Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: We should all help these poor ladies 🙄
While only occasional, I would favor a program that had consequences for the owner, if they required excessive rescues. Your first is always on us. Maybe your second, but I start to think how long it's been since the first. There have been egregious examples of some requiring these free services a half dozen times or more. The stories always seem to have a suspected issue of mental health.
How to do it, I'm not exactly sure. After your Xth rescue over some period of time, you somehow pay up. Full reimbursement for the next rescue is probably impractical. Maybe you are banned from being on the water at that point, until you successfully pass a difficult course (ie one that someone suffering from mental health issues probably wouldn't pass). Maybe you pay a large, but standard fine, or require a special permit to be on water for some number of coming years.
I think the USCG does have the authority to impound your boat, if they think either the vessel or the skipper is incapable seaworthiness. I think they very rarely get in the grey area of trying to prove that's the right call. Not paying the fine or passing the test or complying in some form, would be definitive. They can just send someone to chain you to the dock.
I admit I don't have the details for these consequences figured out exactly, but I favor something other than just sending the USCG out time and time again. For pilots, if you goof up, the FAA can require that you return to a flight instructor with whom you must demonstrate your knowledge and flight skills and be signed off again to return to the cockpit. Until you pass whats referred to as this "709 ride", named for the section of regs that call for it, you are grounded. This section also applies to aircraft, engines, propellers, etc, as well. They can ground you or the plane, until they re-evaluated safety. Since recreational boaters require no licensing at all, that isn't done. But maybe it becomes mandatory, after your Xth rescue.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Last edited by Minnewaska; 12-13-2017 at 06:53 AM.