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anchor lost - who's responsible

Discussion in 'Yacht Captains' started by balboa, Dec 27, 2007.

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  1. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Just to make things clear and as CaptainChris pointed out, the far end of the chain must be secured in the chain locker. Normally this is done high up so you can inspect it and above all so you can release it (without finding it has rusted) if you are forced to let the anchor go in a bad situation.
  2. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    "To blame me - somebody with no nagivational training nor experience - because I had seen how the anchor chain was secured looks incorrect to me just as holding the captain financially responsible for the loss is incorrect. "

    This statement goes directly to the heart of the problem you have onboard that vessel and will continue to have until you find a professional crew and remove yourself from the project.

    You stated that you noticed a condition that did not appear to be correct. You did not pass that information along to the captain whom you have catergorized as lacking experience. You claim no responsibility because you have "no navigational training nor experience." By your own description of the operation, that voyage was made in an unseaworthy vessel. The Captain was unqualified if he did not recognize the vessel was not ready for sea. Did the captain have sufficient time and authority to inspect the vessel before departure? Was the storm unforecast and came up with no warning before the vessel was secured for heavy weather?

    If the chain of command was so fractured by your presence aboard that the captain did not feel he had time or authority to take command of the vessel, and you did not feel it was necessary to inform him of an issue which you felt uncomfortable then the chain of command was broken long before the anchor was lost.

    Were you afraid to mention what you thought might be a problem because you didn't want to look foolish in case you were wrong? Do you have the attitude that it wasn't in your department so it isn't your business? There is something very very wrong on that vessel.

    This thread could be used as a case study for the failure of crew resource management. The only people with the information that might have prevented an accident didn't think it was their job to tell anyone else. Don't take this as a personal attack, it is just a very clear illustration of how an inexperienced and untrained owner can lead an inexperience and untrained captain into shoal waters.

    Based on this incident and the other thread regarding liferaft launching, I suggest that you hire a professional and retreat from this project. The money you save will more than pay for training for yourself and your crew. It may save your business.


    "**** happens. Move on."

    No, it doesn't just happen. We only step in **** when we don't recoginze the smell and do something to clean it up.
  3. balboa

    balboa Guest

    reply

    Marmot,

    Wow, what a load of crap. I don't mind to be critizised when I mess up but you are inventing things here. Before you assume things, get the facts. It's good management practice. Have you ever had your own business if I may ask?

    In reality:

    The captain had all the papers and claimed 10 years of yachting experience, including with Fraser yachts (OK. I found out later he overstate some things there). I also had a very qualified and experienced first mate but he joined the ship only one day before departure.

    Before departure I noticed how the situation with the anchor didn't appear to be correct but I left it to the professional judgement of the captain. He was there with me when we looked at the anchor winch.! I think that's what I should have done as a non-qualified person in such manners.

    Please tell me where I said the vessel was not seaworthy. Right. Don't invent nonsense please. It's a Dutch built North Sea trawler. This ship had been in dock just before this crossing for the exact purpose of being made ready for crossing! The captain was on the ship for more than 2 weeks before we left! We actually delayed the departure because of the weather

    We had all the weather info we needed. We know we were getting into heavy weather and we simply forgot about that winch, me included. It was bad judgement - in my opinion based on lack of experience - to leave that anchor chain 'secured' the way it was.

    Unfortunately, I had even less experience in such manners to be able to judge this situation.

    So, yes, I'll now recognize the smell and, to also end with an expresssion:

    'Failure is the tuition you pay for success'

    Good luck

    Thorwald
  4. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    This really is becoming a case study.

    "The captain had all the papers and claimed 10 years of yachting experience"

    You have now learned first hand the difference between certification and qualification.

    "I also had a very qualified and experienced first mate."

    Who did not regard the absence of an anchor and its chain as unusual enough to warrant further investigation or to report it to the captain. His enquiry to you rather than the captain says something about the chain of command on the vessel and your response ...

    "I said, just look, it goes up there and there and then down again."

    followed by his meek response of "'mm, well I didnt see it." hints at his not having experience enough to recognize that an empty hawse is a good indication that something may be amiss with the ground tackle, and or his unwillingness to say anything that might incur your wrath. I wonder why he didn't just say the anchor is gone. Was everyone afraid to speak out on that boat?

    So, you knew you were in for bad weather and did not make any provision for securing the vessel for the voyage? You recognized a problem existed but did not take time to address the issue? It wouldn't matter if you were onboard a Russian icebreaker, a vessel with an inexperienced crew who were for some reason unable to communicate their concerns and observations rendered that vessel unseaworthy. That is where you said the vessel was unseaworthy. The hull might be just fine but the crew was unfit, I didn't make up anything. You were very lucky nothing worse happened.


    The failure of the three people onboard who were charged with the safety of that vessel and its crew did nothing to prevent a (fortunately) silly and unneccessary incident. If you had tied the anchor in place with a shoelace at least that would have indicated that someone onboard was competent enough to recognize a problem existed. The fact than no one did anything is really scary.

    Since you seem to like little platitudes

    The price of a charter should include a competent crew.

    If you manage to pull off this project just remember that your charter guests deserve a much higher standard than has been presented in this thread.
  5. CaptainSilva

    CaptainSilva Senior Member

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    I don't think there will be many "guests" aboard a North Sea Fishing Trawler will there???
  6. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    "I don't think there will be many "guests" aboard a North Sea Fishing Trawler will there???"

    An ocean going tug or an Icelandic trawler just ooze character and charm if converted to an "expedition yacht."

    I love the idea and there are others who will pay good money to go places that suit those types of hulls. But, taking charter guests on boats like that to places where they offer the most adventure also requires a standard of seamanship to match the environment and conditions.
  7. balboa

    balboa Guest

    last try

    OK Marmot, I wont' give up on you.

    I'm just converting a very fine trawler into an expedition yacht. I hope you will one day have the pleasure to work on such a nice vessel. Or as a guest. So you can chill out a little bit.
  8. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    "I hope you will one day have the pleasure to work on such a nice vessel. Or as a guest. So you can chill out a little bit. "

    I have seen enough to become very selective about the vessels I sail on.

    There is an old saying that says God protects fools, drunks, and small children. He also protects seafarers most of the time. I suggest you sit down and have a nice quiet read of this report just released today by the MAIB.

    http://www.maib.gov.uk/publications/investigation_reports/2008/lady_candida.cfm

    Everything is quite clear in hindsight. That is why such reports are written, so that lucky fools have the benefit of someone else's hindsight. Do you see any similarity between your crew and Candida's? Just to add a little more flavor to the stew, we are entering the 10th year of ISM and we still have incidents like these happening for the same reasons that all the alphabet agencies were founded.

    I wish you well my friend, you will need much luck in your venture.
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I am a Captain. In my point of view, if the engineer saw an issue with how the chain is secured. I think the engineer should have modified the devil's claw or replaced it with a better way to secure the anchor or remedied the situation. An engineer is there to engineer things as well as fix what has broken IMO. Theoretically if a vessel has an engineer, it shouldn't be the Captain's duty to secure an anchor. Just as it is not the Captain's duty to wash the boat down if you have a deckhand or mate. If the Captain wishes to in order to speed things up that is his perogative, but not his duty.

    However, I as Captain would have looked at it and secured it before doing a crossing as well as looking at everything else, bilges, engine room etc. . I also would have added an additional way to secure it as well. Because this could've been disasterous if it had entangled in the propellor(s) in rough seas. However, the mate should have checked it as well. It is the mate's responsibility to clear the deck after leaving the dock as well as making sure everything on the exterior has been secured properly for a crossing.

    As for who is responsible to replace it. That would be the owner. Accidents happen, things break, and well as good of a job of prevention a crew can do. Things can and will happen. The crew should never come out of pocket to fix something or replace something. A captain's job is to maintain the safety of the crew, owners/guests, and vessel. A Captain also has a lot of other work that crew usually do not see that ties up a lot of time. Logistics, phone calls between owners, repair facilities, marina's, checking weather, plotting courses, budgeting, captaining the vessel, as well as babysitting employees and overseeing all aspects of the vessel. I am basically saying that as a Captain, somewhere (depending on your crew size) you have to draw the line on what you do and don't do.

    I also agree with Marmouth, and the chain of command is not there. It also does not seem like it is clear on the vessel, exactly where each person's duty lies. The statement "chill out" it's just this type of vessel irks me. This situation would or could have been disasterous had you had been in those type of seas and the chain wrapped around the propellor leaving the vessel dead in the water. Which then could have caused the vessel to broach and sink leaving crew swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. Or, possibly put someone's life in danger if they were able to swim down and free the propellor. All it takes is one little issue, that was mishandled to cause an entire vessel to sink. There is no room for error on any vessel and any sea state because you never know what may happen next.
  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Balboa,
    You had a temporary captain and crew. The only full timer was you. Nobody knows your boat like yourself. Why didn't you have better equipment, and why didn't you make sure it was properly secured? A delivery captain makes things the best he can before setting off, but he also takes what he gets. If he sees something that is NG he'll tell you to fix it or he may refuse the job, but a delivery captain just can't know everything about your boat.
    So, it would be gross negligence if he knew of a defect and ignored it, not if there was just something he didn't catch. It may however have been gross negligence on the owner's part for not keeping his vessel properly maintained.
  11. Bill7q3

    Bill7q3 Guest

    Hi Thorwald
    Is your webpage showing drawings, comments pictures etc still available on line? is can you forward the link please.
  12. aeronautic1

    aeronautic1 Member

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    Captain pays. It was his responsibility to secure the boat (including anchor) for sea.
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You do realize this thread is 11 years old I hope and the OP is no longer around.

    As to your statement "Captain pays", my crew never pays. They would if gross negligence such as alcohol or drugs involved or not being on watch while underway but otherwise no. When I feel I can no longer accept their mistakes is when I replace them.

    This is no different than any of my businesses. Employees aren't held financially responsible for their mistakes. They are held accountable for their performance in their job.

    If you're going to make the captain pay for the anchor, are you also going to for anytime a prop needs work or any glass work ever required? What about teak work because he spilled something?
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    It is never the Captains responsibility to pay. He is driving a vessel owned by someone else and employed by the owner. It's just the same as if he was driving a company tractor trailer and there was an accident. The company is responsible for paying for repairing their vehicle. Plain and simple.
  15. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    I agree that an employee would never need to pay. Just fire them. Interestingly enough a 3rd party yacht mgt company would be a different story.
  16. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You would fire an employee over one mistake? Guess that means ultimately you'll fire them all since they will all make mistakes. As to Yacht Management company, only if gross negligence, which this wasn't. I guess I'm more into building relationships than breaking them.

    Now the engineer who knew and ignored and then came to a public site to air it out, I likely wouldn't fire, but sure would make him aware of what I thought of his conduct in the matter. As to why the engineer is responsible for the cost, I have no idea.
  17. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    You misunderstood. If you really thought they were screwing up so bad, then fire them.

    Employees make plenty of mistakes and as long as the mistakes are handled and the employees / employer relationship is honest, no problem. That’s the cost of owning a boat. Per Yacht Mgt or let’s say a delivery captain, if they were to say run aground, I would not be so accepting of eating the cost.
  18. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    He is on YouTube, here is the boat @ about the time this thread emerged,

  19. classic

    classic New Member

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    The captain would be at fault , he is responsible for the ship and the crew ..
    but I would move on .o_O


    Trust but verify