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post #41 of 790 Old 12-11-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Its the first country he stopped in. That is the country of jurisdiction NOT the country you left from nor the country you wish to be imprisioned.

Remember that because its quite important if anything happens at sea sail to the jusrisdiction you want... even if you have to sail a looooooong way.

Good to know and very interesting. I don’t think you are a lawyer (take it as a compliment), and you may not know the answer. And this is in no way challenging your assertion. So if this boat had sailed to the Dominican Republic then left without being charged, is the DR the only place that has jurisdiction to prosecute any possible crime?
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post #42 of 790 Old 12-11-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Quote: "Then Pontious, who stood 6 feet and weighed at least 250 pounds, grabbed Smith by the shoulders and started to shake him. He punched him twice and then started to choke him.

Smith needed help. Pepper tried to grab Pontious but Pontious tossed him aside and threatened, “You’ll get it next.”

But Smith had a small opening. He turned the boat suddenly starboard, which knocked Pontious off his feet."

It seems to me that, when a severely crazed and hallucinating 250 pound man punches and chokes the skipper, and two men can't control him, that constitutes a lethal threat, and the skipper had every right to use lethal force in defense of himself and his crew. But the skipper didn't use lethal force. Instead, he jerked the wheel, causing the man to lose his footing and fall overboard.

What can the skipper reasonably be expected to do next under all the circumstances? Pull this irrational, homicidal man back onto the boat, where he can again become a lethal threat to them all? The yacht had no brig. How do you reliably restrain him, so that he can't break himself loose, grab a knife from the galley or other weapon and attack again?

The news article discussed the essence of the alleged criminal offense: "The focus is on misconduct, negligence or inattention to duties,” he said. “At least as written, it’s not the same as beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Twain Braden, a maritime attorney in Portland, agreed the case “is unusual in that it involves an apparent suicide, yet the captain is being charged nonetheless for his apparent callousness or failure to act after the fact, even though the facts suggest the person had already been lost."


That begs the question: Would it have been negligent for the skipper to bring the out-of-control, hallucinating, homicidal man back on board the yacht, thus putting the lives of others at considerable risk?

I think the skipper was on the horns of a dilemma. He had to make a hard choice. There were no lawyers or judges available to help him make the right choice. He made a choice that ensured the safety of his crew, and, based on the limited facts in the article, I can't say it was the wrong choice. Was he more negligent to leave the man in the water, where he couldn't harm them, or would he have been more negligent to bring him back on board, where he could harm them?
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post #43 of 790 Old 12-11-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Love how the “facts” change as the thread progresses. He did not fall off the boat as a result of the Captain jerking the wheel. Captain jerked the wheel, man fell down then got up. He then jumped off the boat.
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post #44 of 790 Old 12-11-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Originally Posted by Slayer View Post
So if this boat had sailed to the Dominican Republic then left without being charged, is the DR the only place that has jurisdiction to prosecute any possible crime?
Your question has made many maritime lawyers rich...

Quote:
COASTAL STATE JURISDICTION
If a vessel is traveling through a country’s territorial sea, which is technically 12 nautical miles (nm) from the TSB, any crimes committed will be under the jurisdiction of that state. This applies regardless if said vessel is docking on one of its ports or not.


if a crime is committed in international waters, the next port in which the vessel will dock will then also have jurisdiction. The Master of the Ship may alert any incident to the next-port state.





JURISDICTION BASED ON NATIONALITY
The nationality of the accused, as well as the victim of any crime, may bring a state to claim jurisdiction over an incident. Regardless if the crime takes place on the high seas or in the territory of another country, a state has the power to sanction or protect an individual based on its domestic laws.
I moved some paragraphs around for clarity.
https://broward-criminal-lawyer.com/...committed-sea/

Where this came up that was important for me was salvaging an expensive yacht mid-Atlantic and I had to select which Caribbean island/country I would land at first. I would have picked a European aligned, modern country... St Martin either side. No where else. Fortunately i didnt have to do the salvage.
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post #45 of 790 Old 12-11-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Lots of analysis of the victim jumping overboard, how he would have been recovered, the need to restrain. I don't understand how any of it absolves the Captain from at least attempting a recovery.

More to the point, he didn't notify anyone until the following day. I've seen no theory that absolves this oddity.

He's going down.


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post #46 of 790 Old 12-11-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Lots of analysis of the victim jumping overboard, how he would have been recovered, the need to restrain. I don't understand how any of it absolves the Captain from at least attempting a recovery.

More to the point, he didn't notify anyone until the following day. I've seen no theory that absolves this oddity.

He's going down.
That is where it becomes negligent manslaughter at the least. There were a lot of failure points here that were revealed three years ago when the incident first happened that were to say the least incredulous. How quickly we seem to forget that this is not a new and recent story that we are just now seeing for the first time and that much of the detail on this which is not being repeated in the updates about the charges being filed has been out there for a long time.

Fostering the escalation of animosity by the captain himself was one of the points that stood out in the original report on the matter along with failure to head to the nearest port when it was easily done as the earlier signs of trouble were first noted, failure to perform a basic MOB maneuver after the delusional man jumped and failure to report the incident in a timely manner. Most reasonable captains would have turned back and put the man off before they cleared the breakwater and many would not have even left the dock with him still on board.

It will be interesting to see what the past three years of investigation reveal.

Remember the captain who lost his girlfriend a few years ago when the Catamaran they were sailing went down where while he was supposedly trying to rescue/search for her while he instead was collecting personal items, hatcheting at the hull, making business calls, opening sea cocks, etc. The coast guards underwater survey report and his sat phone log revealed all. In Sweden we had that captain with the homemade sub that sank who claimed he tried to rescue his girl however they found the sub which turns out was actually scuttled and contained the remnants of her partially butchered remains still inside it. He thought he scuttled his sub where they would never be able to find it along with the evidence of what really happened but he was wrong

At first many people got all sappy defending these folks when questions started being asked until the info from the investigations came in revealing the timelines and physical evidence of what really transpired. Yes there is the danger of becoming jaded by the frequency at which these things happen however we have to ask and vet them out.

Again it will be interesting to see what three years of investigation reveals about all the people and events that happened on that boat.
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post #47 of 790 Old 12-12-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Wow, I have to look that up.

Here it is: https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/scopolamine

Rare but it happens.

The guy may have been taking other medications.
I read the original article and the hallucinations sound exactly like the ones I got from the same scopoderm/scopolamine patches.

In quite big seas with 40-45 knots of wind I experienced both audible (heard "whales singing" etc) and visual ("dolphins in the wave crests" among other stuff) hallucinations. For me it wasn't scary at all since I knew it could happen. Just very weird though, to have the brain tricked into experiencing stuff that isn't real. Also, the hallucinations were quite "light" in a way, so that when someone pointed out to me the real source of sound or told me that there aren't any dolphins there, the hallucination stopped. But again, sitting on the rail and dreaming away... they started again.

I've used the patches a couple of times later also and noticed that the more weather, the more it fusses with the perceptions. But still, quite lightly. I've never experienced hallucinations after that and even then it wasn't too much of a problem. Much happier with the patch than (I assume) without one.
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Last edited by Mikael; 12-12-2018 at 02:25 AM.
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post #48 of 790 Old 12-12-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

The splash into the water may have snapped the person back to reality.
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post #49 of 790 Old 12-12-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Lots of analysis of the victim jumping overboard, how he would have been recovered, the need to restrain. I don't understand how any of it absolves the Captain from at least attempting a recovery. More to the point, he didn't notify anyone until the following day. I've seen no theory that absolves this oddity.
The body sank and was not recoverable. They saw it sink. Recoveries are for floating objects.

The article says that he wasn't able to contact anyone until the next day. I don't know why that was, but it clearly says "able" not just "didn't".

The next time I have a crew member jump overboard (and it gets reported), I hope some of you aren't on my jury.

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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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The body sank and was not recoverable. They saw it sink. Recoveries are for floating objects.

The article says that he wasn't able to contact anyone until the next day. I don't know why that was, but it clearly says "able" not just "didn't".

The next time I have a crew member jump overboard (and it gets reported), I hope some of you aren't on my jury.
It said "Smith" watched him sink. not "They" Too many questions are left unanswered by this article.

How fast was the boat moving? was it under sail or power. Did he stop the engine or heave-to. immediately. we know he didn't turn around. Because you can't turn around in the ocean. ;-)
How long was it between him jumping overboard and shining the light on the water, if he didn't stop the boat, where were they shining the light 50 yards, 100 yards astern ?
Who saw him hit his head? After " Leaping" off the boat.

We'll never know if the guy popped up and watched the boat sail off into the moonlight without him. Because NO real Attempt was even made to search for him. He was written off.
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Last edited by tempest; 12-12-2018 at 09:03 AM.
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