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Fatal boating incident with alleged overloaded 34' Silverton

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by RT46, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. dsharp

    dsharp Senior Member

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    Accidents aside, how the hell do you keep track of 27 people on a boat at night?
    That was my first thought, especially when some of them are children.
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I've kept track of 400.
  3. wscott52

    wscott52 Senior Member

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    Did any other boats experience this "huge" wave? Has any yacht owner come forward and admitted he might have caused this "huge" wave? Is there any indication at all, except for the Silverton operator, this "huge" wave actually existed?

    I'm guessing an ordinary wave capsized an overloaded marginally sea worthy boat. Hell, I'd guess just a sharp turn on a flat sea would have capsized it.

    Some of those in the water didn't have on life jackets. I wonder if there were enough life jackets for all onboard? It's possible of course if they brought their own but I really doubt the Silverton carried as normal equipment enough life jackets for everyone onboard.

    I know you're an experienced Captain. I'm pretty sure you would have never left the dock in that boat with that many people on board. I'm also pretty sure if you did you would have turned back pretty quick once you saw how the boat was handling.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    [/QUOTE]
    With as many fireworks displays as I've been out for I have no doubt about big wakes being thrown when things start to break up, especially since every novice who never takes his boat off the dock comes out for them. As to the number of life jackets, my understanding is that there were enough, but of course they're useless once you hit the water without it being on. Nobody was able to get one on.

    I came upon an interesting piece of information this morning: "The USCG requirement is for capacity plates are only for vessels up to 20 foot water length.
    Capacity for larger vessels are not specified unless used for hire of more then 6 passengers. Then it is required by Federal Law that the vessel be USCG
    inspected and stability tests performed to determine the maximum loading that the vessel can safely accommodate. These vessels have many other
    requirements that they must also meet. Unfortunately if you go to Google and put in Capacity of people for boats you will find websites such as
    How to Determine The Passenger Capacity of a Boat | eHow.com
    This and many other websites state that the maximum capacity for boats is the length of the vessel times the beam (width) of the vessel divided by 15 (a constant)
    A Typical 34 flybridge boat (for example) has a length of 34 feet and the beam is 12 feet 6 inches, when you do the math it comes out to 27.2 people."
    Especially with 10 of the passengers being kids (light), that means this boat was not overloaded.
  5. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    NYCAP

    You seem to grudgingly holding to the theoretical notition that formulae and placards are the controlling elements for a operator decision making - if it say you can doit, you can do it. You have now resorted to quoting EHOW as an authority for such a formula which gives no consideration to hull design,etc. As a prident Captain yourself, I am sure you put all that stuff aside when you are at, the helm, and rely on the human side and experience. for instance, You know the boat and the conditions surrounding the sinking, would you have taken that boat out?
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Without cause to refuse I'd have to. I've had boats where the weight told me we were putting too much strain on the motors, and I warned the owner, but from there it's his decision because it wasn't a safety issue. I've never had a boat where I felt the stability was in question because of the load. So I can't say I'd have recognized their danger any more than their captain did. I hope I would, but just don't know. That's one of the risks we take. That's why I would like to see a stability rating for all boats. So I could point the owner to it and say No. Otherwise there will just be another captain taking a job I refuse. If he's successful I'm just out a day's pay and have gotten a rep for not accomodating an owner.
    P.S. PLEASE, somebody point me to a source other than this and I'll be happy to use it. There are experts in this field. Why do they not put up a notice. If they can do it for lobster boats & ferries a recreational boat should be a piece of cake unless their decision is generated by not wanting to hurt sales.
  7. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Export it to Europe and you must have a CE approval, including this.
  8. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    ---Quote (Originally by NYCAP123)---
    I don't see anything the captain did wrong, given the information available to him.
    ---End Quote---
    Then a second quote..
    "This boat WAS overloaded. The results prove that."

    Now we know which Captain not to hire when chartering or hiring
  9. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    27 pax at 150 lbs average (yes there were kids on board but also some big adults) is a little over 4000lbs or 1/3 of the boat weight!

    There is absolutely no way I would leave the dock with that many people on such a boat . I know we have evolved into a nanny state society where everything has to be regulated, disclaimed, lawyers proofed and stickered, but the ultimate decision is the captain's and hiding behind a lack of data just doesn't cut it

    My conscience, and license, is worth a lot more than A day's pay!!

    The LxB/15 "formula" is very dangerous because it doesnt take height into account (load on FB) but most importantly freeboard! When you download calculations on small boats, freeboard is one of the factors used in the formula.
  10. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    maximum capacity for boats is the length of the vessel times the beam (width) of the vessel divided by 15 (a constant).[/QUOTE]

    That means my boat, 46 X 15.6 can safely accommadate 47.84 people !!!
    The only way I would do that is if the other 46 people were on the Swedish Bikini Team...... even then I'd need to keep a very watchful eye on things....
  11. CTdave

    CTdave Senior Member

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    Getting back to the conditions & the "rogue wave", I was there & this is what we saw.

    There were far fewer boats than in years past. I was shocked by how few actually were there but passed it off as the thinderstorm earlier in the day & the possibility of more kept people on shore. We dropped anchor around 8 p.m. & had absolute front row seats.

    After the fireworks concluded at roughly 9:45, I held tight & observed my usual 30 minute knucklehead wait. 30 minutes is all it takes for them all to zig-zag in a big cluster f... of nautical nit whit bafoonery.

    I was tracking a fairly heavy storm cell approaching & decided to wait it out just as I heard the first distress calls.

    The cell looked pretty potent so I pulled the anchor as to have the ability to avoid any bafoonery which might head my way in the storm but I still held my ground. There were a lot of boats at the scene & I knew there was nothing I could do. I'd make matters worse charging in with a 50 Hatt.

    There were no giant waves. The storm was NOT a factor. It was crystal clear when it happend aside of the tight cell with lightning which wouldn't get there for another 20-30 minutes.

    There were not many large boats, mostly up to 30' with a few, not many, 40-50 footers. There were a few big boys but they stayed in place as well.

    I honestly believe that the Silverton was hit with regular old boat wake. In the direction that he was headed & likely going 14-16 kts with that load, he would have encountered stbd. stern quartering waves. As we all know & I can feel those as I write, they push the stern up, nose down & the boat dives in and takes a turn, listing to the port.

    I'd still like an explanation from the Nassau County Marine Police as to why their officers could not respond quickly. Their boats were less than 60 seconds from the scene & it took them 12 minutes to locate them AFTER a pleasure boat finally sent up 4 flares. When asked if the officer wanted the lat/lon repeated, he said & I will quote (someone must have a recording of this) "that doesn't do us any good, we need a landmark or buoy number.
    What a f'ing disgrace.
  12. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    This means the boat I am on can carry 683.4 but as we only have the approved LSA for 60 and need to have some reserve we will stay with a max compliment of 40 thank you.
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    That formula makes no sense to me at all, but that's the only one I've heard. And I can't figure out for the life of me why they can figure out a stability rating to ship boats to Europe but won't do it for domestic boats. It all just screams sales strategy. I also agree with Dave that it had to be a wake. Rogue waves are an extreme rarity in that area.
    Dennismc, there not much chance of me ever seeking a job with you. So don't you worry your head about it. For the few who don't understand what I wrote, the boat was not illegally overloaded, but there should have been regulations in place that would have made it so because obviously it was too many people. For those who don't want more regulations, I doubt you'll see any except for licensing to finally come to NY, but that's almost a joke anyway. What's needed is what happened in Europe. Somebody said we won't buy your boats until you tell us what they can safely carry. The builders obviously relate to not being allowed to sell more than to keeping their customers safe. It should not be left up to a Sunday sailor or anybody whose job isn't to judge stability.
  14. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    ???
    I highly doubt you or anyone could tell me when standing directly in front of you there are 400 or 399 people there. One can disappear in less than one second and you say you can keep track of 400? I have to call BS on that claim IMHO.

    I had a call to take folks out on the fourth and I said no- the place to watch fireworks is on land with some burger/dogs and the drink of your choice- not on the water. I cared not if 5 or 25 were asking to go out.
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Guess you never worked as mate on a dinner yacht. You start with a clicker, and watch for anyone drinking too much, getting green, looking unhappy, standing where they shouldn't be, getting loud or roudy, etc. Could someone sneak over the side? Sure, and a tsunami could hit too.
    I routinely run a 40 with about 15 on board. If anyone's on deck I'm keeping track of them every second (are they sitting on a rail, comming up the side, etc.)
  16. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Lets get back to the thread. this isn't about NYCAP, but a tragedy.
    How do we help people avoid this??
  17. dsharp

    dsharp Senior Member

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    Don't know that you can. Boats tend to attract people that don't take direction very well.
  18. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    unforunately, i know you are right.
  19. AlfredZ

    AlfredZ Senior Member

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    I don't know why this got to be an attack against NYCAP! I agree with his break down to actual facts, which is the starting point of getting to a solution. The (LxB)/15 calculation is for runabouts, deck boats and similar boats, it is not applicable to other types of boats specially yachts and as K1W1 mentioned for large yachts, because they factor in, many things including distance to safe haven, minimum possible crew, etc.
    There should not be a law, in my opinion, BUT, manufacturers must provide clear information for "Best Load", you find instruction for best use for everything around, why should this be left out? Add to that the already present law that all on board should be wearing a right type PFD at certain times and in reach of them in other times. In this case, all should have been wearing them specially kids. The last thing that should be done is awareness, every boat operator should be made aware of operational hazards and aware that it is his/her sole responsibility as a vessel commander and that in cases of emergency, they are the only one to blame for any mishap aboard that vessel even if it was an error of a passenger.

    Other than that, no one can control everybody at all times, people are free to live RESPONSIBLY!
  20. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Do the upper states require boater education? Boaters licensing or proficiency testing? I would think smal boat loading would be a topic.
    I would think the owner/owner/captain has been exposed to loading/pfd reqs/boat handling topics already. Or did he just stumble out of a cave and drive the boat that night?
    A plaque on the boat may not provide anybody a thing. Maybe it would. Exposure, education and common sense are the tools that were missing or ignored.