Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI - Page 5 - SailNet Community
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post #41 of 47 Old 06-30-2018
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

I see this differently. Regardless of prior credentials:
You can be an arrogant *******.
You can be impaired in your judgment from inter current issues-physical illness,intoxicants, mental illness, stress (donít get your brain surgery from someone distracted by the recent death of a child or spouse).
Youíve got your credentials but ďknow betterĒ or are lazy and donít follow protocol.
Iíve had teaching appointments at Harvard and BU. I well know thereís little or no correlation between initials after your name and common sense.

From the reports offered it seems most likely this captain likely falls in the arrogant ******* group. A small boat should be a team. Yes the captain leads and his/hers commands need to be followed and questioned later. But the swimming exercise leads one to suspect reason to question his attitude and competence.

Have friends who run >100í pleasure craft. Then you get at least a mate, usually a hand or a few and a cook and an engineer. Insurance can be handled multiple ways. Having crew supply their own insurance is just one way.

On small boats stuff happens. Crew and captains may be hired due to insurance requirements for a passage not done before, or requirement to have a certain number of vetted crew. Often captains/crew are hired when arraigned non professional crew fail to appear so pros are hired on very short notice. Owners donít have the luxury of screening to only use fully insured captains/crew.

Most small boat owners run their own boat. If hiring crew, even captains, they still approach this as part of running their own boat. Lose trust in the captain-fire him/her. Owners know itís their boat. They are writing the checks. Many captains wonít do transports with owners aboard in part for that reason. In that setting owners do ask for proof of insurance.
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post #42 of 47 Old 07-02-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

What about all that we are taught to do in such a situation, I mean, if we ignore all that we are taught and practiced in order to safely navigate around islands known to be surrounded by rocks and reefs and end up plowing into a well marked and well charted reef on a calm and sunny afternoon, even after it had earlier been pointed out? Keep in mind, this is the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park & Coral Reef Monument

I ask the following, not to uneducated guessing, opinion or speculation, but to maritime law or US Federal, State, or Territorial law, or common sense and what should be done by the book?


1. Should we have stopped and inspected the boat and reef for damage before rocking and banging out of the reef. There was no review of the charts or chart plotter after the collision. Oh, wait, the captain said the chart was inaccurate, showing 40 feet, but we had used this same chart plotter to sail around Antigua and from Antigua to St. Thomas, and St. Thomas to St. John The captain turned off the chart plotter on the bridge shortly after the collision. The one below at the nav. station was flashing a warning until someone turned it off later. The owner and captain had ordered and purchased all new paper charts of our entire intended course prior to leaving Texas. We hadn't used them or looked at them, nor did we chart any positions or bearings from Antigua to St. Thomas.

2. Should the captain have ordered the inspected the bilges before leaving the reef.
3. Should we have even left the reef, without assistance and would that have prevented further damage to the reef?
4. Once it is determined that there is a hole in the boat and we are taking on water, should the captain have given any order to the crew and passengers?
5. Once it is determined that there is a hole in the boat and we are taking on water, should the captain have made a pan pan call or any sort of call?
6. Before entering the Virgin Islands National Park & Coral Reef Monument waters, should the captain have reviewed the charts and planned a course?

7. Is it law to report damage to a vessel, or at what dollar amount is it required to file a report with the US Coast Guard?

8. Is it law to report grounding on a marked U.S. Virgin Islands National Park & Coral Reef Monument?
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

CG 3865 Boating Accident Report Form should have been filed with the Coast Guard by the operator/owner within 10 days if the damages to the vessel were greater than $2000.
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post #44 of 47 Old 07-13-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

Quote:
Originally Posted by seaffair View Post
CG 3865 Boating Accident Report Form should have been filed with the Coast Guard by the operator/owner within 10 days if the damages to the vessel were greater than $2000.

"Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 (lower amounts in some states and territories)."
In the USVI, "Damage to the vessel and other property exceeds $100."
14
State Law
Vessel Accidents And Casualties...What The Law Requires You To Do!

An operator involved in a boating accident must stop his or her vessel
immediately at the scene of the accident and:
ē Give assistance to anyone injured in the accident or minimize any
danger caused by the accident, unless doing so would seriously
endanger his or her vessel or passengers.
ē Give his or her name, address and identifying number of his or her
vessel in writing to anyone injured from the accident and to the owner
of any damaged property.

The operator must also file an accident report with the U.S. Virgin
Islands Department of Planning & Natural Resources if as a result of the
accident:
ē A person dies or disappears
or...
ē A person is injured
or...
ē Damage to the vessel and other property exceeds $100.

Accident report forms are available from the U.S. Virgin Islands
Department of Planning & Natural Resources.

coralbaycommunitycouncil dot org
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post #45 of 47 Old 07-13-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

The vessel we were on was purchased in Antigua and brought to St. Thomas so the Captain could teach a catamaran teaching certification class the day before he ran us aground (at least that is what he told us until he slipped up the following day and let it out that he had gotten certified to teach catamaran), and so the owner could register the boat in St. Thomas before sailing to Texas. The boat had no visible or discernible name, no registration sticker, no registration numbers, so it was essentially an unidentifiable boat at the time of the collision. Water was coming in so fast that we hand pumped and bailed water to prevent it from going over the cabin sole. I have heard that Lagoon 440's have a design flaw that allows water to pass from one hull to the other, and thus sink the boat if not stopped. I think the captain knew of the possible consequences of his grounding that he risked everything and everyone on board and was actually evading the consequences in all of his actions after hitting Johnson's Reef. Someone on shore or another vessel called the USVI National Park Service and they dispatched a vessel, but the captain took us back to Red Hook before the USVI Park Rangers could intercept us . The owner paid a local salvage/repair diver $600 to temporarily patch the hole, and also paid another man $100 for the epoxy for the patch. The diver returned the next morning and finished his patch. He stated that the starboard hull had a hole in it that he had patched, that the rudder was essentially frayed apart and should just be replaced, and that there were gouges all around both hulls. The boat had just had repairs in Antigua, and had a new bottom job, so new damage would be easy to spot. The boat was then taken to Subbase in St. Thomas for repairs. My wife thinks the captain was rocking us on the reef for about 10 minutes before bashing us out with loud overheated engines and the smell of burning oil and rubber...

By now, after all the research I have been doing since this collision, and after speaking to so many captains and sailing friends, I have this to say; A Captain running a vessel aground is not acceptable in such a case. It is kind of like an airplane pilot just kind of bumping a mountain top or kind of skimming the tops of trees." Learn to navigate, check charts, and keep a lookout, and check for local information. There is no lack of information, and there is no excuse to put so many people through so much disease.

See the below links for information, regulations and laws about boating in the US Virgin Islands:

Vessel Accidents And Casualties...What The Law Requires You To Do!

An operator involved in a boating accident must stop his or her vessel
immediately at the scene of the accident and:
ē Give assistance to anyone injured in the accident or minimize any
danger caused by the accident, unless doing so would seriously
endanger his or her vessel or passengers.
ē Give his or her name, address and identifying number of his or her
vessel in writing to anyone injured from the accident and to the owner
of any damaged property.

The operator must also file an accident report with the U.S. Virgin
Islands Department of Planning & Natural Resources if as a result of the
accident:
ē A person dies or disappears
or...
ē A person is injured
or...
ē Damage to the vessel and other property exceeds $100.

Accident report forms are available from the U.S. Virgin Islands
Department of Planning & Natural Resources.

coral bay communitycouncil dot org

Federal law requires the boat operator to submit a casualty or accident report to the State reporting authority when as a result of an occurence that involves the vessel or its equipment . If the operator is unable to submit the report then the owner must submit the report.

A person dies
A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid
Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 (lower amounts in some states and territories).
The boat is destroyed.

The information you provide is used to establish regulations and safety standards, identify
and remedy boat defects, educate recreational boaters, capture statistical data, investigate
accidents, and measure the effectiveness of boating safety programs.

Accident Reporting Forms
Forms may be found on the Coast Guard's Directive and Publications Division Website at or entering the form numbers into a web search engine.

CG-3865 Recreational Boating Accident Report

CG-3865-SP Reporte Del Accidente En Barcos De Recreacion

national parks laws and regulations

uscg boating dot org
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVEM View Post
There is no lack of information, and there is no excuse to put so many people through so much disease.
I think this thread just hit a reef.

Jordan
West Wight Potter 14 "Lemon Drop"
Oceanside CA
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post #47 of 47 Old 07-14-2018
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Re: Running Aground on Johnsonís Reef, St. Johnís, USVI

Yes, it seems both the owner and the operator had an obligation to report the incident, if the incident transpired as described.
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