Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Ike Senior Member

    I spent my first three years as a Coast Guard Officer reviewing investigations of boating accidents and doing quite a few investigations myself. It is almost incomprehensible how some of these occur, but it most often comes down to inattention. Of course the aftermath is always interesting, especially when the lawyers get to fighting over who was at fault, and many times it turns out they both were. But if operators simply paid attention (especially these days when everyone has their nose in their smart phone) then many of these would never happen. You can argue about the col regs until you are blue in the face, but if people simply don't pay attention then this is a fine example of what can happen.
    BlueBell likes this.
  2. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    And a GOOD Joke - totally unexpected from someone with limited 2nd language experience.

    Well done TANSL.
    OzFred and TANSL like this.
  3. MikeJohns
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    There's lots of rubbish on the internet that gets regurgitated on silly laws. Most of it isn't very factual, some are archaic local council "bylaws" that could never be enforced in law today, some laws never repealed at state level have been completely nullified by change of context or overwritten by federal law.

    If you find a list that says taxi drivers have to carry a bale of hay for example or that Bikinis have to less than a certain size on the Gold coast then it's the usual rubbish doing the rounds.

    Maritime law here is admiralty law adopted directly from the UK and it's very similar around the world.

    I know of a very similar collision (to the other case I posted) in St Thomas USVI where anchored vessels in a designated anchoring area were were hit by a cruise ship, constrained by draft and maneuvering with difficulty it caused serious enough damage to several boats. In court they said the boats were presumed to be under command and that they would move out of the way as they were exhibiting no signals to say they were anchored, and the court agreed.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  4. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    You do notice the trend in your examples right? None of the SV were actually maneuvering and commercial interests can sometimes outweigh the "justice" of the legal system.
  5. MikeJohns
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    Location: Australia

    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Well I was just illustrating that it's nothing unique about Australian Waters or imagined "Goofy Laws" of Australia.

    I do think it's interesting that people think that the few basic giveway rules they learn for a leisure boat license cover them as absolutely as automotive rules do on the road, and then they are very surprised to find that Maritime law is not so straight forward. I know it's different to the case Doug posted but they illustrate the complexity of a body of law that nearly all countries have adopted.
    BlueBell likes this.
  6. jehardiman
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Port Orchard, Washington, USA

    jehardiman Senior Member

    Yes, the actual order of precedence in the COLREGS is often forgotten/unknown by casual mariners. Most importantly Rule 2 ALLWAYS applies. A windsurfer was run down and killed 25-30 years ago in the SF Bay when he forgot that channel restricted vessels trump a sailing vessels rights. From memory IIRC the basic order is:

    Vessel disabled/not under command
    Channel/depth restricted vessel
    Properly anchored vessel in designated anchorage
    (Note: a properly anchored vessel not in a designated anchorage has other restrictions)
    Fishing vessel properly fishing
    human powered vessel
    sailing vessel downwind
    sailing vessel upwind
    motor vessel
    operating submerged submarine
  7. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  8. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    A bit more on this crash(see post #6 on previous page) that pre-dated the one above--thanks to Dolfiman:

    A salmon fisherman who abandoned ship by leaping into the frigid waters of the Columbia River last summer -- an instant before another motorboat crashed into his -- has filed a $372,500 lawsuit against the other driver. Clatsop County sheriff’s deputies accused boat driver Marlin Lee Larsen of several crimes after the 75-year-old told investigators he couldn’t see where he was driving because he was sitting down and the dash of his boat was blocking his view. Larsen said he probably should have been standing, according to the sheriff’s report, which notes Larsen uses a motorized scooter to get around on land. Larsen’s son-in-law, who also was on the boat, told investigators that he had warned his father-in-law to pay attention, that he sometimes sees his father-in-law using his cell phone while driving the boat and that his father-in-law had been off-and-on his cell phone the morning of the crash, according to the sheriff’s report. Although Oregon law heavily restricts cell phone use while driving, there are no such specific laws governing boating. But it is against the law to operate a boat without due care. The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, claims Larsen was boating while distracted by his cell phone on the morning of the Aug. 12, 2017, when the crash occurred near the mouth of the Columbia at the Pacific Ocean, just east of Fort Stevens State Park. The suit was filed by Bryan Maess, 47, an off-duty Hermiston police officer fishing with a law-enforcement co-worker, Christopher McMahon, 46. Another friend, Roni Durham, 57, a Clatskanie resident, also was aboard. A GoPro camera mounted to the Weldcraft fishing boat captured the frantic seconds as Larsen’s Bayliner Trophy motorboat speeds directly at them. McMahon can be seen waving his arms and yelling in an attempt to get Larsen to steer clear -- just before the trio jump into the water. The video was shared with The Oregonian/OregonLive by the publication Salmon Trout Steelheader and Angling Oregon, the latter of which is an online fishing website of McMahon's. The video encourages boaters to wear life jackets. Maess and McMahon weren't wearing life jackets. Durham was, but it didn't inflate. Sheriff’s investigators wrote that it was likely Maess and the others would have been seriously injured or killed if they hadn’t jumped into the water. Maess suffered vision problems, headaches and injuries to his ankle, leg and arm from jumping into the water or being struck by debris, according to the suit. Five months after the crash, he wears a knee brace, the suit says. McMahon and Durham also suffered injuries, including cuts or hypothermia. They haven’t filed suit against Larsen but have hired attorneys who say they plan to. Portland attorney Josh Lamborn said his client, Durham, also has suffered psychological trauma and, even though fishing is a big part of her life, hasn’t been able to go back out on a boat since the crash. Larsen, a Roseburg resident, told The Oregonian/OregonLive by phone Friday that he wasn’t using his cellphone while driving his Bayliner and referred to such allegations as “fake news.” Larsen also said a lawsuit seemed unnecessary because the people in the Weldcraft weren’t hurt badly. The criminal case is ongoing. Larsen has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor crimes of reckless operation of a boat, fourth-degree assault and recklessly endangering the lives of others. The suit was filed in Clatsop County Circuit Court. Portland attorney James McCandlish is representing Maess.
  9. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

  10. sailhand
    Joined: Jan 2017
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    sailhand Junior Member

    No ridiculous laws in Australia, are you sure. The latest and greatest effort in queensland is the new tender laws. You are no longer allowed to use your tender for fishing, diving/snorkelling or wait for it "sightseeing". I questioned the police in airlie beach about this, in the end it got down to if I run in to you because I didn't see you am I at fault, if I turn my head to look at you am I sightseeing and will I be fined. This is an actual conversation and the police response is that they were not sure and that until I bought the laws to their attention they were unaware of them. Maybe I should have kept quiet, I am definitely the stupid one here.

    Australia is the only country I know of where it is mandatory for adults to wear helmets whilst riding push bikes, big fine. You can lose your license for going to sleep in the back of your car if you are drunk, not driving it sleeping in it.

    Whilst at anchor on a vessel, even if you are liveaboard, you can lose your car license if you are over the legal road alcohol limit at any time, even at anchor. Not many people are even aware of this.

    Behold the fourth Reich, the gestapo rules in australia and the inhabitants are too apathetic to do anything, and I have tried to no avail. All of my ancestors came to australia from Scotland and Ireland in the early 1800s, I can't wait to get out of the place. The laws are now made to be particularly ambiguous to empower the police and make it impossible in our court system to access any sort of justice. I was booked for doing a 120kms an hour in a 100 zone by a radar. I was driving a 1986 diesel four wheel drive hilux towing a trailer. The thing couldn't get to 90kmh if you drove it off a cliff but that didn't deter officer plod. To go to court was going to cost 3500 dollars and the lawyer wanted to have the car tested by an "expert" to have evidence to present to the court, more money. Fine 320 dollars just pay it and forget it.

    I could go on and on and on about the ridiculous laws in australia. Fortunately I spend most of my time overseas where people actually have rights and very soon will be leaving for good. Another recent example, loss of car license for riding a horse whilst drunk, same for being drunk on a skateboard, fortunately I don't drink. The good ole aussie thinks it's great they just don't know any better or just don't care. And to all the aussie's reading this with bumper stickers that say "love it or leave it" I'm sure you'll be happy to know I am taking your advice asap.
    JamesG123 likes this.

  11. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Yup. I did a few contracts in Australia and I seriously considered immigrating for the great people and beautiful country. But the asinine gub'erment and its minions...

    Australia suffers from a government that measures its worth from how it compares to the rest of the Common Wealth and EU not from how well it serves the people. So it doubles down on being as oppressive and socialistic as it can get away with.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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