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There maybe no law... but there must be a rule.

The US Navy in searching for the downed KC130 Tanker a few weeks ago kept searching for many days, until FAR after those people could have possibly survived.
They must have some rule, say, estimated maximum survival time x 2.

I will give you my newly formulated rule: Any Crew of mine going overboard will have me searching for them for Estimated Survival Time x 2... during which I will fire every EPIRB and call everyone on my sat phone till there is help in the search, no matter what.

If you get on my boat the only way off is the Gang Plank in a safe port.

I guarantee it!
Back in my day we did have just such rules. There were 2 factors: hypothermia and shark attack. As water got warmer shark attacks went up. Searches were terminated with respect to those graphs. Some percent chance of survival.

Occasionally, a search went longer or was reinstituted because of outside pressure.

No idea what current practice is.

Searching for an answer I found this:

https://www.duffelblog.com/2017/06/navy-man-overboard/

“I think it was [Vice Admiral] Shelanski who asked, ‘Well, do we have to take them out of the water?’ We all laughed, but then a few minutes later he asked again: ‘Seriously, do we have to?’ So we pulled our old Admiralty law off the shelf, along with our Navy Regulations, and discovered that we’re actually not obligated to. It’s just one of those 240-year traditions where no one can remember why we do it.”

Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley said he concurred with the Navy’s decision.

“Last year alone we had 17 sailors fall overboard,” Stackley said at a press conference. “It costs an average of $50,000 to divert a single ship off course for an hour. Given the average three to four hour rescue time, plus diverting accompanying vessels, we’re easily wasting millions of dollars a year on sailors who apparently can’t master such elementary tasks as not falling off a ship.”
 

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I can’t find the graphic I was looking for. Then it was 46 years ago soooo ... consider the source. I do recall it trailing off at higher temps. Now that I think about it I asked “Why?” And was given “Sharks.” As an answer. But that may not be right.
 

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Read that entire Duffleblog article. It's priceless!
Have I been had? Didn’t find a supporting article!

Another article I read said that MOB, in cold water, sometimes take off their cloths and are very beligerant to rescuers. Lost the link. Seems there is a lot written to occupy your mind.
 

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Yup, I’ve been had. Oh well, happens to the best of us, let alone me.
Sorry, my bad, I was negligent.
 

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The elements of this matter, the inferred obligation to attempt a rescue at sea, pursuant to various international treaties and statutes, together with citations, are discussed in an article that appeared in Pacific Wartime Magazine, see "Rescue at Sea". Whether Smith is/was in violation of any of these "rules" is an entirely subjective matter as case law has gone both ways. Moreover, the "get out of jail free" card is whether he had concern for the safety of his ship and/or crew which again calls for a subjective judgement albeit his own.

Not having been on the scene, I don't have enough information to formulate an opinion. As for what he was charged with, the Law cited was not applicable to his situation and a directed acquittal was the appropriate disposition.

FWIW...
 
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I never said he should rot in jail only that he be brought to court and the matter fully disclosed under oath.

You rejoice that you live where you can die due to the carelessness of others and the matter will just be shrugged off without a full and complete hearing on the matter?
You are going down a dangerous path here. There are only three avenues to get the "hearing" you want: a criminal trial, a civil trial, or a regulatory proceeding. The state tried the criminal route and found that there was no charge they could bring; the man's estate, for whatever reason, withdrew their civil suit (note, they could have asked the court to hold it in abeyance pending the outcome of the criminal trial, but they didn't), and the Coast Guard has chosen not to proceed with a regulatory licensing enforcement case.

What I rejoice in is not that there was no such hearing, but that I live in a country where the legal system is such that the powers that be can't just make one up and hold me to whatever standard the person in power chooses. The "dangerous path" I referred to above is when you feel the facts are so compelling in your case that you are willing to go outside the system to get the result you want.

I think you did get 90% of what you wanted here anyway. The witnesses to the incident did testify in court, under oath. I think we all know most of what happened here at this point.

And I promise this is the last time I will say it: the case wasn't dismissed on a "technicality". It was dismissed based on a fundamental principle of American criminal justice.
 

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I cannot really get my head around the fact that anyone would support a conviction of a man for a crime he didn't commit because they feel "well, what he did was awful, so he should be guilty of something!"
My dad used to say something to the effect of “He was found not guilty, but worthy of being locked up anyway.” :)




You can even look at it from a philosophical point of view. Is right innate ( Rousseau/ Spinoza) or externally brought to bear (Hobbes).
I am currently making my way through Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature” and his conclusion is that we’re more Hobbes than Rousseau, that we are learning to behave better over time but it’s through law and culture and education, and not because of any primitive goodness.

I think he’s a bit prone to confirmation bias, and his tone is probably too glib for a lot of people, but it’s an interesting book regardless.
 

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My dad used to say something to the effect of “He was found not guilty, but worthy of being locked up anyway.” :)
I remember one discussion with a police officer, who flat out told me that he's lied in court in order to get a conviction. His rationale: "he may not have done this, but he's done something else that we didn't catch him for..." Fortunately, I don't think that kind of attitude was at all widespread. Most of the cops I worked with were on the straight and narrow. But still, it was quite unnerving to hear that kind of talk, and just one cop like that will poison public confidence in the rest.

That all being said, it was not hard to see where this guy was coming from. Most defendants at this time and place were professional criminals, and had been in the business of crime since they were very young. It would not be a stretch to say that while the lying in court was insupportable (and a crime in and of itself), the defendant probably had done more than one crime that he hadn't been arrested for.
 

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Snort! I was present at the trial of a lady who was admittedly driving under the influence of prescription drugs, extreamly erratically (I witnessed) and who crashed, but was too looped to get out of the car. All the above was stipulated by defense. Who then told the Judge “You cant convict her because her drug test came back negative because the ER was full and it too many hours to do the test.” (Haughty NYC lawyer, his suit cost more than my car new.). The judge declared her guilty anyway. Slick went into a fury about how he was right and he would appeal. The judge said (obviously paraphrasing, but not as much as you think, things were pretty raw.):

“Look Slick, you can appeal my ruling, you will probably win. The appeal will cost her $15,000 and take 6 months minimum. In the meantime she’s off the road and no danger to the public. So guess what, I win!”

Slick made some sarcastic comments, slammed a few things, making a great show, and stormed out of the courtroom. The Judge shook his head and laughed.
 

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Snort! I was present at the trial of a lady who was admittedly driving under the influence of prescription drugs, extreamly erratically (I witnessed) and who crashed, but was too looped to get out of the car. All the above was stipulated by defense. Who then told the Judge “You cant convict her because her drug test came back negative because the ER was full and it too many hours to do the test.” (Haughty NYC lawyer, his suit cost more than my car new.). The judge declared her guilty anyway. Slick went into a fury about how he was right and he would appeal. The judge said (obviously paraphrasing, but not as much as you think, things were pretty raw.):

“Look Slick, you can appeal my ruling, you will probably win. The appeal will cost her $15,000 and take 6 months minimum. In the meantime she’s off the road and no danger to the public. So guess what, I win!”

Slick made some sarcastic comments, slammed a few things, making a great show, and stormed out of the courtroom. The Judge shook his head and laughed.
Sometimes, judges do the right thing. Another case in point:"On The Basis of Sex". Good film.
 

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No he didn't. That decision pertained to the Seaman's Manslaughter Statute at 18 U.S.Code § 1115. The above question relates to the Federal Manslaughter Statute at 18 U.S. Code § 1112. Those are different laws, and the decision you cited has no applicability to the Federal Manslaughter Statute at 18 U.S. Code § 1112.
Please forgive my mistaking that you did not mean the Seaman’s Manslaughter Statute (also federal). My mistake could be because this entire thread began with a discussion of a Captain charged under the Seaman’s Statute.
 

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Interesting that there’s increasing hard scientific data showing we are hard wired to have empathy and altruistic behavior. It’s written into our biology. Sure there are egocentrics, borderline personalities and sociopaths but the average joe isn’t such a bad guy.

Oh, btw the deceased crew didn’t have his day in court. Think he deserved one. Don’t care for what legal semantics are applied. That simple fact persists.
Still don’t know if smith is safe to captain or continues to represent a risk to others or if he was unnecessarily screwed. No closure. Don’t care if due to bad lawyering by prosecutors, delay in pursuing civil case, bad reporting by CG. Net result the same.
 

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Oh, btw the deceased crew didn’t have his day in court. Think he deserved one. Don’t care for what legal semantics are applied. That simple fact persists.
I don't know how anyone can realistically expect that Pontious have a "day in court" when he's one of four people in a small boat in the Atlantic Ocean. Likewise, Pontious didn't give the captain his "day in court" when he tried to beat him and choke him to death. I can't imagine anyone venturing out into the wilderness who actually expects a "day in court" if he becomes a victim of a crime in the wilderness. In the real world, you can't pause the video tape of life while you resolve interpersonal issues with a trial and a judge. It doesn't happen that way in a wilderness, and it also doesn't happen that way at 2:00 am on a dark street in a crime ridden city.

Since the birth of this nation, much of it's history took place in a lawless wilderness. It was long ago concluded that, since you can't provide basic legal resolution of disputes to people while in a wilderness, the best we can offer is to provide legal resolution of disputes after they return to civilization. It's an imperfect remedy, but it's the best we can offer. A perfect remedy would be if the courts could simply undo the harm that was inflicted on a party, but that's obviously impossible. Even in the best of situations, once a life is taken, the courts can't restore it. Once bruises are inflicted, the courts can't make the pain go away.

In this case, any grievances Pontious had were litigated unsuccessfully by his family in a civil action, and by the US Attorney in a criminal action. The legal system provided him two opportunities for his "day in court." The system doesn't guarantee that any particular party to the proceedings will like the outcome. Pontious received his day in court, twice.
 
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