Smith said he watched Pontious sink. The water was lit well by a nearly full moon. The wind was at 5 knots, which is calm.
Smith asked Pepper to shine the spotlight down. They saw nothing.
“There is nothing we can do,” Smith said.
Pepper and Morningstar were both shaking with fear.
Smith grabbed the VHF radio to try and contact other vessels. Only static.
Morningstar asked Smith if they should turn the boat around. Smith did not.
Larson, the captain who also charters sailboats out of St. John and has known Smith for 10 years, said he’s not sure he would have done anything different.
“You can’t just turn a boat like that around in the middle of the ocean,” Larson said.
The crux of the story is here, above. In particular the time between each line.
The captian should have turned the boat around and done a propper MOB search; stayed on station; called the USCG; used an EPIRB; fired flares; and used the HF Radio there and then to call for help, not waiting until morning when death was certain.
You cant just sail off because you have had a physical altercation.
That doesn't mean the captain at fear for his life from this 250 pound person needed to just pick him up again... but with 3 crew they could have found the man and used some creative strategy to bond him securely. Perhaps not letting him back onto the boat until he was bound. If he refused to be bound he could be left in the water with a long line and a few fenders to support him, or the dinghy.
The cost of a dinghy, lines, epirb etc is nothing compared to the cost of a persons life.
Further, in this day and age mental health issues should have permeated old idiots brains enough for people to realise you just cant kill people with mental health problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He has the same responsibility to recover a healthy person as a mentally ill person NO MATTER WHAT the person has done. Are we humans??????????????????
The errant stupidity of bringing a crew on board without a reference, with no real knowledge of the person, with just 12 hours before sailing just staggers me.
The hubris to throw a life ring overboard after the Coast Guard flew over later is also staggering and shows, at the very least, a total lack of empathy, but I would suggest a criminal prima facie case of negligence in the acts and omissions of the captain.
Weather or not he should spend time in jail is not for me... but I don't think he should be allowed to have people on his boat ever again.
Imagine if it was a woman left to die...