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post #101 of 790 Old 12-15-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I take it you feel the need to defend this Captain to some degree.
I think willyd is just doing what the petit jurors will do when they hear this case on the merits. They won't convict the captain just because the prosecutor tells them to. They'll want to see proof that the captain's action was negligent. Unless there's a negotiated plea, the defense lawyer will propose a theory of the case that will suggest that the captain's action was reasonable. He doesn't need to convince all the jurors. One will be enough to conclude with a hung jury.

This case will not be a slam dunk for the prosecution. Jurors insist on clear and unequivocal proof before they will convict. The available proof here is limited by the number of witnesses. I presume there will be no video. Jurors love video. The credibility and recollection of the witnesses will be disputed. I don't think this case will turn on the question of whether the man sank immediately or floated, but if the captain says he sank out of sight immediately, who can contradict that, and prove it beyond a reasonable doubt? If the jurors find any reasonable doubt, they'll acquit. They won't convict on the basis of what might or could have happened.

It's entirely conceivable that the captain might be acquitted of the crime and still lose his ticket.
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post #102 of 790 Old 12-15-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Again, the real negligence was in the early decisions.

The death would have never happened if the captain had acted with proper care.

Everything **up to** the "jumping overboard event" would be my focus.

After the fact was too late, but captain's behaviour then just further highlights his callous disregard for the humanity of his crew.
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post #103 of 790 Old 12-15-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

I can easily see myself accepting it “reasonable” to not have tried to “save” the guy overboard based on a “reasonable” danger and fear of the remaining people on the boat to themselves from him. I admit I have a limited morale framework about protecting people from themselves by putting others in danger.

Personally I think this whole case is part of the civil case that was withdrawn I bet to wait to see how the criminal case goes.
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post #104 of 790 Old 12-15-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Frankly I hope the Judge throws this out as frivioulious.

Did the Capt do everything perfectly? No.

Did the jumper do a whole lot wrong? Yup!

Suppose this was a “stand your ground” case. Who attacked whom?

But on a jury I would have a hard time getting beyond the jumper never calling out for help. If he was unconscious then he likely drowned quickely. If he was conscious then he willfull went through the gate.

The Capt and crew have been punished enough already, just to have lived through this experience.

That’s my opinion until some new damning evidence surfaces.

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post #105 of 790 Old 12-15-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

I've read the original account and the comments on this thread. I think the story itself is shocking, and many of the responses on the thread dismaying.

Assuming that the main facts are reported accurately, these are the key points:
• The victim was sick when he boarded. Severe foot and ankle swelling pointed towards a serious medical problem. I don't fault the captain for being unable to diagnose the nature of the medical problem, but the presence of a medical problem--not simply physical "unfitness"--was obvious

• The victim started vomiting almost immediately once they were under way. Within 24 hrs, he was hallucinating (before the scopolamine). Hallucinations aren't a sign of a bad personality or bad character--they are a sign of illness. Again, I don't fault the captain for being unable to diagnose the exact reason for the hallucinations--but he knew that he had a crew member with a baseline medical problem who was deteriorating seriously, and with no clear path to improvement.

• Here are some points that captain could not be expected to have known, but that are useful in understanding what happened: The leg swelling might have been due to vein disease in the victim's legs, but more likely pointed to kidney, liver or severe heart disease. Liver or kidney disease would have predisposed the victim to internal chemical (metabolic) abnormalities that would have been likely to affect his mental processes. Superimpose the prolonged vomiting, and he was almost certainly delirious, i.e., in a state of "reduced awareness of and responsiveness to the environment, which may be manifested as disorientation, incoherence, and memory disturbance and often marked by hallucinations, delusions, and a dream-like state". His reported behavior is completely consistent with this.

• In other words, the victim was sick, seriously so, and his confusion and behavior were not voluntary, or even primarily psychiatric in nature, but were consequences of his medical illness. Again, I don't fault the captain for being unable to diagnose the exact problem, or to be able to sort out whether it were psychiatric or medical (not that that should matter) but he knew that he had a crew member with a serious, worsening problem with a medical component to it. His failure to return to port, or to call the Coast Guard and ask for assistance with the medical emergency, were serious failures, and he is responsible for the consequences of these failures.

• Next, during the final "confrontation", the captain appears to have treated the victim as though he were dealing with a mentally competent mutineer instead of a badly confused, seriously ill, crew-member. Threats don't de-escalate such situations. "Reasoning" doesn't resolve such situations. De-escalation, seeming (if deceptive) acquiescence, and a calming approach can work, or at least buy time. The captain's conduct worsened the situation

• The failure to attempt the MOB rescue, and the other obviously deceptive measures that the captain took after the fact speak for themselves.

In sum--at least 3 major derelictions of a captain's duty, plus active deception afterwards. I won't be surprised if he is tried and convicted, and I'll have little sympathy for him.
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post #106 of 790 Old 12-15-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Amen and well stated.
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post #107 of 790 Old 12-16-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Originally Posted by OldEagle View Post
Within 24 hrs, he was hallucinating (before the scopolamine).
In the original article he was hallucinating only after the scopolamine, but maybe this information is from some other source?


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post #108 of 790 Old 12-16-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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In the original article he was hallucinating only after the scopolamine, but maybe this information is from some other source?
This time line is going to be of vital interest in court.

As is the exact timings, delays or seconds between, every action at the time of the MOB.

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post #109 of 790 Old 12-16-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Bottom line is the captain was attacked because he neglected his duty to get Pontious medical attention when he was sick. This was exacerbated by allowing non prescribed drugs be given to him. The attack was a result of his unwillingness to alter from his schedule. He obviously had resources that he could have used to save Pontious after he jumped into the water, such as at the minimum dropping the eperb in the water and to use the same long distance communications that he uses to contact the weather router the next day. Anyone focusing on the attack is being blind sided by a results of the negligence. I don't think Pontious can be held accountable for his actions after 4+ days of being prevented getting medical attention and being given un-prescribed drugs. He should have known better to get on the boat in the condition he was in, but the captain should have gotten him off the boat as soon as he saw that Pontious was not in a position to continue on the voyage.
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post #110 of 790 Old 12-16-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Quote:
In the original article he was hallucinating only after the scopolamine, but maybe this information is from some other source?
You are correct; my mistake for which I apologize. I have no information from another source to the contrary.


That said, I stand by my basic analysis and conclusions: this was a very sick man whose behavior was an involuntary consequence of medical derangements, and who was abandoned to die.
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