Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 47 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

This is a well-charted and marked reef.

Thank you for sharing your story! I admire you for not fully outing the captain. I would appreciate any additional references to the incident.

ASA 101, 103, 104 and 105 certified... I guess that this thread also speaks to the value of holding ASA certifications... I believe that the importance of learning through the right school and instructor cannot be overstated.

You, and more importantly the captain, should have learned by the time that ASA 104 was through what those yellow buoys were all about and how to not run aground. I teach my students how to use a "piloting worksheet," which documents the planned course, planned course headings and the distances between waypoints along the course in ASA 104. I am planning a trip along the ICW this fall and will review a piloting worksheet with each of my crew members before every day's journey. I am guessing that this did not happen in your experience. ASA 105 should have addressed in detail how to read a chart.

Sad, but this incident should not have happened. What has become of the vessel?


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post #22 of 47 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Now before we all get our knickers in a twist I would like to point out that SVEM joined SailNet a day ago, and he's posted here a total of 5 times, all in this thread. (BTW - @SVEM Welcome to SailNet!)

Can we please get some more information on this incident from another source?
Multiple sources are always good, but SVEM seems like he has no axe to grind, and no ďskin in the gameĒ regarding liability. So no apparent reason not to take him at face value. Heís certainly no more suspicious than the rest of us Internet stooges.

SVEM - Welcome!

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post #23 of 47 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

The whole situation sounds complicated to me. The Captain has a duty of care to the owner, but the owner should also exercise due diligence in hiring an appropriate Captain. Delivering a 44 ft Cat and 6 passengers from the Virgin Islands to Texas during hurricane season is not something that should be taken lightly be either party.

I would think if the owner would like some compensation from the Captain, the owner would want to make sure he dotted his I's and crossed his t's.

I am thinking if the owner wants compensation, he really should consider talking to a lawyer to make sure he did his due diligence.
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post #24 of 47 Old 06-28-2018
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
You, and more importantly the captain, should have learned by the time that ASA 104 was through what those yellow buoys were all about and how to not run aground. I teach my students how to use a "piloting worksheet," which documents the planned course, planned course headings and the distances between waypoints along the course in ASA 104. I am planning a trip along the ICW this fall and will review a piloting worksheet with each of my crew members before every day's journey. I am guessing that this did not happen in your experience. ASA 105 should have addressed in detail how to read a chart.
Almost as mindboggling as the original story, is this plug for ASA and the suggestion that the captain's presumed lack of ASA certifications had anything at all to do with the incident. Nothing against ASA, but if you think it takes ASA 101-105 to know how to avoid a charted and marked reef, I'm not sure what that says about your "street smarts" for lack of a better term. All the studying and certifications in the world can only go so far if you lack a basic level of competence.
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post #25 of 47 Old 06-28-2018
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

Nope, not a plug for either ASA or certification. But I am referring to the following stated objectives for ASA 104 (emphasis is mine):
Quote:
49. Plan a coastal passage from origin to destination, plotting courses, distances, and waypoints. While en route, keep a written log and plot DR positions on a chart, and calculate estimated times of arrival (ETA) to waypoints.
50. Obtain and interpret marine weather information; describe the impact that the present observations and forecast may have on cruising plans over a 3-day period.
51. Obtain updated weather forecasts during a passage and compare with visual and measured observations.
52. Take visual 2 or 3-bearing fixes using a hand-bearing compass.
53. Determine the predicted depth above or below chart datum at a given time using tide prediction tables.
54. Use a GPS / chartplotter (if available) to obtain information and perform basic navigation functions such as position, course, speed, waypoints, ETA, and tidal information.
55. Pilot a boat into an unfamiliar harbor or anchorage by day using relevant nautical charts, publications and tidal information.


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post #26 of 47 Old 06-28-2018
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

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Nope, not a plug for either ASA or certification. But I am referring to the following stated objectives for ASA 104 (emphasis is mine):
I guess I'm still missing why ASA (or lack thereof) has anything to do with this guy running a cat up onto a reef. It's not like those things you highlighted are unique in any way to ASA, or something that the majority of people don't learn without formal classes or certifications.
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post #27 of 47 Old 06-28-2018
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

In defense of the skipper, I have seen navigators with far more advanced training than ASA plot routes over shoals by selecting an inappropriate range scale on the chart plotter, then not flying the route zoomed. It happens. As for the bouys, it sounds like there were 7 people on board who weren't keeping a look out, not just the skipper/sailing instructor.

Its a big screw up, but it could be just as easily explained by inattention or fatigue as lack of training. We don't know what caused the grounding.

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post #28 of 47 Old 06-28-2018
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

I see no problem with eherlihy's mention of ASA certification. The OP indicated he had taken up through 105 and his wife through 104. So plenty of people onboard that had the necessary skills but were not paying attention to what was going on.

Back in the days when I was an engineering officer on merchant ships, I was on heavy lift ship going up the Cape Fear River with a pilot onboard. One would assume the pilot knew the river intimately, but with the heavy lift booms up and ready to handle cargo, he drove the ship right under a lift bridge and hit it with the booms. Extensive damage to the ship and to the bridge. Even with a pilot onboard, the Captain was responsible.

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post #29 of 47 Old 06-28-2018
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

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I guess I'm still missing why ASA (or lack thereof) has anything to do with this guy running a cat up onto a reef. It's not like those things you highlighted are unique in any way to ASA, or something that the majority of people don't learn without formal classes or certifications.
My point is that one would/should assume that an ASA & NauticEd Sailing INSTRUCTOR has mastered all of the skills from the course that he is certified to teach.

ASA's certification (I can't speak to NauticEd) is supposed to certify that you have demonstrated these skills. To qualify to attend an ASA Instructor Qualification Clinic, one must first score 90% on the written and 100% on the practical test. Based on the scenario described in the OP this captain did not demonstrate the skills highlighted in my post above in this instance.

I wholeheartedly agree that you don't need to be ASA or NauticEd certified to have attained these skills.
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post #30 of 47 Old 06-28-2018
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

Oh got it! I missed the part where this guy is an ASA Instructor. I read your posts as saying the guy should have taken ASA classes, not that he in fact taught those classes.

I guess that actually reinforces the point I was trying to make, that ASA certs really do not have anything to do with being a proficient captain.
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