is sufficient. In other words, according to this law, any person in command of a vessel in Florida waters is operating the vessel. Also, any person in actual physical control of the vessel is operating the vessel.

Note that nowhere does it say that only one person can be considered to be operating a given vessel at any given time.

I agree that it's a bad law, but disagree that it's badly written. The helmsman in this case is probably in some trouble. He should definitely get a lawyer, who should sidestep the "operator" issue and point to the fact that the owner was clearly the master of, or in command of, the vessel, and therefore takes primary responsibility for everything that happens on his vessel. Of course, he should first check to make sure that Florida law respects that ancient and cherished custom of the sea. At the very least, the captain shares the blame and the fine/damages.

To be fair to the system, it's a bit irresponsible to agree to operate (whoops... how about "drive"? "pilot"?) a large, complex machine if you are inexperienced, untrained, and unqualified to do so. If a friend of mine has a motorcycle with a sidecar, and he proposes to sit in the sidecar reading a book while I drive, I hope that I would refuse.

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post #27 of 44 Old 01-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
A person is Greek if they were born in Greece, or one of his parents is Greek. I was not born in Greece, but that doesn't matter, since one of my parents is Greek.

Logically, to satisfy a requirement that is "this thing" OR "that thing", satisfying at least one of them is sufficient. In other words, according to this law, any person in command of a vessel in Florida waters is operating the vessel. Also, any person in actual physical control of the vessel is operating the vessel.

Note that nowhere does it say that only one person can be considered to be operating a given vessel at any given time.

I agree that it's a bad law, but disagree that it's badly written. The helmsman in this case is probably in some trouble. He should definitely get a lawyer, who should sidestep the "operator" issue and point to the fact that the owner was clearly the master of, or in command of, the vessel, and therefore takes primary responsibility for everything that happens on his vessel. Of course, he should first check to make sure that Florida law respects that ancient and cherished custom of the sea. At the very least, the captain shares the blame and the fine/damages.
I agree the operator needs to get an attorney and that his defense should emphasize that he ASKED FOR ASSISTANCE and was ignored.

Quote:
To be fair to the system, it's a bit irresponsible to agree to operate (whoops... how about "drive"? "pilot"?) a large, complex machine if you are inexperienced, untrained, and unqualified to do so. If a friend of mine has a motorcycle with a sidecar, and he proposes to sit in the sidecar reading a book while I drive, I hope that I would refuse.
And if you didn't refuse, I hope he'd stop reading if you asked for his help or advice...

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post #28 of 44 Old 01-25-2011
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Adam is correct


To get technical
"or" is a Boolean operator which broadens categories.

Boolean Operators

Boolean operator does not refer to a vessel.

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post #29 of 44 Old 01-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Boolean operator does not refer to a vessel.
Dibs on "Boolean" for next sailboat name!

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post #30 of 44 Old 01-25-2011
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Quote:
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Dibs on "Boolean" for next sailboat name!
Cute.

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