Suicide at Sea and captain charged - Page 60 - SailNet Community
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post #591 of 790 Old 01-06-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
The post-MOB negligence is more obvious but less serious, likely just corpse retrieval.

Likely....?

likely


likely


likely?

You wanna come on my boat and you go overboard and I keep sailing away from you and say " it's likely you don't need rescue"?

Really!?



likely





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post #592 of 790 Old 01-06-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
Check your spelling, Mark. Google doesn't recognize the word. It asked: Did you mean: deepti garg; disha garg; distagage; descargarg?



Samsung sux


Wilful disregard of human life.


.

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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
I know you and O, have a lot of electronics on board your boats, but I would be surprised if there was an Ion scanner.
Take them to a doctor and pay for their urine drug test. It tells you if they've smoked or snorted in the last 30 days.


Might cost you a few $$ but may save you a life sentence in a 3rd World Country.

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post #594 of 790 Old 01-06-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Jeez, I can see why you guys use volunteer crew, I dont know too many professional sailors that would agree to those kinds of terms.

But then again, I come from a country where its against the rules to randomly test even professional seaman for drugs and Marijuana is legal and sold to the public by the government, so I guess I might just have a different perspective on this item.

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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
An experienced prosecutor would consider the mere presence of marijuana as irrelevant......
It's not clear what context you consider relevant.

I was not suggesting it would factor into the prosecution itself. I suggested the prosecutor would consider the fact that this Captain agreed to carry an illegal drug aboard, as a strike against his credibility and potentially spurring the investigation along to see what other abnormalities there were. While pot has become more commonplace, recreational use is still mostly illegal and consumed by a distinct minority of citizens. As best I can tell, it's fully illegal in international waters, which are subject to federal law. I just think it could have gotten their attention to poke further.

I also don't recall this fact being in the initial CG summary report, so perhaps it is evidence itself of further prodding.

At the least, I would think we can agree, it didn't help.
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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I come from a country where.... Marijuana is legal and sold to the public by the government,
Canada marajuana is only legal on prescription. I was in Vancouver recently 18 months ago, and it wasn't possible to just Swan in and buy it... You had to be registered and under doctors orders. If it's changed, it was different when this situation occurred.

As for any captain slicing through international waters where they maybe waylaud in countries not as forgiving, like the Bahamas, Cuba, Dr etc.

Remember, some countries treat your dalliance as gallows stuff:
Quote:
Malaysian legislation provides for a mandatory death penalty for convicted drug traffickers. Individuals arrested in possession of 200 grams (seven ounces) of marijuana are presumed by law to be trafficking in drugs.
As for people not willing to have a drug test... I hope they get another boat sometime.

But, if this captain really *needed* crew then anything may have been allowable.

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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

https://www.justice.gov/usao-vi/pr/s...sing-death-sea

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 2, 2018
St. John Boat Captain Arrested and Charged with Seaman’s Manslaughter for Causing a Death at Sea

St. Thomas, USVI – Richard Smith, 65, of St. John, was arrested today on an indictment charging him with seaman’s manslaughter, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced. Smith made his initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller.

The indictment alleges that on or about October 25, 2015, Smith was the captain and owner of the S/V Cimarron. Through his inattention, negligence and misconduct, Smith allegedly caused the death of David Pontius. According to the indictment, Mr. Pontius was a crewmember aboard the S/V Cimarron when the 43-foot sailing vessel left North Carolina to return to St. John where Smith operates a sailing charter business. During the course of the return voyage, Mr. Pontius allegedly became disoriented, climbed over the rail of the boat, and jumped overboard. The indictment alleges that Smith failed to stop to render assistance. As a result, Mr. Pontius died.

The Seaman’s Manslaughter Statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1115, holds ship officers, maritime vessel owners, and maritime corporate management criminally responsible for conduct that results in death on a vessel within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States and within the general admiralty jurisdiction of the federal courts. Ship officers—"[e]very captain, engineer, pilot or other person employed . . . on any vessel"—are accountable for "misconduct, negligence or inattention to . . . duties" that results in a loss of life. If convicted of Seaman’s Manslaughter, Smith faces a maximum sentence of ten years and a $250,000 fine.

The case is being investigated by Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) Chesapeake Region, United States Coast Guard – Marine Safety Detachment (MSD) St. Thomas and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte.

United States Attorney Shappert reminds the public that an indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

Topic(s):
Violent Crime
Component(s):
USAO - Virgin Islands
Updated November 2, 2018
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post #598 of 790 Old 01-06-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
It's not clear what context you consider relevant.

I was not suggesting it would factor into the prosecution itself. I suggested the prosecutor would consider the fact that this Captain agreed to carry an illegal drug aboard, as a strike against his credibility and potentially spurring the investigation along to see what other abnormalities there were.
Imagine that you are a prosecutor. You're sitting behind your desk looking at a police report of a homicide. Each crime requires that certain elements must be proven. As you read through the report, you're looking to see if there is evidence in the report to support each one of those essential elements. If every element isn't supported, you decline prosecution. If the report contains evidence that the accused also ran a red light or spit on a sidewalk, you ignore it, because you weren't asked to prosecute him for those offenses. Proof of those offenses doesn't help you prove the homicide, because they are irrelevant to the homicide. The homicide is the important offense, and that's the one you focus on. It's unproductive to chase vague suspicions regarding minor offenses up blind alleys.

There's a Latin term that I used in similar situations to dispose of such matters. I called it "de minimis," which means "too trivial to merit consideration."

You focus on what's important and put aside what isn't.

Consider how you (collectively, not individually) discussed this case. You don't really know how to focus narrowly on the important elements of the offense, so you discuss every minute detail and innuendo, on the chance that it might matter. I'm not criticizing you for that. You haven't been trained to do otherwise. It keeps the discussion lively, but it isn't the way any trained specialist in any field does his job. He focuses as narrowly as possible on the problem, because he has other clients/patients waiting to see him. We all have to do our jobs efficiently.

Don't change what you're doing. We've all kept this discussion interesting and productive for 60 pages and we're not done yet.
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Completely irrelevant.

If problems arose, I'm sure you would have done whatever you could to help, their health would have taken priority over that day's "mission"
Not at all irrelevant. If one of them died some lawyer would have been all over my case to find some indication of “negligence.” Suppose I forgot to bring a cell phone or the battery died which delayed me contacting the authorities? Sure I call USCG VHF, but there was a quicker way to get to an ambulance I did not use because of a dead cell phone. I’m negligent for not having “instant communications” as has been suggested above.
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
I couldn't answer those questions without more facts and research. Did I mention, I'm retired? I don't do law anymore. I just like to talk about it to the extent I'm permitted, since my ticket to practice law is on inactive status.

Wikipedia says the Seaman's Manslaughter Statute, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1115, criminalizes misconduct or negligence that results in deaths involving vessels (ships and boats) on waters in the jurisdiction of the United States. The statute exposes three groups to criminal liability:

ship's officers, such as captains, engineers, and pilots; and
those having responsibility for the vessel's condition, such as owners, charterers, and inspectors; and corporate management.

That doesn't answer all your questions, but it might help.
Suppose I changed the question to say “COULD” I be liable, change your answer?

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