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Tragic accident: USCG & pleasure boat

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by JWY, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Here is another interesting read for those who would like to blame the victim:

    http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2002/MAR0205.pdf

    Probable Cause

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of
    the collision between the Coast Guard patrol boat CG242513 and the small passenger vessel Bayside Blaster was the failure of the coxswain of the Coast Guard patrol boat to operate his vessel at a safe speed in a restricted-speed area frequented by small passenger vessels and in conditions of limited visibility due to darkness and background lighting. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the lack of adequate Coast Guard oversight of nonstandard boat operations.
  2. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    This incident occurred in the main channel, along Harbor Island (not Shelter Island), in the waterway between the island and the channel marker buoys. There are no moorings in this area. It is not an anchorage however some do anchor in this area during the Christmas parade.
  3. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Personal experience from Vancouver...

    Xmas lights pardade 1998, we were exiting False Creek, last vessel , going very slow as guests were starting to eat, 40 guests on board, 70 ft MY, calm evening, visibilty excellent, monitoring, 16 and VTS, all of a sudden CG cutter at high rate of speed and NOT on plane shoots past port side, no radio contact no sound signals, well, food, plates and guests, are everywhere after that debacle, so, I raise him on the radio and ask where the disaster is ? respose as follows.." you were blocking my channel", I asked if he was aware of the burdened vessel rule ?? , no response, I demanded his name etc...got that ok...
    Called his boss the next day and got the response. "yeah. he is a bit of a hot dogger, will have another serious talk to him, sorry bout that".

    Second issue, the CG writes up my friend for having black tape on the back side of steaming lite to help keep the glare out of his eyes at night, a little harsh treatment, 3 weeks later I am standing beside on eof the ribs and guess what, ? black tape on their steaming lite, when I questioned the cox, he growled, " so what , you try running at night in one of these" I aske d if he would write himself up and he requested I move along....

    Now our CG is SAR and Fisheries only, non Military, but, attitude supreme...

    Just my 2c....part from that, it's good they are there....
  4. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    Read my post again, I said that that area off Harbor Island BECAME the anchorage after the SDHD displaced the boats off the former anchorage off Shelter Island (known lovingly by us tenants as Rock-n-Roll because of the Commercial Basin sport fishing fleet running by leaving 3' wakes) to set the mooring field there. Again, that happened 20 years ago. Coincidentally, I just got off the phone with my old buddy from back in those days who happened to be there. The accident happened in a crowded area outside the marked channel.

    Last summer I saw quite a few boats anchored off Harbor Island that looked like permanent anchors to me.
  5. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    Interesting since the steaming light is only to show forward of 112.5* abaft the beam.
  6. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    New Yorkers believe they can be seen from astern except when the vessel is fitted with draped elbows.
  7. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    My personal experience from Saipan and Guam to Midway Atoll to FL and up the coast to NY is that most small boat operators in the USCG and those that do inspections on vessels have far less experience and knowledge than those they are inspecting (at least in my world- being surrounded by other professionals, not recreational operators). My favorite was when the "courtesy inspection" officer at Midway atoll repeatedly asked to see inside the engine compartment (while pointing to the deck area over the fuel tanks) of "my" Glacier Bay catamaran (22 feet) which was outboard powered. I told him it was outboard powered and he still insisted. I repeated this and finally I said okay and took the cover off the port engine and asked if he wanted to see the "engine compartment" of the stbd Honda 50 also. Certainly was not the first time a kid from Iowa or Nebraska had authority over my vessel but little to no operational experience and even less real world marine knowledge.
    Does the USCG provide valuable services and put their lives in danger to save others? Yes. Do they deserve our gratitude? Yes. Does the USCG deserve our respect as a whole? Yes.
  8. travler

    travler Senior Member

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    BAMBOO

    that reminds me of year before last we where coming up from mexico to clear customs in san deigo and a smll boat comes up on us and circles us with no
    lights on at all we have been watching him on the radar for sometime , we turn on all of our deck lights the kind you see on most crab boats , we can see it is a coastie , they hail us on the radio ,request permission to board
    the conversation whent like this as they look around (it was obvious they had never boarded a boat quite like this before)
    why do you have survival suits on board

    why do you have so many fire extinguishers

    why do you have such brights lights on the mast

    i just listened in au and showed him the paper work they requested

    i think MARMOT could be on too somthing when he talks about training

    just a thought
    travler
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    My favorite is when I got boarded and they kept insisting on seeing the holding tank and seacock for the holding tank over and over again. I tried to explain to them that the boat didn't have one. He went on to tell me how every boat over a certain length is supposed to have a holding tank and it's a very large fine if you don't have one and this and that. They kept insisting, until I paused for 30 seconds and then asked the kid if he saw a Head on the 30' center console he was inspecting. When he answered no, I then asked if he knew what a holding tank was supposed to hold. And that you cannot be flushing sewage overboard if you don't have a toilet in order to collect the sewage in the first place......Needless to say.........
  10. CaptainSilva

    CaptainSilva Senior Member

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    Please find a post where I denied the fact that the CG screwed up in this instance. Also, please find a post where I directly pointed the finger at the victim's father and blamed him for everything.

    I simply questioned why (in less than 5 posts I might add...) people were so quick to bash the USCG...

    And yes...my point is the following: Anyone loading 13 people onto a TWENTY FOUR FOOT BOWRIDER needs to re-think ALL his decisions before he leaves the dock.

    Period.

    Do I believe that a 24' bowrider with 13 people on it might obscure some lights, or cause the captain some disorientation? Better yet, do I find it completely irresponsible?

    Absolutely.

    Does that irresponsibility make the captain "deserve" to lose a son?

    Absolutely not.
    (I'm not sure I can be much clearer than that...)

    I hate to break it to ya, Marmot, but people in this world disagree with eachother. It happens.

    Don't let it ruin your day. ;)
  11. CaptainSilva

    CaptainSilva Senior Member

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    Thank you.
  12. CaptainSilva

    CaptainSilva Senior Member

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    Wrong.

    Please refer to post #106 (or the one above).
  13. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    Nope, that's your ascertation, not a fact. The fact is that the CG vessel was travelling at an unsafe speed for the conditions. You have no proof that any light was obscured. There are no excuses here and quite likely the cox cost the Station Commander his position.
  14. CaptainSilva

    CaptainSilva Senior Member

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    It's like talking to the wall.....

    *sigh*

    It's called "reasonable doubt." Google it!

    My final ascertation here, is that I guess some people just don't get it. :confused: :(

    And that's okay. It takes all kinds...

    I'm done with this thread...I'll continue to watch (the unappreciative, disrespectful, eager, and rampant bashing of the USCG) from the sidelines.

    There are no excuses for me to continue participating in this type of nonsense.

    ;)

    I'll present one last question to anyone with a "dissenting" opinion of the USCG: How many lives have you saved?

    I know the USCG is over 1 million and counting.

    Not bad for a bunch of "idiot coxswains and boaters with badges"
  15. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    Personally, along with my crew's efforts, saved 14 from a burning boat and have a CG accommodation for it, and evacuated 3 drilling rigs in a hurricane with a freakin supply boat, each with around 100 hands onboard, and 2 of them went over, but that isn't really anything. The real question is how many people have I injured or killed or allowed to get injured or killed over the last 20 years, and that is NONE. When you run workboats in the oilfield doing dive work, anchor handling, rig tows, running derrick barges and jack up boats, that's pretty alright, and it's the way it should be.

    BTW, reasonable doubt doesn't apply to Administrative Law, it's a Preponderance of the evidence and you have to prove yourself innocent in front of the NTSB judge, not the other way around. If you break the rules, you have to PROVE mitigating circumstances. Where was the other boat on the radar plot?

    Another thing, pros look for causes to prevent future mishaps, not excuses to get out of trouble. There is no defense for this accident, only the opportunity to learn and effect change.
  16. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Believe me, it hasn't.

    It sounds like you and the cap from NY need to read read post 111 together and then have a nice hug.

    Let me take a quick look at my crystal ball ... ahh, the NTSB report will say that the probable cause was the coxswain failing to operate at a speed consistent with the conditions. It will note the failure to use a proper lookout, and failure to use the radar or spotlight. It will reference the crowded conditions and failure to plan a safe route. It will say that despite repeated recomendations, CG training and supervision of small boat operators has not succeeded in reducing the number and severity of small boat accidents.

    There will be no mention of lighting other than noting that the difficulty of separating the stern light of a small recreational vessel from background lclutter should have been considered by the coxswain and better addressed in his training. Overloading of the victim vessel will not be mentioned as a factor even if it is shown to have occurred.

    As to the accuracy of the crystal ball, I have no reasonable doubt.
  17. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    A point of interest, here in Canada we have institiuted boat operators certificates, a test has to be taken etc and then your ok up to at least 65 ft.

    In the course material, of which there are a few approved ones, the one I read mentioned nothing about "blue flashing lights" so, a novice takes the course, passes, goes out with his buddies for a Xmas cruise to see the lights, decides not to anchor but drift around to get best viewing position, then he hears the siren, sees the blue flashing light, thinks, "oh.ohh. emergency vehicle, pull over", the rest could be history.
    The course material I read was a joke, fix a hole in your sinking boat with ducttape ??, among a few other serious instructions.
  18. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

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    On water or on land? This month, this year, or overall?

    For a personal example, I have 13 Hurst Green Crosses for lives saved using the Hurst "Jaws of Life." I also have 3 Power Hawk Systems "Wings of Life" awards, one of which was for a boat rescue where we lost one victim but saved 4 others trapped under the overturned boat. I've been part of two rescues from suicide jumpers off a bridge, getting the survivors out of the water and onto our rescue boat. I've been on countless motor vehicle accident calls where the team, with or without use of tools, has saved lives. At 5:15 Christmas morning, I and my superior officer in my EMS agency brought a man back to life while three generations of his family looked on, pleading for us to save Christmas. I've been a black water rescue diver in the past, as well as a top man for a dive team. Been on a FAST team with another fire department, done search and rescue operations for a regional all-volunteer SAR team, and participated in some large-scale wildlands fire operations with that team. I'm also part of a high-angle technical rescue team, and was on the pile setting up the technical rescue equipment for the diggers and lifters starting 9/12/01, and suffer the breathing problems as a result of that experience but have never asked for a dime for what i volunteered to do.

    So, the count for this past year is roughly a dozen - one a month, mean average. Last year was closer to 20 because we had several multi-victim incidents. In the 17 years I've been doing this, considering over 2600 fire calls under my belt, plus approaching 700 ambulance calls in 7 years, I'd peg that at a fairly high number.

    In the interest of fairness, how many lives have you saved?

    One of the biggest things that we, as emergency responders, are taught is that when we are responding to a scene, there is nothing we can do to help those in need if we become a scene ourselves. If we hit another vehicle, or wreck the truck, not only are we putting additional demand on our local services, but the people truly in need are not receiving the care they require.

    And from that perspective, there is ABSOLUTELY no excuse, justification, or rationalization for the USCG response boat in question to become a hazard or threat in the execution of their duties. An arm over a light doesn't excuse them, a young captain doesn't excuse them, and overloaded boat doesn't excuse them, and a boat anchored or adrift near a waterway doesn't excuse them. They traveled too fast for conditions, and collided with another vessel as a result. This seems to be in direct conflict with the General Prudential Rule.

    If you consider that matter-of-fact statement to be a "slam" against the USCG in general, then I suspect there's no amount of common sense that will get through to you.
  19. OutMyWindow

    OutMyWindow Senior Member

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    Man, I knew that the Holiday Season was stress filled, but this tread is a YF virus.

    If you want to put things in perspective, ponder this...
    http://across.co.nz/WorldsWorstDisasters.html

    Also all the friendly fire deaths during the last decade.
  20. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Wow, that was very well written and so very much goes to the heart of so many points in this discussion. Thank you.