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bodysurf

Aegean lawsuit

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What a total mess.

 

Chances are there is a crew watch schedule on a hard drive somewhere and if it turns out the Rudolph was on watch when the tragedy occured the plaintiff could easily become the defendant

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I always insure my boat so if my crew is hurt or injured - or God forbid killed, that there is insurance for the injury or loss. I would want my crew compensated by the insurance company.

 

Litigation becomes so personal which I guess is the point of conflict here. I am aware of a case where a guy was in a car accident and his girlfriend was injured. The girlfriend sued to recover for her injuries and the attorney hired by the insurance company to represent the boyfriend/driver kept referring to the boyfriend at trial as "my so called client" because the boyfriend was doing what he could do to make sure his girlfriend won.

 

Regarding the Aegean, the owner's family members should insist the insurance company pay the survivors - partly to compensate the loss, end litigation, and terminate any liability for the estate.

 

There are no winners here.

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Regarding the Aegean, the owner's family members should insist the insurance company pay the survivors - partly to compensate the loss, end litigation, and terminate any liability for the estate.

 

There are no winners here.

But the job of the attorneys of the insurance company for Mavromatis is to try as hard as they can to assign blame elsewhere: Rudolph, the boat mfgr, the tracking device, even MEX for not having a light on the island. I don't think Mrs. Mavromatis has any choice in the matter.

 

It may even be that Mrs. Rudolph tried to collect on a life insurance policy for her husband and the life insurance company says "Hold on there, not so fast. We'll pay you but we need you to file against the Mavromatis so we can collect from thier insurers. Your obligation to do so is right there in paragraph X on page Y of revised endorsement Z"

 

In this case it is likely that all parties are being driven by forces outside thier own control.

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Regarding the Aegean, the owner's family members should insist the insurance company pay the survivors - partly to compensate the loss, end litigation, and terminate any liability for the estate.

 

There are no winners here.

But the job of the attorneys of the insurance company for Mavromatis is to try as hard as they can to assign blame elsewhere: Rudolph, the boat mfgr, the tracking device, even MEX for not having a light on the island. I don't think Mrs. Mavromatis has any choice in the matter.

 

It may even be that Mrs. Rudolph tried to collect on a life insurance policy for her husband and the life insurance company says "Hold on there, not so fast. We'll pay you but we need you to file against the Mavromatis so we can collect from thier insurers. Your obligation to do so is right there in paragraph X on page Y of revised endorsement Z"

 

In this case it is likely that all parties are being driven by forces outside thier own control.

 

Actually, Mrs. Mavromatis - assuming she is the administrator of the estate of her husband - has influence in this matter. If Rudolpf and/or other survivors make a policy limits settlement demand or a demand for less than policy limits and the insurance company rejects the demand, the insurance company potentially exposes the Mavromatis estate to liability for any judgment in excess of the insurance policy limits. Consequently, the administrator of the estate will want to be jumping up and down demanding that the insurance company settle. If the insurance company wants to seek contribution from other people/manufacturers, then the insurance company can settle and file its own lawsuit for contribution.

 

It appears that you are correct that the Rudolphs are being compelled by state law procedure to take the steps they are taking so that they can ultimately collect money from Mr. Mavromatis' insurer -- apparently, the insurance company must have already denied the Rudolph claim.

 

Hopefully the Mavromatis and Rudolph families do not get so wrapped up in litigation that it affects their friendship and support for one another in such a terrible time.

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Regarding the Aegean, the owner's family members should insist the insurance company pay the survivors - partly to compensate the loss, end litigation, and terminate any liability for the estate.

 

There are no winners here.

But the job of the attorneys of the insurance company for Mavromatis is to try as hard as they can to assign blame elsewhere: Rudolph, the boat mfgr, the tracking device, even MEX for not having a light on the island. I don't think Mrs. Mavromatis has any choice in the matter.

 

It may even be that Mrs. Rudolph tried to collect on a life insurance policy for her husband and the life insurance company says "Hold on there, not so fast. We'll pay you but we need you to file against the Mavromatis so we can collect from thier insurers. Your obligation to do so is right there in paragraph X on page Y of revised endorsement Z"

 

In this case it is likely that all parties are being driven by forces outside thier own control.

 

Actually, the job of the attorneys is to stay employed as long as they can.

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The implications of this last paragraph are especially worrisome:

 

"All we know conclusively is that there was a horrible tragedy. It was their boat," the attorney said. "We're all trying to piece together how that happened. Something went wrong, clearly. The information we have leads us to believe there may be several sources of negligence that caused this horrible tragedy - not just limited to the owners of the boat. There may be other negligent parties."

 

Boat manufacturer, manufacturer/distributor/retailer of any navigational gear on board, yacht club sponsoring the race, RC, whoever wrote the NOR & Sis, etc.

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the lawsuit is totally understandable. these guys had kids, i imagine they were breadwinners for their families to some extent, and now theres hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in expected income missing...

 

the truly appalling thing is that these people think its ok to take this dispute to facebook, just disgusting!

 

i dont see any possible way the YC, sponsors, or NOR author could be held liable for anything. would love to hear a legal theory as to how someone could possible craft this argument.

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Regarding the Aegean, the owner's family members should insist the insurance company pay the survivors - partly to compensate the loss, end litigation, and terminate any liability for the estate.

 

There are no winners here.

But the job of the attorneys of the insurance company for Mavromatis is to try as hard as they can to assign blame elsewhere: Rudolph, the boat mfgr, the tracking device, even MEX for not having a light on the island. I don't think Mrs. Mavromatis has any choice in the matter.

 

It may even be that Mrs. Rudolph tried to collect on a life insurance policy for her husband and the life insurance company says "Hold on there, not so fast. We'll pay you but we need you to file against the Mavromatis so we can collect from thier insurers. Your obligation to do so is right there in paragraph X on page Y of revised endorsement Z"

 

In this case it is likely that all parties are being driven by forces outside thier own control.

 

Actually, the job of the attorneys is to stay employed as long as they can.

right, and the best way to do that is to do the best possible job representing your client's interests within the bounds of the law and ethics

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I can see how lawyers could manipulate this.

 

How could a yacht club put on a race in the dangerous ocean where islands can jump out of nowhere?

 

How can B&Garaytheon allow a boat to run into an island?

 

How can Hunter build a boat that can sink?

 

How can the earth put rocks in the ocean that a boat can hit?

 

I see no good end to this

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Actually, Mrs. Mavromatis - assuming she is the administrator of the estate of her husband - has influence in this matter. If Rudolpf and/or other survivors make a policy limits settlement demand or a demand for less than policy limits and the insurance company rejects the demand, the insurance company potentially exposes the Mavromatis estate to liability for any judgment in excess of the insurance policy limits. Consequently, the administrator of the estate will want to be jumping up and down demanding that the insurance company settle. If the insurance company wants to seek contribution from other people/manufacturers, then the insurance company can settle and file its own lawsuit for contribution.

 

 

 

Actually, a policy limits demand that is rejected by the defendant's insurer has the effect of waiving the policy limits, and any judgment in excess of the policy limits has to be paid by the carrier (excluding other coverage issues). That way, the carrier is gambling with its own money in betting that it can do better at trial.

 

But, yes, if the defendant (or carrier calling the shots in the defense) thinks someone else should be on the hook, it will either file a Cross-Complaint or a separate contribution/subrogation action later. Probably not against Mexico, though.

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the lawsuit is totally understandable. these guys had kids, i imagine they were breadwinners for their families to some extent, and now theres hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in expected income missing...

 

the truly appalling thing is that these people think its ok to take this dispute to facebook, just disgusting!

 

i dont see any possible way the YC, sponsors, or NOR author could be held liable for anything. would love to hear a legal theory as to how someone could possible craft this argument.

This is America. Anyone can sue anybody for any reason at any time. Product liability, negligence on the part of the owner/skipper and the beat goes on.

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It is not surprising that the incident will be subjected to litigation. As the lawyers begin to cast their nets, NOSA (the offficers and diectors), no doubt, will be added as parties contributing to the deaths through their negligence.

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the lawsuit is totally understandable. these guys had kids, i imagine they were breadwinners for their families to some extent, and now theres hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in expected income missing...

 

the truly appalling thing is that these people think its ok to take this dispute to facebook, just disgusting!

 

i dont see any possible way the YC, sponsors, or NOR author could be held liable for anything. would love to hear a legal theory as to how someone could possible craft this argument.

 

NOSA promoted a race, at night, in crowded shipping lanes, to cruisers and novices without adequetly informing folks of the risks and offering training to mitigate the hazards. Easy.

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the lawsuit is totally understandable. these guys had kids, i imagine they were breadwinners for their families to some extent, and now theres hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in expected income missing...

 

the truly appalling thing is that these people think its ok to take this dispute to facebook, just disgusting!

 

i dont see any possible way the YC, sponsors, or NOR author could be held liable for anything. would love to hear a legal theory as to how someone could possible craft this argument.

 

NOSA promoted a race, at night, in crowded shipping lanes, to cruisers and novices without adequetly informing folks of the risks and offering training to mitigate the hazards. Easy.

 

Did the NOR/SI's require paper charts and a log be kept? Or did they allow the competitors to rely only on GPS for navigation?

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Nope. Dorag is right - if you go to a baseball game and get beaned by a line drive foul ball you can sue whomever sold you the ticket to the game.

 

In this case the Mavromatis & Rudolph families got beaned by the boat hitting the rocks.

 

Not saying that's a winning argument (proportional responsibility and all that) but the argument could be made.

 

I especially do like the idea of suing MEX.

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Nope. Dorag is right - if you go to a baseball game and get beaned by a line drive foul ball you can sue whomever sold you the ticket to the game.

 

 

 

Not exactly. In California at least, a spectator at a baseball game assumes the risk of getting beaned by a foul ball. Rednick v Golden West Broadcasters (1984) 156 Cal.App.3d 793. You read that case when learning about assumption of the risk in your first year of law school.

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If I recall, Aegean was available for charter, or sailing lessons or something like that. I have wondered if the three other than the owner were guests or whether they were paying passengers? Then my next curiousity is whether the owner of the boat bought insurance for passenger for hire? There could be a lot of twists and turns as this develops.

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Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?

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Taken from the cited article:

"For the record, my dad is not responsible for anyone's death, including his own," the daughter said.

 

I'm hoping critical parts of that statement have been elided, otherwise it ranks as one of the most naive, uninformed statements of all time.

 

In the larger sense, the skipper is ALWAYS responsible for the welfare of all on board.

 

More specifically, there is no way the daughter can know what her dad was doing in the hours leading up to the collision. For all anyone knows, it was he who set the course for the autopilot straight into the island.

 

I still chafe at the non-sailing family calling all the crew "very experienced."

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Nope. Dorag is right - if you go to a baseball game and get beaned by a line drive foul ball you can sue whomever sold you the ticket to the game.

 

In this case the Mavromatis & Rudolph families got beaned by the boat hitting the rocks.

 

Not saying that's a winning argument (proportional responsibility and all that) but the argument could be made.

 

I especially do like the idea of suing MEX.

 

You don't have to win these cases. You just have to make it more expensive and painful to litigate than to settle.

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If I recall, Aegean was available for charter, or sailing lessons or something like that. I have wondered if the three other than the owner were guests or whether they were paying passengers? Then my next curiousity is whether the owner of the boat bought insurance for passenger for hire? There could be a lot of twists and turns as this develops.

 

That sort of unresearched idle speculation serves no purpose.

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Nope. Dorag is right - if you go to a baseball game and get beaned by a line drive foul ball you can sue whomever sold you the ticket to the game.

 

 

 

Not exactly. In California at least, a spectator at a baseball game assumes the risk of getting beaned by a foul ball. Rednick v Golden West Broadcasters (1984) 156 Cal.App.3d 793. You read that case when learning about assumption of the risk in your first year of law school.

 

Except that in this case the plaintiff did not attend the game and did not assume the risk.

 

Again, I'm not saying it's a winning argument but just only that an argument can be made.

 

Would this case end up in a maritime court of some type? Jurisdiction might even be questioned as the accident happened in Mex and not the States?

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Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?

 

From the 2012 NOR:

 

13. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

Competitors participate in this Race entirely at their own risk. See RRS rule 4 (Decision to Race). The Organizing Authority will not accept liability for damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with, prior to, during, or after this Race

 

From the Entry Form Waiver Release section (but note that this is signed by the skipper, not the individual crew members):

 

NOTICE: In consideration of your acceptance of my entry, I hereby agree to the following conditions:

 

1. My crew and I recognize that sailing is an activity that has an inherent risk of damage and injury associated with it. We have read RRS 4, Decision to Race and hereby acknowledge and agree that we are participating in this event entirely at our own risk.

 

2. I acknowledge and agree that neither the organizing authority nor the race committee, nor their members, will be responsible for

a. any damage to the entered boat or my other property, or

b. any injury to myself or my crew, including death, sustained as a result of the participation by myself, my crew and the boat in this event.

 

3. I hereby waive any rights I may have to sue the race organizers (organizing authority, race committee, protest committee, host club, sponsors, or any other organization or official) with respect to personal injury or property damage suffered by myself or my crew as a result of’ our participation in this event and hereby release the race organizers from any liability for such injury or damage to the fullest extent permitted by law.

 

4. I have taken all necessary steps to ensure that myself, my crew and the entered boat are adequately prepared for all possible contingencies, including appropriate safety equipment as may be required by law or that a prudent seaman would consider advisable.

 

5. I grant permission, in perpetuity and without compensation, for NOSA to make, use and show for any purpose, still or motion pictures and live, taped, or filmed television and other reproductions of my boat and/or crew along with my or my crews’ names.

 

6. I understand this document has important legal consequences and have consulted such legal and other advisors as I deem appropriate before signing.

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Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?

 

I'd be very interested to see this also.

 

Or, can one write a valid waiver for crew to sign to help protect the skipper? Some accidents are acts of god that can not be specifically forseen (although not this one). Our legal system would like to believe otherwise.

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Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?

 

From the 2012 NOR:

 

13. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

Competitors participate in this Race entirely at their own risk. See RRS rule 4 (Decision to Race). The Organizing Authority will not accept liability for damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with, prior to, during, or after this Race

 

From the Entry Form Waiver Release section (but note that this is signed by the skipper, not the individual crew members):

 

NOTICE: In consideration of your acceptance of my entry, I hereby agree to the following conditions:

 

 

1. My crew and I recognize that sailing is an activity that has an inherent risk of damage and injury associated with it. We have read RRS 4, Decision to Race and hereby acknowledge and agree that we are participating in this event entirely at our own risk.

 

2. I acknowledge and agree that neither the organizing authority nor the race committee, nor their members, will be responsible for

a. any damage to the entered boat or my other property, or

b. any injury to myself or my crew, including death, sustained as a result of the participation by myself, my crew and the boat in this event.

 

3. I hereby waive any rights I may have to sue the race organizers (organizing authority, race committee, protest committee, host club, sponsors, or any other organization or official) with respect to personal injury or property damage suffered by myself or my crew as a result of’ our participation in this event and hereby release the race organizers from any liability for such injury or damage to the fullest extent permitted by law.

 

4. I have taken all necessary steps to ensure that myself, my crew and the entered boat are adequately prepared for all possible contingencies, including appropriate safety equipment as may be required by law or that a prudent seaman would consider advisable.

 

5. I grant permission, in perpetuity and without compensation, for NOSA to make, use and show for any purpose, still or motion pictures and live, taped, or filmed television and other reproductions of my boat and/or crew along with my or my crews’ names.

 

6. I understand this document has important legal consequences and have consulted such legal and other advisors as I deem appropriate before signing.

 

Except that Mrs. Mavromatis & Rudolph did not sign this waiver AND the incident ocured in MEX; if MEX takes jurisdiction, declares the waiver invalid and then cedes jursisdiction to the states...

 

Enough of playing the devils advocate. I should probably just shut up, this is a terrible tragedy for the families.

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If I recall, Aegean was available for charter, or sailing lessons or something like that. I have wondered if the three other than the owner were guests or whether they were paying passengers? Then my next curiousity is whether the owner of the boat bought insurance for passenger for hire? There could be a lot of twists and turns as this develops.

 

That sort of unresearched idle speculation serves no purpose.

 

I didn't describe everything I was thinking, if the wife of the owner says go ahead and go after the boats insurance policy, the insurance company will have to determine whether the owner bought the right policy. They will learn about this charter or whatever it was and if he bought the wrong policy, they'll be walking away from the deal.

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If I recall, Aegean was available for charter, or sailing lessons or something like that. I have wondered if the three other than the owner were guests or whether they were paying passengers? Then my next curiousity is whether the owner of the boat bought insurance for passenger for hire? There could be a lot of twists and turns as this develops.

 

That sort of unresearched idle speculation serves no purpose.

 

I didn't describe everything I was thinking, if the wife of the owner says go ahead and go after the boats insurance policy, the insurance company will have to determine whether the owner bought the right policy. They will learn about this charter or whatever it was and if he bought the wrong policy, they'll be walking away from the deal.

 

 

Do we even really know who really owned the boat? I'm not sure how these deals really work with the likes of Marina Sailing Club. No doubt they will be named at some point.

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Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?

 

From the 2012 NOR:

 

13. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

Competitors participate in this Race entirely at their own risk. See RRS rule 4 (Decision to Race). The Organizing Authority will not accept liability for damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with, prior to, during, or after this Race

 

From the Entry Form Waiver Release section (but note that this is signed by the skipper, not the individual crew members):

 

NOTICE: In consideration of your acceptance of my entry, I hereby agree to the following conditions:

 

 

1. My crew and I recognize that sailing is an activity that has an inherent risk of damage and injury associated with it. We have read RRS 4, Decision to Race and hereby acknowledge and agree that we are participating in this event entirely at our own risk.

 

2. I acknowledge and agree that neither the organizing authority nor the race committee, nor their members, will be responsible for

a. any damage to the entered boat or my other property, or

b. any injury to myself or my crew, including death, sustained as a result of the participation by myself, my crew and the boat in this event.

 

3. I hereby waive any rights I may have to sue the race organizers (organizing authority, race committee, protest committee, host club, sponsors, or any other organization or official) with respect to personal injury or property damage suffered by myself or my crew as a result of’ our participation in this event and hereby release the race organizers from any liability for such injury or damage to the fullest extent permitted by law.

 

4. I have taken all necessary steps to ensure that myself, my crew and the entered boat are adequately prepared for all possible contingencies, including appropriate safety equipment as may be required by law or that a prudent seaman would consider advisable.

 

5. I grant permission, in perpetuity and without compensation, for NOSA to make, use and show for any purpose, still or motion pictures and live, taped, or filmed television and other reproductions of my boat and/or crew along with my or my crews’ names.

 

6. I understand this document has important legal consequences and have consulted such legal and other advisors as I deem appropriate before signing.

 

The waiver is nonsense. You can't waive claims for gross negligence.

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The implications of this last paragraph are especially worrisome:

 

"All we know conclusively is that there was a horrible tragedy. It was their boat," the attorney said. "We're all trying to piece together how that happened. Something went wrong, clearly. The information we have leads us to believe there may be several sources of negligence that caused this horrible tragedy - not just limited to the owners of the boat. There may be other negligent parties."

 

Boat manufacturer, manufacturer/distributor/retailer of any navigational gear on board, yacht club sponsoring the race, RC, whoever wrote the NOR & Sis, etc.

 

Forget all that . . . Whoever on the crew was supposed to be on watch at the time was negligent!!!!!

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Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?

 

From the 2012 NOR:

 

13. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

Competitors participate in this Race entirely at their own risk. See RRS rule 4 (Decision to Race). The Organizing Authority will not accept liability for damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with, prior to, during, or after this Race

 

From the Entry Form Waiver Release section (but note that this is signed by the skipper, not the individual crew members):

 

NOTICE: In consideration of your acceptance of my entry, I hereby agree to the following conditions:

 

 

1. My crew and I recognize that sailing is an activity that has an inherent risk of damage and injury associated with it. We have read RRS 4, Decision to Race and hereby acknowledge and agree that we are participating in this event entirely at our own risk.

 

2. I acknowledge and agree that neither the organizing authority nor the race committee, nor their members, will be responsible for

a. any damage to the entered boat or my other property, or

b. any injury to myself or my crew, including death, sustained as a result of the participation by myself, my crew and the boat in this event.

 

3. I hereby waive any rights I may have to sue the race organizers (organizing authority, race committee, protest committee, host club, sponsors, or any other organization or official) with respect to personal injury or property damage suffered by myself or my crew as a result of’ our participation in this event and hereby release the race organizers from any liability for such injury or damage to the fullest extent permitted by law.

 

4. I have taken all necessary steps to ensure that myself, my crew and the entered boat are adequately prepared for all possible contingencies, including appropriate safety equipment as may be required by law or that a prudent seaman would consider advisable.

 

5. I grant permission, in perpetuity and without compensation, for NOSA to make, use and show for any purpose, still or motion pictures and live, taped, or filmed television and other reproductions of my boat and/or crew along with my or my crews’ names.

 

6. I understand this document has important legal consequences and have consulted such legal and other advisors as I deem appropriate before signing.

 

The waiver is nonsense. You can't waive claims for gross negligence.

 

who committed the gross negligence and when, do?

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

I believe the boat was owned by the skipper, but made available to others for charter through Marina Sailing. So for the purposes of N2E 2012, it was not a charter but a private vessel operated by the owner. I don't think there's any indication that the crew were paying passengers.

 

I agree that it's clear that the skipper and crew contributed to the accident. Question (for the lawyers) is who else with deeper pockets might have some theoretical liability, and preferably a willingness to settle rather than litigate.

 

Given that the race has been run for many years and thousands (likely tens of thousands) of boats have navigated it safely it seems like it would be hard to prove gross negligence by any of the organizers.

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

Don't you ever get tired of popcorn? I mean this might even require switching to peanuts and sunflower seeds occasionally.

 

From the sounds of things it had turned into a family vs family squabble and they have probably different versions of why they are even squabbling at this point.

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In most justifications you cannot sign away or limit your rights in advance. If you could there would be no medical malpractice lawsuits along with many others. You would never see a doctor without signing away many paths to take the doc to court.

 

In this case the person in charge or skipper effectively drove the boat and its passengers off a known cliff and to their violent death. There is no defense only the debate on the amount of legal damages owed the families. The same would be true if this was a church bus on a movie outing.

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I always insure my boat so if my crew is hurt or injured - or God forbid killed, that there is insurance for the injury or loss. I would want my crew compensated by the insurance company.

 

Litigation becomes so personal which I guess is the point of conflict here. I am aware of a case where a guy was in a car accident and his girlfriend was injured. The girlfriend sued to recover for her injuries and the attorney hired by the insurance company to represent the boyfriend/driver kept referring to the boyfriend at trial as "my so called client" because the boyfriend was doing what he could do to make sure his girlfriend won.

 

Regarding the Aegean, the owner's family members should insist the insurance company pay the survivors - partly to compensate the loss, end litigation, and terminate any liability for the estate.

 

There are no winners here.

 

why does someone need to paid here? why do damages need to be issued?

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The rules of our american justice system would pay the families for at least their loss of income. In some areas you could get some $$$$ emotional pain and loss?

 

No idea what Mexico grants families for the negligent loss of a loved one or family provider?

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Might be interesting to see how established assumption of risk for sporting events precedent interacts with maritime principles if this thing ever goes to court. IIRC California has strong A of R doctrine when skiiers or horsey riders get hurt or dead (codified, even?). Imagine it would be at least as strong for yacht racing. Anyone have a copy of the waiver that NOSA required?

 

I'd be very interested to see this also.

 

Or, can one write a valid waiver for crew to sign to help protect the skipper? Some accidents are acts of god that can not be specifically forseen (although not this one). Our legal system would like to believe otherwise.

 

Waivers are best used to show that the injured party was informed of the danger and voluntarily took on the activity regardless.

 

But as many have already said, it would have to be a danger that was foreseeable and usual for the activity (actual language differs from state to state), and crashing into an island while under autopilot is (hopefully) not a usual or foreseeable activity in a typical sailboat race. I guess we'll finally get to see the evidence soon that the CG has been sitting on for all this time...can't hold anyone responsible when there's still no official word on what happened!

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

Did you read the official CG report?

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of course, theres always a chance (perhaps very remote) that some sort of mechanical failure or series of failures prevented them from altering course to avoid the island.

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I always insure my boat so if my crew is hurt or injured - or God forbid killed, that there is insurance for the injury or loss. I would want my crew compensated by the insurance company.

 

Litigation becomes so personal which I guess is the point of conflict here. I am aware of a case where a guy was in a car accident and his girlfriend was injured. The girlfriend sued to recover for her injuries and the attorney hired by the insurance company to represent the boyfriend/driver kept referring to the boyfriend at trial as "my so called client" because the boyfriend was doing what he could do to make sure his girlfriend won.

 

Regarding the Aegean, the owner's family members should insist the insurance company pay the survivors - partly to compensate the loss, end litigation, and terminate any liability for the estate.

 

There are no winners here.

 

why does someone need to paid here? why do damages need to be issued?

oh i dont know, mustang. Perhaps the kids should just go shake the money tree out back so they can go to college? the grieving families should just let the house go into foreclosure, and move into a small apartment that they can afford without dad's income, sound good? ...youve got a lot to learn, boy

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from the thread of the Mac26? that was overloaded and lives lost in DAGO

 

under Maritime Law any claim or liability is limited to the Value of the Ship

 

think that was mentioned in the Concordia cruise ship thread too

 

 

But then again:

 

 

 

Back to Maritime Law

 

 

http://www.mycounsel...gal_issues.html

Defeating limitation of liability

in maritime law

 

An anachronistic law can still prevent fair recovery for plaintiffs who

suffer losses on the waves

 

By Tim Akpinar

 

 

From the February issue of 2006 Trial magazine, the magazine of The Association

of Trial Lawyers of America. Posted with permission of Trial (February 2006) Back to Kayak and Canoe Links

Copyright The Association of Trial Lawyers of America

Back to Recreational Boating Accidents

 

Back to Boating Accident Legal Issues

 

Before a Staten Island ferry struck a pier on October 15, 2003, killing 11 people and injuring more than 60, most of

the passengers were unaware of an arcane concept of maritime law known as limitation of liability. They soon saw how

a law meant to protect shipowners during the age of sail was invoked to prevent them from achieving a full and fair

recovery for their losses.

 

Under the Limitation of Shipowners’ Liability Act of 1851,1 a shipowner may limit liability for losses from negligence

or unseaworthiness arising without his or her privity (participation and involvement) and knowledge. Liability is

limited for loss of life, personal injury, and loss of or damage to cargo. The act can also limit liability to the value of

the vessel or the shipowner’s interest in the vessel and revenues earned from carrying passengers and cargo.2

 

After an investigation revealed that the pilot in the Staten Island ferry crash had passed out at the helm, the city of

New York, citing the act, filed a complaint seeking to limit its liability to $14.4 million, the postcasualty value of the

ferry.3 However, the National Transportation Safety Board introduced a formidable barrier to limiting liability when it

blamed the accident on the city’s poor oversight of its ferry fleet and its failure to provide the fleet with effective

safety measures.4

 

When the law was enacted, there was a compelling reason to limit liability. Going to sea was a venture filled with peril

and uncertainty. Wrongful death, personal injury, and cargo damage claims from a sinking or catastrophic fire could

expose a shipowner to liability far greater than the value of the vessel. This could discourage vessel owners and

investors from engaging in maritime commerce.

 

The law limits liability for things a shipowner cannot control, such as the negligent actions of an officer on the other

side of the world. It also limits liability for unseaworthy conditions of which the owner could not reasonably know.5

Limitation of liability was invoked in the loss of the Titanic, which in April 1912 struck an iceberg and sank, taking

more than 1,500 lives. In the wrongful death and injury lawsuits that followed, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell

Holmes held that the Titanic’s British owner should be allowed to limit liability to the ship’s postcasualty value, which

amounted to about $92,000 for a cluster of its remaining lifeboats.6

 

The Titanic case demonstrated that U.S. courts would allow a foreign steamship line to invoke American limitation

law. Almost a century later, the issue raises concerns that owners of foreign liquid-natural-gas vessels could be

protected from liability following a catastrophic explosion in a U.S. port.

 

The act was amended in 1935 as a result of another maritime tragedy, the loss of the Morro Castle. The liner caught

fire off the New Jersey coast on September 9, 1935, and foundered on the beaches off Asbury Park. One hundred

thirty-seven passengers and crew died.

 

The success of the owners in limiting their liability to the $20,000 residual value of the ship’s charred remains

prompted passage of the Loss of Life Amendments.7 Applying to seagoing vessels only, the amendments provided that

if the salvage value of the vessel was insufficient to satisfy wrongful death and injury claims, a limitation fund of $60

per ton salvaged would be established. The limitation fund was increased in 1984 to $420 per ton.

 

Limitation of liability has even been applied in boating accidents. For instance, a boat owner raised limitation of

liability when his recreational boat caught fire at a Lake Michigan marina. The fire spread and damaged several of the

surrounding vessels.8

 

When the owner attempted to limit liability to the $800 salvage value of the boat, the federal trial court dismissed his

petition, finding that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. The circuit court affirmed, but the U.S. Supreme Court

reversed and remanded back to the trial court, finding that maritime jurisdiction is appropriate “when a ‘potential

hazard to maritime commerce arises out of activity that bears a substantial relationship to traditional maritime

activity.’”9

 

This means that if the steering cable snaps on a worthless outboard skiff, causing it to crash into a blameless vessel,

the owner of the skiff may limit a paralyzed passenger’s award to the $150 scrap value of the wrecked skiff. This

concept has even been extended to personal watercraft, with the Eleventh Circuit limiting recovery for injuries caused

by a Jet Ski accident.10

 

The act does not apply to every maritime mishap. The act cannot be invoked in environmental casualties involving the

Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90),11 Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act,12 or Wreck Act.13 However, OPA 90

establishes its own limitation guidelines, providing that with respect to each incident, the liability of a responsible

party shall not exceed:

 

1. for a tank vessel, the greater of $1,200 per gross ton;

 

or in the case of a vessel greater than 3,000 gross tons, $10,000,000;

 

or in the case of a vessel of 3,000 gross tons or less, $2,000,000;

 

2. for any other vessel, $600 per gross tons or $500,000, whichever is greater.

 

Liability cannot be limited if the environmental incident was caused by gross negligence, willful misconduct, or the

violation of applicable federal safety, construction, or operating regulations. Also, if the responsible party fails or

refuses to report the incident, provide reasonable cooperation and assistance, or comply with an order under §1321©

or (e) of OPA 90 or the Intervention on the High Seas Act,14 limitation of liability would be denied.

 

A shipowner also cannot limit liability for crew wages, maintenance, and cure. Maintenance and cure cover a seaman’s

living and medical expenses, respectively, and constitute economic damages. Therefore, a seaman does not need to

demonstrate the negligence of the employer or the unseaworthiness of the vessel to qualify for them.

Owner’s complaint

 

According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,15 a vessel owner may file a complaint to limit liability in the

appropriate district court no later than six months after receiving a written claim of loss. The complaint should include

the date and place of the incident, the vessel’s current location and value, the amount of freight received and

recoverable, and the amount of all demands by injured parties.16

 

The complaint may be filed in any district where the vessel has been attached, arrested, or sued or, if not in a suit, in

any district where the vessel is physically present. If the vessel sank in any navigable water, any district may be

named.17

 

The shipowner may also invoke limitation by pleading it as an affirmative defense in his or her answer to a lawsuit.18

By invoking limitation with a complaint rather than waiting to answer, however, the shipowner exercises control over

venue (although venue can be transferred by the plaintiff’s motion). Another benefit to the shipowner of invoking

limitation with a complaint is that it consolidates all claims stemming from a marine casualty. The court then enters

an injunction barring claimants from pursuing their claims outside the limitation action.19

 

For merchant mariners and commercial fishermen, the Saving to Suitors Clause20 favors the plaintiff who acts first.

Commercial mariners recognized as “seamen”21 enjoy special remedies under the Jones Act.22 A Jones Act case

brought in state court is generally not removable to federal court because of the Saving to Suitors Clause. However, a

defendant shipowner can file a motion to remove the case to federal court.

 

If the shipowner acts first and files a limitation complaint, the case goes to federal court. By moving first and filing a

lawsuit in state court, the plaintiff can preempt the shipowner from selecting venue. If the shipowner doesn’t act

within six months of receiving written notice of the claim, the plaintiff is free to initiate an action in the forum of his

or her choice.

 

When the defendant shipowner files the complaint for limitation of, or exoneration from, liability, he or she should

expect it to be challenged by the plaintiff’s motion to lift the limitation stay. Before the district court will dissolve the

injunction, the plaintiff must stipulate that the value of the limitation fund equals the combined value of the vessel

and its cargo; waive the right to claim res judicata based on any judgment rendered against the vessel owner outside

of the limitation proceedings; and concede the district court’s exclusive jurisdiction to determine limitation of liability.

23

 

As the Titanic and Morro Castle cases showed, the value of a severely damaged ship can be meager. Even with the act’

s amendments, insurance carriers are protected from large wrongful death and injury claims. And because the

proceeds of hull insurance do not enter the limitation fund—even though owners are compensated for their losses—

that money remains out of the reach of marine casualty victims.

 

Sink or swim

To defeat limitation of liability, either as a complaint or an affirmative defense, the plaintiff attorney must

demonstrate the vessel owner’s privity and knowledge of negligent operations or dangerous conditions that resulted in

the loss. This can include the owner’s knowledge that personnel failed to follow prudent practices or standard

operating procedures—that is, they failed to comply with necessary training, properly qualify officers and crew for

standing watch, properly verify backgrounds of crew members, or take action after learning of alcohol or drug abuse.

 

The focus is on the shipowner’s knowledge, actual or imputed, of negligent conduct. If the shipowner had no reason to

know of the crew’s negligence—for example, an errant navigational error—liability could be limited. The shipowner

has the burden of demonstrating that he or she did not have privity or knowledge of the negligence or

unseaworthiness giving rise to the loss.

 

If a shipowner argues that he or she exercised proper care in discovering conditions that rendered a vessel

unseaworthy, the ship’s records and logs will help verify that claim. If Coast Guard inspections reveal, for instance,

boiler safety valves that failed to lift during tests, emergency-fire-pump diesel engines that failed to start on demand,

watertight doors that failed to operate remotely, or lifeboat davits that failed to descend, the shipowner will find it

difficult to argue that he or she did not have knowledge of these problems.

 

Similarly, in a case involving crew fatigue, relevant evidence would include time sheets, watch schedules, and medical

records. If a claimant could show that excessive overtime, absence of relief personnel, or known medical conditions

led to crew fatigue, the owner would be responsible.

In fighting liability limits, do not overlook the limitation fund. If you represent a seriously injured claimant and the

ship is valued at $15,000, the $420 per ton allowance in the Loss of Life Amendments would apply. For a 10,000-ton

ship, the fund would be $4.2 million.

 

Case law

One recent case testing the scope of liability limits was brought by a cruise ship passenger who was injured while

operating a Jet Ski when she was struck by another Jet Ski.24 Both vehicles had been rented from the cruise line.

The injured passenger argued that the cruise line failed to properly train and supervise the operators, allowed too

many vessels to operate in a restricted area, failed to enforce safety rules, and failed to check operators for

intoxication.25

The district court found that because the passengers had received instructions from the cruise line, the cruise line was

not liable. The court also found that even if the cruise line were liable, it could have limited its liability to the $7,200

value of the Jet Skis, as none of the line’s owners or senior management was present or had knowledge of negligence.

26

 

In a Fifth Circuit case, two work boats collided in fog on the Mississippi River in Louisiana.27 The captain of the

defendant’s vessel had not used a lookout or turned on his running lights. Although the vessel had radar, the captain

had not been aboard the day it was installed and was not trained in its use (other than being given a manual to read on

his own). Because the vessel had been running at full speed, engine noise made it difficult to hear the radio or fog

signals of other vessels.

 

The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision to deny limitation of liability. It found several failures that

attributed privity and knowledge of unseaworthiness to the vessel owner, including failure to use a lookout, to train

the captain in the use of radar, to evaluate the vessel’s unseaworthiness (which became relevant with the engine

noise), to inspect vessel logs, to employ a safety manager, and to provide safety training and safety manuals.28

In a federal district court case, deckhands on a passenger ferry were preparing the vessel for debarkation shortly

after docking. A gate became dislodged from its track and fell on one of the deckhands, fracturing his hip and three

foot bones.29

 

The court held that the deckhand’s own negligence, together with the negligence of another deckhand, had

contributed to his injuries. But the court also found the ferry to be unseaworthy and denied limitation of liability. It

concluded that if the gate had been equipped with a locking device, it would have opened fully and locked in place

rather than being knocked off its tracks. The court noted that such a device was called for in the vessel plans and that

the owner installed one after the deckhand was injured, showing that this safety measure was economical and feasible.

Industry changes

 

Technology and vessel management have evolved tremendously since the liability limitation act was adopted in 1851.

Satellite communications, global positioning systems, reliable power plants, and modern construction have minimized

many perils of going to sea. In addition, strict requirements for inspection, classification, underwriting, and personnel

standing watch have made it less plausible for owners to assert lack of privity and knowledge of vessel and crew

deficiencies.

 

Passenger vessels of U.S. registry must meet Coast Guard safety regulations and be inspected annually.30 These

regulations cover hull structure, watertightness, structural soundness to minimize fire hazards, lifesaving and

firefighting equipment, vessel control, and requirements pertaining to the safe navigation of the ship. Any U.S.-

registered ship that passes the Coast Guard’s annual inspection must display its certification where passengers can

see it.31

 

Many passenger vessels in U.S. ports are registered under foreign flags. Although the owner may be headquartered in

the United States, foreign registry allows the owner to avoid U.S. taxes and labor laws. However, foreign vessels that

pick up passengers in the United States are subject to inspection because the Coast Guard enforces the International

Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.32 The Coast Guard examines foreign passenger ships when they first go into

service at U.S. ports and conducts quarterly inspections thereafter. The Coast Guard observes lifeboat drills and

conducts tests on other safety equipment.

 

U.S.-registered passenger vessels can comply with Coast Guard inspection requirements by submitting to surveys

performed by an authorized classification society, such as the American Bureau of Shipping. Classification societies

set technical standards for ship design and construction. To ensure compliance, these organizations use professional

surveyors who specialize in various aspects of a ship, such as the hull, machinery, or piping.

Crew competence is critical to safe vessel operation. The International Convention on Standards of Training,

Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) sets qualification standards for masters, officers, and watch

personnel on seagoing merchant ships.33

 

As amended in 1995, STCW requires rest periods of 10 hours in any 24-hour period for crews keeping watch. It also

requires crews to be trained in basic firefighting, elementary first aid, survival techniques, safety, and social

responsibility. STCW also requires an understanding between the master and deck officers of bridge teamwork

procedures and, for vessels with these systems, training for automatic-radar-plotting aids and the global maritime-

distress safety system.34

 

If a defendant asserts lack of knowledge about the unseaworthiness of a vessel, records of Coast Guard inspections,

classification society surveys, or other inspections may reveal otherwise. Advances in nondestructive testing are also

useful for proving privity and knowledge. Ultrasound testing, for example, is one of the tools available to the

shipowner for determining hull-plate thickness. If a corroded hull plate fails during a soft grounding that it should

have withstood, ultrasound records can suggest how imminent the failure was and how it might have been addressed.

If a ship breaks apart, X-ray imaging of welds can reveal defects that should have been discovered through due

diligence. If a ship’s engine fails to restart during a maneuver and a collision occurs, records of previous problems

with fuel pumps or compressed air supply could negate an owner’s contention that he or she was unaware of the

problem.

 

Limitation of liability was born of a desire to encourage maritime commerce, but in many situations it has become an

anachronism—or, according to some commentators, an instrument of tort “reform.” Modern technology and vessel

management protocols have resulted in greater control and less risk to shipowners and operators. As such, insurance

carriers appear to have emerged as the true beneficiaries of limitation of liability.

 

Tim Akpinar is a former merchant marine officer and practices maritime law in Little Neck, New York.

 

 

End Notes

 

1. 46 U.S.C. app. §§181-196 (2000).

2. Id. §181.

3. See Susan Saulny & Mike McIntyre, Bid to Limit Ferry Liability Hits Raw Nerve, N.Y. TIMES, Dec. 4,

2003, at B3.

4. See Tom Perrotta, Report on Ferry Crash Strikes Blow to City’s Bid to Limit Civil Damages, N.Y. L.J.,

Mar. 9, 2005, at 1.

5. 46 U.S.C. app. §183(a) (2000).

6. Oceanic Steam Navigation Co. v. Mellor, 233 U.S. 718 (1914); see also Titanic, 209 F. 501, 502

(S.D.N.Y. 1913).

7. 46 U.S.C. app. §183( B)(f) (2000).

8. Sisson v. Ruby, 497 U.S. 358 (1990).

9. Id. at 362 (quoting Foremost Ins. Co. v. Richardson, 457 U.S. 668, 675 n.5 (1982)).

10. See, e.g., Keys Jet Ski, Inc. v. Kays, 893 F.2d 1225 (11th Cir. 1990).

11. 33 U.S.C. §§2703-2761 (2000).

12. 33 U.S.C. §§401-467 (2000).

13. 33 U.S.C. §§409, 411, 414-415 (2000).

14. 33 U.S.C. §§1471-1487 (2000).

15. FED. R. CIV. P., SUPP. R. FOR CERTAIN ADMIRALTY & MARITIME CLAIMS, R.F(1).

16. Id. R.F(2).

17. Id. R.F(9).

18. See 46 U.S.C. app. §185 (2000); R.F(1), supra note 15.

19. R.F(3), supra note 15.

20. 28 U.S.C. §1333 (2000).

21. See Chandris, Inc. v. Latsis, 515 U.S. 347 (1995).

22. 46 U.S.C. app. §688 (2000).

23. See In re Complaint of Ross Island Sand & Gravel, 226 F.3d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 2000).

24. In re Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., 55 F. Supp. 2d 1367 (S.D. Fla. 1999), aff’d, 214 F.3d 1356 (11th Cir. 2000).

25. Id. at 1370.

26. Id. at 1369-72.

27. Trico Marine Assets, Inc. v. Diamond B. Marine Servs., Inc., 332 F.3d 779, 783-84 (5th Cir. 2003).

28. Id. at 790.

29. See In re Parish of Plaquemines as Owner of the M/V Pointe-A-La-Hache for Exoneration from or Limitation of

Liability, 231 F. Supp. 2d 506 (E.D. La. 2002).

30. See, e.g., U.S. Coast Guard, Cruise Ship Consumer Fact Sheet (July 1998), available at www.uscg. mil/ hq/g

-m/cruiseship.htm (last visited Jan. 4, 2006).

31. See, e.g., id.

32. International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Nov. 1, 1974.

33. International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW),

July 7, 1978; see also U.S. Coast Guard, STCW—What’s SCTW?, available at www. uscg.mil/stcw/stcw-

history.htm (last visited Jan. 4, 2006).

34. see, e.g., U.S. Coast Guard, supra note 33.

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

I believe the boat was owned by the skipper, but made available to others for charter through Marina Sailing. So for the purposes of N2E 2012, it was not a charter but a private vessel operated by the owner. I don't think there's any indication that the crew were paying passengers.

 

I agree that it's clear that the skipper and crew contributed to the accident. Question (for the lawyers) is who else with deeper pockets might have some theoretical liability, and preferably a willingness to settle rather than litigate.

 

Given that the race has been run for many years and thousands (likely tens of thousands) of boats have navigated it safely it seems like it would be hard to prove gross negligence by any of the organizers.

 

When you point to the history of the event, remember thatb is was restricted to boats that sailed to Ensenada. In other words, a hand on a tiller. As the race entries dwindled, NOSA sought to increase attendance by expanding the cruiser classes. Then added the NASBOAT option allowing the use of motors. That enticed a whole new set of folks, arguably less experienced, to eneter the race. As NOSA knowingly enticed novices to enter the race, what duty did they have to ensure they were aware of the hazards of racing at night in heavily used commercial shipping lanes, with dark islands, hazards off Rosarita Beach, etc. What did NOSA to ensure they were competent to participate? What training and cautions did NOSA promulgate?

 

Everyone knows that it requires a license and passing certain tests in order to drive a car. No such requirements exits for driving a boat. NOSA understood taht and encouraged novices to go in harm's way.

 

No, the officers and directors of NOSA are the deep pockets in this litigation and could be held accountable.

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

I believe the boat was owned by the skipper, but made available to others for charter through Marina Sailing. So for the purposes of N2E 2012, it was not a charter but a private vessel operated by the owner. I don't think there's any indication that the crew were paying passengers.

 

I agree that it's clear that the skipper and crew contributed to the accident. Question (for the lawyers) is who else with deeper pockets might have some theoretical liability, and preferably a willingness to settle rather than litigate.

 

Given that the race has been run for many years and thousands (likely tens of thousands) of boats have navigated it safely it seems like it would be hard to prove gross negligence by any of the organizers.

 

When you point to the history of the event, remember thatb is was restricted to boats that sailed to Ensenada. In other words, a hand on a tiller. As the race entries dwindled, NOSA sought to increase attendance by expanding the cruiser classes. Then added the NASBOAT option allowing the use of motors. That enticed a whole new set of folks, arguably less experienced, to eneter the race. As NOSA knowingly enticed novices to enter the race, what duty did they have to ensure they were aware of the hazards of racing at night in heavily used commercial shipping lanes, with dark islands, hazards off Rosarita Beach, etc. What did NOSA to ensure they were competent to participate? What training and cautions did NOSA promulgate?

 

Everyone knows that it requires a license and passing certain tests in order to drive a car. No such requirements exits for driving a boat. NOSA understood taht and encouraged novices to go in harm's way.

 

No, the officers and directors of NOSA are the deep pockets in this litigation and could be held accountable.

 

You can add to the list of things that don't require a license:

 

1. Using spell check for forum posts.

 

2. Any requirement to do just a cursory review of a forum post before posting.

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

I believe the boat was owned by the skipper, but made available to others for charter through Marina Sailing. So for the purposes of N2E 2012, it was not a charter but a private vessel operated by the owner. I don't think there's any indication that the crew were paying passengers.

 

I agree that it's clear that the skipper and crew contributed to the accident. Question (for the lawyers) is who else with deeper pockets might have some theoretical liability, and preferably a willingness to settle rather than litigate.

 

Given that the race has been run for many years and thousands (likely tens of thousands) of boats have navigated it safely it seems like it would be hard to prove gross negligence by any of the organizers.

 

When you point to the history of the event, remember thatb is was restricted to boats that sailed to Ensenada. In other words, a hand on a tiller. As the race entries dwindled, NOSA sought to increase attendance by expanding the cruiser classes. Then added the NASBOAT option allowing the use of motors. That enticed a whole new set of folks, arguably less experienced, to eneter the race. As NOSA knowingly enticed novices to enter the race, what duty did they have to ensure they were aware of the hazards of racing at night in heavily used commercial shipping lanes, with dark islands, hazards off Rosarita Beach, etc. What did NOSA to ensure they were competent to participate? What training and cautions did NOSA promulgate?

 

Everyone knows that it requires a license and passing certain tests in order to drive a car. No such requirements exits for driving a boat. NOSA understood taht and encouraged novices to go in harm's way.

 

No, the officers and directors of NOSA are the deep pockets in this litigation and could be held accountable.

 

But grasshopper, in this case the owner of the vessel was a licensed USCG Captain. Much more educated than the average racer. Go around any fleet and see how many are educated by the seat of their pants vs. having taken any IRPCAS right of way classes, any seamanship courses, or hold any certifications. Yoiu'll find the vast majority of the fleet (experienced or not) have had little boating education. This guy was heads and shoulders above the rest of the fleet. Your theory makes no sense in this case.

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from the thread of the Mac26? that was overloaded and lives lost in DAGO

 

under Maritime Law any claim or liability is limited to the Value of the Ship

 

think that was mentioned in the Concordia cruise ship thread too

 

 

But then again:

 

 

 

Back to Maritime Law

 

 

http://www.mycounsel...gal_issues.html

Defeating limitation of liability

in maritime law

 

 

Dang Woody, this is the most lucid thing you have done ever. If you just started meds, stay on them! If you just fell off the meds, stay off them!

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Did boat's owner/skipper really hold a captain's license?

 

Whatever the answer to that is, limitation is difficult to establish even when all the "owners" are ashore. Almost impossible when he's on the boat, since limitation requires any negligence or rule disobedience to be outside owner's "privity or knowledge".

 

I'm sorry to see the legal proceedings create blood this bad between the grieving families. A little pre-filing PR by phone or letter to the Mavromatis family explaining why it was being done, and was necessary to do before claiming against insurance policy only, might have gone a long way to stop public bickering and soul-baring, and maybe even private bickering.

 

Grieving people don't always behave perfectly or even rationally, nor are they expected to. But usually it's done in private. I'm also sorry to see "social media" has put an end to that.

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I did a Google search to see if the USCG lists Captains online. I could not find a search to do that.

Newspaper reports say Theofanis Mavromatis held an USCG Captain License:

http://www.dailynews.com/breakingnews/ci_20514734/daughter-lost-yacht-skipper-says-father-had-lifetime

 

Additionally he had done N2E previously. If I recall the crew had done one too previously. They weren't "green" no matter how DoRag may want to put a spin on it.

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from the thread of the Mac26? that was overloaded and lives lost in DAGO

 

under Maritime Law any claim or liability is limited to the Value of the Ship

 

think that was mentioned in the Concordia cruise ship thread too

 

 

But then again:

 

 

 

Back to Maritime Law

 

 

http://www.mycounsel...gal_issues.html

Defeating limitation of liability

in maritime law

 

 

Dang Woody, this is the most lucid thing you have done ever. If you just started meds, stay on them! If you just fell off the meds, stay off them!

 

I'm sorry :unsure:B)

 

now getting the horses to actually drink the water ....................................

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When you point to the history of the event, remember thatb is was restricted to boats that sailed to Ensenada. In other words, a hand on a tiller. As the race entries dwindled, NOSA sought to increase attendance by expanding the cruiser classes. Then added the NASBOAT option allowing the use of motors. That enticed a whole new set of folks, arguably less experienced, to eneter the race. As NOSA knowingly enticed novices to enter the race, what duty did they have to ensure they were aware of the hazards of racing at night in heavily used commercial shipping lanes, with dark islands, hazards off Rosarita Beach, etc. What did NOSA to ensure they were competent to participate? What training and cautions did NOSA promulgate?

 

Everyone knows that it requires a license and passing certain tests in order to drive a car. No such requirements exits for driving a boat. NOSA understood taht and encouraged novices to go in harm's way.

 

No, the officers and directors of NOSA are the deep pockets in this litigation and could be held accountable.

 

Your skill at fitting so much bait in one post is admirable

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When you point to the history of the event, remember thatb is was restricted to boats that sailed to Ensenada. In other words, a hand on a tiller. As the race entries dwindled, NOSA sought to increase attendance by expanding the cruiser classes. Then added the NASBOAT option allowing the use of motors. That enticed a whole new set of folks, arguably less experienced, to eneter the race. As NOSA knowingly enticed novices to enter the race, what duty did they have to ensure they were aware of the hazards of racing at night in heavily used commercial shipping lanes, with dark islands, hazards off Rosarita Beach, etc. What did NOSA to ensure they were competent to participate? What training and cautions did NOSA promulgate?

 

Everyone knows that it requires a license and passing certain tests in order to drive a car. No such requirements exits for driving a boat. NOSA understood taht and encouraged novices to go in harm's way.

 

No, the officers and directors of NOSA are the deep pockets in this litigation and could be held accountable.

 

Your skill at fitting so much bait in one post is admirable

 

Oh yeah, he's a pro all right.

 

Wonder if he holds "Master of Trolling vessels, near-Coastal"

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

I believe the boat was owned by the skipper, but made available to others for charter through Marina Sailing. So for the purposes of N2E 2012, it was not a charter but a private vessel operated by the owner. I don't think there's any indication that the crew were paying passengers.

 

I agree that it's clear that the skipper and crew contributed to the accident. Question (for the lawyers) is who else with deeper pockets might have some theoretical liability, and preferably a willingness to settle rather than litigate.

 

Given that the race has been run for many years and thousands (likely tens of thousands) of boats have navigated it safely it seems like it would be hard to prove gross negligence by any of the organizers.

 

When you point to the history of the event, remember thatb is was restricted to boats that sailed to Ensenada. In other words, a hand on a tiller. As the race entries dwindled, NOSA sought to increase attendance by expanding the cruiser classes. Then added the NASBOAT option allowing the use of motors. That enticed a whole new set of folks, arguably less experienced, to eneter the race. As NOSA knowingly enticed novices to enter the race, what duty did they have to ensure they were aware of the hazards of racing at night in heavily used commercial shipping lanes, with dark islands, hazards off Rosarita Beach, etc. What did NOSA to ensure they were competent to participate? What training and cautions did NOSA promulgate?

 

Everyone knows that it requires a license and passing certain tests in order to drive a car. No such requirements exits for driving a boat. NOSA understood taht and encouraged novices to go in harm's way.

 

No, the officers and directors of NOSA are the deep pockets in this litigation and could be held accountable.

 

Come to think of it:

I don't know of any sailboat racing event in the U.S. that requires any "skills test."

I'm not familiar with any USCG Regulation or State Regulation that requires any "skills test" or "licensing" (for adults) for operating a pleasure (non-commercial) sailboat.

 

While the USCG and NASBLA would wish to grow their government bureaucracies with a suggestion like yours, The People have been fighting and resisting this government intrusion for decades.

 

Do you have a dog in this fight?

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

I believe the boat was owned by the skipper, but made available to others for charter through Marina Sailing. So for the purposes of N2E 2012, it was not a charter but a private vessel operated by the owner. I don't think there's any indication that the crew were paying passengers.

 

I agree that it's clear that the skipper and crew contributed to the accident. Question (for the lawyers) is who else with deeper pockets might have some theoretical liability, and preferably a willingness to settle rather than litigate.

 

Given that the race has been run for many years and thousands (likely tens of thousands) of boats have navigated it safely it seems like it would be hard to prove gross negligence by any of the organizers.

 

When you point to the history of the event, remember thatb is was restricted to boats that sailed to Ensenada. In other words, a hand on a tiller. As the race entries dwindled, NOSA sought to increase attendance by expanding the cruiser classes. Then added the NASBOAT option allowing the use of motors. That enticed a whole new set of folks, arguably less experienced, to eneter the race. As NOSA knowingly enticed novices to enter the race, what duty did they have to ensure they were aware of the hazards of racing at night in heavily used commercial shipping lanes, with dark islands, hazards off Rosarita Beach, etc. What did NOSA to ensure they were competent to participate? What training and cautions did NOSA promulgate?

 

Everyone knows that it requires a license and passing certain tests in order to drive a car. No such requirements exits for driving a boat. NOSA understood taht and encouraged novices to go in harm's way.

 

No, the officers and directors of NOSA are the deep pockets in this litigation and could be held accountable.

 

Come to think of it:

I don't know of any sailboat racing event in the U.S. that requires any "skills test."

I'm not familiar with any USCG Regulation or State Regulation that requires any "skills test" or "licensing" (for adults) for operating a pleasure (non-commercial) sailboat.

 

While the USCG and NASBLA would wish to grow their government bureaucracies with a suggestion like yours, The People have been fighting and resisting this government intrusion for decades.

 

Do you have a dog in this fight?

 

Membership in a bona fide yacht club used to help cover who could race in the past.

 

In New Jersey now you need a boat class, test and annual license to operate anything on the water with a motor.

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

I believe the boat was owned by the skipper, but made available to others for charter through Marina Sailing. So for the purposes of N2E 2012, it was not a charter but a private vessel operated by the owner. I don't think there's any indication that the crew were paying passengers.

 

I agree that it's clear that the skipper and crew contributed to the accident. Question (for the lawyers) is who else with deeper pockets might have some theoretical liability, and preferably a willingness to settle rather than litigate.

 

Given that the race has been run for many years and thousands (likely tens of thousands) of boats have navigated it safely it seems like it would be hard to prove gross negligence by any of the organizers.

 

When you point to the history of the event, remember thatb is was restricted to boats that sailed to Ensenada. In other words, a hand on a tiller. As the race entries dwindled, NOSA sought to increase attendance by expanding the cruiser classes. Then added the NASBOAT option allowing the use of motors. That enticed a whole new set of folks, arguably less experienced, to eneter the race. As NOSA knowingly enticed novices to enter the race, what duty did they have to ensure they were aware of the hazards of racing at night in heavily used commercial shipping lanes, with dark islands, hazards off Rosarita Beach, etc. What did NOSA to ensure they were competent to participate? What training and cautions did NOSA promulgate?

 

Everyone knows that it requires a license and passing certain tests in order to drive a car. No such requirements exits for driving a boat. NOSA understood taht and encouraged novices to go in harm's way.

 

No, the officers and directors of NOSA are the deep pockets in this litigation and could be held accountable.

 

Come to think of it:

I don't know of any sailboat racing event in the U.S. that requires any "skills test."

I'm not familiar with any USCG Regulation or State Regulation that requires any "skills test" or "licensing" (for adults) for operating a pleasure (non-commercial) sailboat.

 

While the USCG and NASBLA would wish to grow their government bureaucracies with a suggestion like yours, The People have been fighting and resisting this government intrusion for decades.

 

Do you have a dog in this fight?

 

Membership in a bona fide yacht club used to help cover who could race in the past.

 

In New Jersey now you need a boat class, test and annual license to operate anything on the water with a motor.

 

A motoring test is highly different than a sailing test.

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I don't know of any sailboat racing event in the U.S. that requires any "skills test."

 

I would call a qualifier series leading up to a championship a "skills test" of sorts.

 

Some international-scope events such as the Vendée Globe require similar "skills test"s.

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I don't know of any sailboat racing event in the U.S. that requires any "skills test."

 

I would call a qualifier series leading up to a championship a "skills test" of sorts.

 

Some international-scope events such as the Vendée Globe require similar "skills test"s.

 

And which championship are you referring to that goes overnight, requires navigation skills, to plot a route and make sure the route is safe? Every championship I can think of is sailed in daylight hours, out the harbor and return to the same harbor on a day trip.

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I don't know of any sailboat racing event in the U.S. that requires any "skills test."

 

I would call a qualifier series leading up to a championship a "skills test" of sorts.

 

Some international-scope events such as the Vendée Globe require similar "skills test"s.

 

And which championship are you referring to that goes overnight, requires navigation skills, to plot a route and make sure the route is safe? Every championship I can think of is sailed in daylight hours, out the harbor and return to the same harbor on a day trip.

Most major international solo races have qualifiers that do all that. Not sure you call them 'championships' but they certainly make you prove your skills.

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I don't know of any sailboat racing event in the U.S. that requires any "skills test."

 

I would call a qualifier series leading up to a championship a "skills test" of sorts.

 

Some international-scope events such as the Vendée Globe require similar "skills test"s.

 

And which championship are you referring to that goes overnight, requires navigation skills, to plot a route and make sure the route is safe? Every championship I can think of is sailed in daylight hours, out the harbor and return to the same harbor on a day trip.

Most major international solo races have qualifiers that do all that. Not sure you call them 'championships' but they certainly make you prove your skills.

 

You're both seeking the needle in the haystack. The vast majority of races in the U.S. have no experience qualifiers. Almost all races are show up and go. What the heck, are the two of you trying to support DoRag? :)

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

I believe the boat was owned by the skipper, but made available to others for charter through Marina Sailing. So for the purposes of N2E 2012, it was not a charter but a private vessel operated by the owner. I don't think there's any indication that the crew were paying passengers.

 

I agree that it's clear that the skipper and crew contributed to the accident. Question (for the lawyers) is who else with deeper pockets might have some theoretical liability, and preferably a willingness to settle rather than litigate.

 

Given that the race has been run for many years and thousands (likely tens of thousands) of boats have navigated it safely it seems like it would be hard to prove gross negligence by any of the organizers.

 

When you point to the history of the event, remember thatb is was restricted to boats that sailed to Ensenada. In other words, a hand on a tiller. As the race entries dwindled, NOSA sought to increase attendance by expanding the cruiser classes. Then added the NASBOAT option allowing the use of motors. That enticed a whole new set of folks, arguably less experienced, to eneter the race. As NOSA knowingly enticed novices to enter the race, what duty did they have to ensure they were aware of the hazards of racing at night in heavily used commercial shipping lanes, with dark islands, hazards off Rosarita Beach, etc. What did NOSA to ensure they were competent to participate? What training and cautions did NOSA promulgate?

 

Everyone knows that it requires a license and passing certain tests in order to drive a car. No such requirements exits for driving a boat. NOSA understood taht and encouraged novices to go in harm's way.

 

No, the officers and directors of NOSA are the deep pockets in this litigation and could be held accountable.

 

Come to think of it:

I don't know of any sailboat racing event in the U.S. that requires any "skills test."

I'm not familiar with any USCG Regulation or State Regulation that requires any "skills test" or "licensing" (for adults) for operating a pleasure (non-commercial) sailboat.

 

While the USCG and NASBLA would wish to grow their government bureaucracies with a suggestion like yours, The People have been fighting and resisting this government intrusion for decades.

 

Do you have a dog in this fight?

 

Nope, no dogs here.

 

Just stating an opinion that the lawsuit web will widen and the suits at NOSA will eventually be defendants. Not commenting on the merits of the case - they induced novices to enter a potentially hazardous event. As for the owner of Aegean being a USCG licensed captain, that has not been proven - first he was a Greek licensed skipper. Who knows? Was teh watch captain so designated, what were the "night orders?" Were the watch captains sufficiently trained to navigate dangerous waters on their own? What did NOSA do to ensure all entrants were capable to handling a boat safely?

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I don't know of any sailboat racing event in the U.S. that requires any "skills test."

 

I would call a qualifier series leading up to a championship a "skills test" of sorts.

 

Some international-scope events such as the Vendée Globe require similar "skills test"s.

 

And which championship are you referring to that goes overnight, requires navigation skills, to plot a route and make sure the route is safe? Every championship I can think of is sailed in daylight hours, out the harbor and return to the same harbor on a day trip.

Most major international solo races have qualifiers that do all that. Not sure you call them 'championships' but they certainly make you prove your skills.

 

You're both seeking the needle in the haystack. The vast majority of races in the U.S. have no experience qualifiers. Almost all races are show up and go. What the heck, are the two of you trying to support DoRag? :)

 

Hey, the vast majority of races in the US are not international, overnight, crossing very busy commercial lanes with numerous hazards in the water.

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

I believe the boat was owned by the skipper, but made available to others for charter through Marina Sailing. So for the purposes of N2E 2012, it was not a charter but a private vessel operated by the owner. I don't think there's any indication that the crew were paying passengers.

 

I agree that it's clear that the skipper and crew contributed to the accident. Question (for the lawyers) is who else with deeper pockets might have some theoretical liability, and preferably a willingness to settle rather than litigate.

 

Given that the race has been run for many years and thousands (likely tens of thousands) of boats have navigated it safely it seems like it would be hard to prove gross negligence by any of the organizers.

 

When you point to the history of the event, remember thatb is was restricted to boats that sailed to Ensenada. In other words, a hand on a tiller. As the race entries dwindled, NOSA sought to increase attendance by expanding the cruiser classes. Then added the NASBOAT option allowing the use of motors. That enticed a whole new set of folks, arguably less experienced, to eneter the race. As NOSA knowingly enticed novices to enter the race, what duty did they have to ensure they were aware of the hazards of racing at night in heavily used commercial shipping lanes, with dark islands, hazards off Rosarita Beach, etc. What did NOSA to ensure they were competent to participate? What training and cautions did NOSA promulgate?

 

Everyone knows that it requires a license and passing certain tests in order to drive a car. No such requirements exits for driving a boat. NOSA understood taht and encouraged novices to go in harm's way.

 

No, the officers and directors of NOSA are the deep pockets in this litigation and could be held accountable.

 

But grasshopper, in this case the owner of the vessel was a licensed USCG Captain. Much more educated than the average racer. Go around any fleet and see how many are educated by the seat of their pants vs. having taken any IRPCAS right of way classes, any seamanship courses, or hold any certifications. Yoiu'll find the vast majority of the fleet (experienced or not) have had little boating education. This guy was heads and shoulders above the rest of the fleet. Your theory makes no sense in this case.

 

Well, then, how do you explain the fact that they plowed smack into a very large island, very clearly marked on all the charts? And were on that collision course for quite some time according to the track?

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dangerous waters on their own

 

Shark attack!

dangerous waters on their own

 

Shark attack!

 

Feisty today, eh?

 

Did those sharks have lasers on their heads?

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

I believe the boat was owned by the skipper, but made available to others for charter through Marina Sailing. So for the purposes of N2E 2012, it was not a charter but a private vessel operated by the owner. I don't think there's any indication that the crew were paying passengers.

 

I agree that it's clear that the skipper and crew contributed to the accident. Question (for the lawyers) is who else with deeper pockets might have some theoretical liability, and preferably a willingness to settle rather than litigate.

 

Given that the race has been run for many years and thousands (likely tens of thousands) of boats have navigated it safely it seems like it would be hard to prove gross negligence by any of the organizers.

 

When you point to the history of the event, remember thatb is was restricted to boats that sailed to Ensenada. In other words, a hand on a tiller. As the race entries dwindled, NOSA sought to increase attendance by expanding the cruiser classes. Then added the NASBOAT option allowing the use of motors. That enticed a whole new set of folks, arguably less experienced, to eneter the race. As NOSA knowingly enticed novices to enter the race, what duty did they have to ensure they were aware of the hazards of racing at night in heavily used commercial shipping lanes, with dark islands, hazards off Rosarita Beach, etc. What did NOSA to ensure they were competent to participate? What training and cautions did NOSA promulgate?

 

Everyone knows that it requires a license and passing certain tests in order to drive a car. No such requirements exits for driving a boat. NOSA understood taht and encouraged novices to go in harm's way.

 

No, the officers and directors of NOSA are the deep pockets in this litigation and could be held accountable.

 

But grasshopper, in this case the owner of the vessel was a licensed USCG Captain. Much more educated than the average racer. Go around any fleet and see how many are educated by the seat of their pants vs. having taken any IRPCAS right of way classes, any seamanship courses, or hold any certifications. Yoiu'll find the vast majority of the fleet (experienced or not) have had little boating education. This guy was heads and shoulders above the rest of the fleet. Your theory makes no sense in this case.

 

Well, then, how do you explain the fact that they plowed smack into a very large island, very clearly marked on all the charts? And were on that collision course for quite some time according to the track?

 

Very simple... for some reason they were not or could not pay attention. That even happens to commercial aviation pilots. It happens on boats and in cars all the time.

 

In this case everyone died. No question this is the complete fault of those aboard. The buck stops as always with the captain of the vessel.

 

 

http://gcaptain.com/uss-port-royal-grounding-incident-photo-of-the-week/

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Certainly motoring under autopilot directly into a well charted rock represents gross negligence - I mean, is anyone going to argue that point?

 

The question of who did what is likely to be immaterial - the owner was a licensed captain, the boat was likely owned by a company, the regatta was likely entered as a charter and so the whole affair was likely a commercial endeavor and the captain is responsible regardless of who made the mistake and why the incident occurred. My guess is that an assumed risk defense gets tossed out the window based on the combination of commercial operation and gross negligence.

 

I'm thinking this is gonna take a lot of popcorn ...

 

I believe the boat was owned by the skipper, but made available to others for charter through Marina Sailing. So for the purposes of N2E 2012, it was not a charter but a private vessel operated by the owner. I don't think there's any indication that the crew were paying passengers.

 

I agree that it's clear that the skipper and crew contributed to the accident. Question (for the lawyers) is who else with deeper pockets might have some theoretical liability, and preferably a willingness to settle rather than litigate.

 

Given that the race has been run for many years and thousands (likely tens of thousands) of boats have navigated it safely it seems like it would be hard to prove gross negligence by any of the organizers.

 

When you point to the history of the event, remember thatb is was restricted to boats that sailed to Ensenada. In other words, a hand on a tiller. As the race entries dwindled, NOSA sought to increase attendance by expanding the cruiser classes. Then added the NASBOAT option allowing the use of motors. That enticed a whole new set of folks, arguably less experienced, to eneter the race. As NOSA knowingly enticed novices to enter the race, what duty did they have to ensure they were aware of the hazards of racing at night in heavily used commercial shipping lanes, with dark islands, hazards off Rosarita Beach, etc. What did NOSA to ensure they were competent to participate? What training and cautions did NOSA promulgate?

 

Everyone knows that it requires a license and passing certain tests in order to drive a car. No such requirements exits for driving a boat. NOSA understood taht and encouraged novices to go in harm's way.

 

No, the officers and directors of NOSA are the deep pockets in this litigation and could be held accountable.

 

But grasshopper, in this case the owner of the vessel was a licensed USCG Captain. Much more educated than the average racer. Go around any fleet and see how many are educated by the seat of their pants vs. having taken any IRPCAS right of way classes, any seamanship courses, or hold any certifications. Yoiu'll find the vast majority of the fleet (experienced or not) have had little boating education. This guy was heads and shoulders above the rest of the fleet. Your theory makes no sense in this case.

 

Well, then, how do you explain the fact that they plowed smack into a very large island, very clearly marked on all the charts? And were on that collision course for quite some time according to the track?

 

negligence?

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They hit the island becuase there was no navigational light on the island which they could see, no horn to warn them away or bell to warn of proximity.

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They hit the island becuase there was no navigational light on the island which they could see, no horn to warn them away or bell to warn of proximity.

 

 

But,

 

Wasn't the skipper a bigshot engineer with a major navigational electronics company?

 

I always thought it very strange that someone, who by all appearances should have a sophisticated knowledge of state-of-the-art nav tools (and likely had some of them on board), would plot his boat straight into an island that he'd navigated around the previous year...

 

I understand how it probably happened, but still??

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I don't know of any sailboat racing event in the U.S. that requires any "skills test."

 

I would call a qualifier series leading up to a championship a "skills test" of sorts.

 

Some international-scope events such as the Vendée Globe require similar "skills test"s.

 

And which championship are you referring to that goes overnight, requires navigation skills, to plot a route and make sure the route is safe? Every championship I can think of is sailed in daylight hours, out the harbor and return to the same harbor on a day trip.

 

You're changing the conditions of your question retroactively?

 

Too late. That train has already left the station.

 

I'll answer you anyway. Does the Transpac qualify as "any sailboat racing event in the U.S."?

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They hit the island becuase there was no navigational light on the island which they could see, no horn to warn them away or bell to warn of proximity.

 

Bell and horn don't help over the engine noise, and the light doesn't help if you're sitting under the dodger and not peeking your head over the top every now and then. Even if you're not looking at your chartplotter every now and then (or making an "x" on a paper chart with a good DR) then at least look outside the boat once in a while. Even if you don't plow into an island you might run down a quiet, dimly lit and becalmed sailboat.

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They hit the island becuase there was no navigational light on the island which they could see, no horn to warn them away or bell to warn of proximity.

 

So, you're suggesting that we need lights and giant whistles on an island the size of three aircraft carriers? And clearly marked on all navigation charts? And it hasn't moved in centuries?

 

Huh?

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I guess we'll finally get to see the evidence soon that the CG has been sitting on for all this time...can't hold anyone responsible when there's still no official word on what happened!

 

USCG indicated their report would probably not be officially released for . . . wait for it . . . 1 to 2 years!

 

 

Newspaper reports say Theofanis Mavromatis held an USCG Captain License:

 

Not true, according to the USCG.

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Newspaper reports say Theofanis Mavromatis held an USCG Captain License

The newspaper reports quoted his family as saying he was experienced.

I wouldn't take a single statement from the emotional, non-sailing families as anything other than generous memories.

 

If you asked my mother or sister they would say I'm really experienced.

I'm hardly experienced compared to many here.

 

 

Additionally he had done N2E previously. If I recall the crew had done one too previously. They weren't "green" no matter how DoRag may want to put a spin on it.

Again, NASBOAT class.

 

Delta, they freakin' had their spray dodger up! And a Bimini sun shade (not fully deployed, but up waggling in the wind.) These were not racers; they were a bunch of friends out boating. Boating! Not sailing or racing: boating.

 

Look, I like "boating" too, but to stick a lot (a LOT) of motorboats in the middle of sailing fleet struggling with light wind in the dark...

 

Irresponsible.

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So, you're suggesting that we need lights and giant whistles on an island the size of three aircraft carriers? And clearly marked on all navigation charts? And it hasn't moved in centuries?

I suggest the need for such things in the past is clearly demonstrated by the existence and history of lighthouses.

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So, you're suggesting that we need lights and giant whistles on an island the size of three aircraft carriers? And clearly marked on all navigation charts? And it hasn't moved in centuries?

I suggest the need for such things in the past is clearly demonstrated by the existence and history of lighthouses.

 

Lighthouses?

 

And I suggest that there hasn't been a lighthouse built in the last, what, 75 years? The utility of a lighthouse is questionable in this age of GPS, accurate charts, and earlier, LORAN, etc.

 

Lighthouses?

 

Are you serious?

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