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post #161 of 790 Old 12-21-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

I'll add this, for those concerned this is a lynch mob. I truly hope all that we've read is inaccurate and this guy didn't do any of these things. That is for the courts to sort out.


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post #162 of 790 Old 12-21-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

On the other hand, it also possible that things were much worse than what we've read! Maybe this an extremely poorly planned murder cover-up. (I do not actually think this, I’m just being contrary.)


There’s a Jeanneau 49 that I’ve chartered several times that has a giant sail locker on the bow, big enough that it needs a ladder. Since it locks from the outside we always jokingly refer to it as “the brig” and it’s sort of a running joke to try to get the new person to go down into it. Like, “Hey, could you go up to the locker on the bow and get that spare case of beer?” <snicker, snicker>

Never thought there’d be a situation where you’d actually want a lockable person-sized locker.

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post #163 of 790 Old 12-21-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Never thought there’d be a situation where you’d actually want a lockable person-sized locker.
Probably don't need to sacrifice a beer storage locker. Bet every real cruising boat carries a roll or 2 of duct tape.
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post #164 of 790 Old 12-21-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

The USCG launches based on some predetermined criteria. It is most often they don’t have in mind a clear idea what is going on.

I’ve seen this myself through various angles. They don’t know the facts, they are in no position to be judges, they do what feels right. MOB = LAUNCH.

Where they DID make a judement was in their investigation where they did not recommend prosecution.

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post #165 of 790 Old 12-21-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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People keep focusing on the final part when he jumped and they sailed away without attempting rescue because that's the most dramatic and clearcut part of this story.
Yea but did the failure to attempt rescue cause the guy's death? Or did he guy seal his own fate when he took the leap? I think this may be a problem in a prosecution for manslaughter. For sure, the post-jump facts help paint a picture of a negligent uncaring captain, but the prosecutor needs to prove a sufficient causal relationship between the negligent conduct and the death. I think that's where the expert testimony will come into play. How many MOBs who voluntarily jump overboard while offshore and underway, are actually recovered? For this reason, I'm thinking that the pre-jump negligence in the days leading up to the incident may be more of the focus, when you can point to the things that the captain could and should have done to avoid the situation devolving to where it did.
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post #166 of 790 Old 12-21-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

I believe that was their point, and I agree.
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post #167 of 790 Old 12-22-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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....Where they DID make a judement was in their investigation where they did not recommend prosecution.
You would think there would be an incident report that detailed this conclusion. There is a big difference between, we looked for the MOB and didn’t pursue it further and we conducted a full investigation and found nothing culpable. I’d like to see a source document and I’m curious as to why there isn’t one in their searchable database. Was it really an investigation, for example. I’m more curious in the process than the conclusion.
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post #168 of 790 Old 12-22-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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.......the prosecutor needs to prove a sufficient causal relationship between the negligent conduct and the death. ......
From the statute........

Quote:
Every captain, engineer, pilot, or other person employed on any steamboat or vessel, by whose misconduct, negligence, or inattention to his duties on such vessel the life of any person is destroyed {extraneous removed}...shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Some interesting takeaways. This is not the same as dirt based manslaughter, which requires a higher standard of negligence or passion. This statute simply requires inattention to duties. Further, it does not require gross negligence. Someone can be simply negligent fairly easily.

It’s also interesting that it is not limited to the Captain and encompasses “other person”. Of course, this other person would require having duties in the first place, before they could be inattentive.
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post #169 of 790 Old 12-22-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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From the statute........



Some interesting takeaways. This is not the same as dirt based manslaughter, which requires a higher standard of negligence or passion. This statute simply requires inattention to duties. Further, it does not require gross negligence. Someone can be simply negligent fairly easily.

It’s also interesting that it is not limited to the Captain and encompasses “other person”. Of course, this other person would require having duties in the first place, before they could be inattentive.
I remember the Captain on a charter boat we took a day sail on years ago who warned the passengers to hold on to their hats with this edict: "We will go back for you but, we don't go back for hats."

Speaking of "inattention to duties." I think Smith is going to have a hard time explaining this action of his the following day:
"The Coast Guard dispatched a crew to the area, including a C-130, a massive plane used for surveillance.

The plane flew over the Cimarron on the afternoon of Oct. 26. When it departed, Pepper said Smith threw a life ring into the water and then said, “Well if they ask if I threw over a life ring, I guess I could say I did.”
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post #170 of 790 Old 12-22-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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....Pepper said Smith threw a life ring into the water and then said, “Well if they ask if I threw over a life ring, I guess I could say I did.”[/I]
If that is indeeed the way it went down, he really should not be allowed to keep his license. It’s depraved indifference. In other words, his indifference to a life resulted in a death, even if he did not intend to kill. Still a crime. Based on media accounts, that is the problem here.
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