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Tragic accident: USCG & pleasure boat

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

  1. BMS

    BMS Senior Member

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    Then you should undetrstand more than anyone whhen a ambulance or a fire truck wrecks and some one dies do we banish fire and emergecy services as a whole. Do we bash the good ole' fd no not like the CG is being bashed here. I understand some of what you are writing I spent 6yrs in the CG and have worke full time for a PAID PROFESSIONAL FD since completeing my enlistment. I dont recall hearing much about the vollie firemen who wrecked the fire boat in Woodbridge VA killing a 17yo girl onboard. But then again when you put professional in front of you title you are held to a certain standard.
  2. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

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    It happens all the time that the FD and EMS workers get bashed, in print and in their communities. That's why there is such importance placed on safe response. Emergency response does not exempt a driver from the rules of the road, or from vehicular manslaughter charges. There are area vollie houses that have been shut down because the community turned against them. It happens, more than you know.

    For what it's worth, Paid ≠ Professional in my experience. Nor does Vollie House equate to unprofessional. I've worked with very unprofessional IAFF career firefghters, and some of the most highly trained, competent, and professional firefighters who happened to volunteer their time to their community, putting their lives on the line not for a paycheck and a pension but out of commitment.

    It is my opinion that anyone, in any line of work, volunteer or paid, who is relied upon to help in times of threat to life, safety, and property should never under any circumstances be excused for taking a life in that line of duty due to recklessness or gross negligence.

    Apparently you feel differently.
  3. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    But no one is bashing the USCG in the overall. There is a recognition of a problem that even the USCG recognizes within their own in the training and supervision of the small boat crews. If you can't recognize and accept a problem, how can you evaluate it and institute changes to correct the problem?

    An yes, paid professionals are held to a higher standard, and rightly so. The kid in the CG is a paid professional, I (and the courts) hold him to the same standard as I myself. There is a difference though, where as I am the onlyone ultimately responsible for my actions, in his case, his Commanding Officer is the one responsible for his actions (Respondeat Superior is well recognized in the UCMJ as well as NTSB Administrative court). Also while the company insuring my actions is liable for my errors, in his case the US Taxpayer is liable. Rather than denying a problem exists, there should be (and I am sure the USCG and NTSB will both do) a root cause analysis of this accident to see where things went wrong and how they can be improved to avoid having the same accident twice.
  4. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    The same accident has happened more than twice, and that is why this one is creating such an uproar.

    This time it killed a civilian while previous iterations only killed coasties.
  5. slowroll

    slowroll New Member

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    This was an most unforturate accident. I saw pix of both boats before they were erased off the net, very shocking. I am hopefull some good can come this event in regards to training of all mariners. In events were someones emotions can take hold over reason, mistakes can be made. Even seasoned seaman can make errors in judgement when they don't pause to think.
  6. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Any updates on this tragedy ?
  7. Adventure

    Adventure New Member

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    Local News here in San Diego is reporting a law suit was filed today against the Coast Guard.
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Well, there's a surprise. Given the rep of California lawyers I wonder what took so long.
  9. BMS

    BMS Senior Member

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  10. Alaskanmutt

    Alaskanmutt Member

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    New update

    4 Coast Guard members charged in SD boat collision
    By ELLIOT SPAGAT (AP) – 33 minutes ago

  11. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    I believe the charges are appropriate. But, I don't believe the crew should take all the blame. There are several individuals in the chain of command above them that should have also been charged.

    The USCG small boat system is broken. This is only a symptom and unless those responsible for the concept of "command presence" are held responsible for the actions of their subordinates nothing will change.
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Cudos to the CG & the other agencies involved in the investigation. Seven months. Obviously nobody dragged their heals or tried to cover up. There may well be problems with training and supervision, but that wouldn't enter the criminal investigation. I suspect though that is the subject of internal investigations. I'm sad for the coasties involved as well as the civis. No winners.
  13. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

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    In this kind of situation, this is the sad truth.
  14. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    I could not agree more. I think your comments, though they are brief, speak exactly to the point.
  15. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Thank you. It just isn't that complicated.

    If you own a pit bull and it chews someone's face off, the pit bull is put down and the owner is held responsible for its actions.

    The CG trained their own pit bulls and instilled in them this bizarre concept of "command presence" as a means to exhibit to the world that they hold the power and authority to use force or any other means to accomplish their role de jour. What they do not seem to comprehend is the other side of that, which is “command responsibility."

    I believe that the recommendations for charges are a public relations ploy to placate those who, like me, want to see those responsible hung out to dry. But, I believe deeper failures led to this tragedy. Those who are ultimately responsible will not be held to account and the severity of the initial findings will lead to a cry for leniency. That crew, while its actions were criminal, were no different than any other animal trained to respond without question or hesitation to a given stimulus.

    The crewmen on the boat that killed that child are individually responsible for their actions, they performed as they did despite the conditions. While I hesitate to say that their lack of training and supervision is an extenuating circumstance and that reduces their responsibility, they performed the way their superiors trained them and expected them to perform.

    Sitting in an office on Harbor Drive at this moment is a Coast Guard Yama****a. I would like to see the CG commandant use the same arguments for his conviction.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Totally aside from this tragedy, what seems to be forgotten is that the CG is a part of our military presence. I'd rather have a pit bull (hopefully well trained) protecting our country than a poodle or Pomeranian.
  17. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    We don't need pit bulls to protect San Diego against children watching boats decorated with Christmas lights.

    Why is it so difficult to understand the the type of response required in Umm Qasr is inappropriate in San Diego or Fort Lauderdale. We don't send the SWAT team to apprehend parking violators and we don't call in the Secret Service when someone overdraws their checking account. The CG has one form of response, usually the wrong one at the wrong time and place. This has consistenly resulted in collisions with other boats, the deaths of young coasties, and now the death of an innocent child.

    The heroic actions of Bering Sea helicopter crews or the sacrifice of a CG coxwain on Guadalcanal does not justify the Rambo culture that permeates the CG small boat service in American ports today.
  18. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    For Heaven's sake ... this nanny software is getting ridiculous.

    For the historically challenged, which is most Americans unfortunately, we executed a Japanese general because we held him reponsible for the actions of his troops despite his being physically removed and out of communication with them and was incapable of exercising any form or control or command.

    This legal concept under which he was convicted has become known as "command responsibility" or the Yama*hita standard.
  19. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    And so would I. But the key word as it relates to this specific incident is "protecting" which is not what the CG was doing. They were training. They are always training in San Diego bay. They've been training in the bay for the 40 years that I've been operating boats there. San Diego boaters are subjected to constant CG interception and boardings. Granted they have to train someplace in order to become proficient. But I think the Holiday of Lights parade, which attracts a relatively small amount of boater participation, would be just fine with the Harbor Police on the job.

    I fail to see how some overloaded patrol boats of teenagers fresh off the farm in Iowa make this event, or the bay at any time, more safe.
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Is it not common knowledge that San Diego is one of the most prime target areas on the west coast. There is a very large military, naval and intelligence presence there (targets all) not to mention its proximity to the Mexican border where there are major drug wars going on, and then there is the human smuggling operations. We are a nation at war, and San Diego is our west coast front line. That may be inconvenient and contrary to the 'California' lifestyle, but that is the reality of today. All those boardings and training exercises make it less likely that one of those boats is not so benign. During a boarding I expect to see no smiles and a hand near the gun until they are sure I'm OK. That's life today.