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bodysurf

Aegean lawsuit

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Let me offer a much simpler angle. In very round numbers how many marine vessels pass near these islands each day, week or year? How' many boats went by the night of the deaths?

 

How many boats run square into the island? We are not talking about hitting the reefs of Bermuda in a storm here. These guys simply were not paying attention and ran into one massive, well known obstacle. It does not matter who was doing what when they hit the rocks. The skipper failed to see to it that someone was paying attention. The second or additional negligent failure was the slippers lack of inspecting what he expected.

 

They hit the rocks square on and three aboard hit their heads so hard they died. They clearly had no idea where they where moments before impact.

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This sort of thing makes me like the SSS sailing idea more and more. At least if something goes wrong no one will go wacko and take my family to court.

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Marine lights as visual aids to navigation are losing their effectiveness in populated areas.

 

Ever try to pick out, say, RW "SD" approach to San Diego at night against the background of metropolitan San Diego? It's pretty difficult to acquire (and keep!) from half a mile away.

 

How about the channel markers for picking your way through the reef into Honolulu Harbor? If you don't know which hotels you need to line up as transits, you're sunk!

_____________________

 

Best visual aids to navigation ever: the series of transits for picking your way through the Bonifacio Strait. Now THAT's fun sailing!

 

They had a LARGE chartplotter right in front of the helm. I've missed smaller objects with my handheld Garmin. For FOUR "Experienced" seamen, they all fucked up by hitting the rock. A light probably wouldn't have helped.

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The skipper failed to see to it that someone was paying attention. The second or additional negligent failure was the slippers lack of inspecting what he expected.

 

There are three quite different perspectives on this:

 

The first let me call ‘Navy style’ (Where you seem to be coming from): the captain is ultimately responsible for everything that goes wrong aboard a ship, whether he was even awake at the time or not. However, if one takes up this perspective, you should be clearly aware that ‘navy style’ does not end at the captain. Other crew members are usually ALSO found to be at fault. In this incident, based on the known facts, ‘navy style’ would ALSO probably find two of the crew members at fault for failing to keep a proper watch. 'Navy style' probably only one of the crew would end up with a clean record.

 

The second let me call ‘sports style’: this was not the navy and not a work environment. These four guys were engaged in a voluntary team sport that they all knew included risk. The ‘Sports style’ perspective concludes that individual fault and individual negligence is simply not appropriate for this voluntary team context. Typically (I am sure there are isolated unique counter examples) no-one is found negligent when a cheerleader is dropped and paralyzed and typically no-one is found negligent when a running back misses a block and the quarterback is blindsided and paralyzed.

 

The third perspective let me call the ‘Golden rule’: we ALL have accidents and we ALL make mistakes. After a mistake , you should treat others the way you would want to be treated. Most of us are lucky enough in our routine accidents that there is no loss of life. These guys were very unlucky and they all have already paid the ultimate price. They were just guys with meaningful experience trying to do their best, as we all do. But if you want to find fault or negligence here you must be prepared, when you make your next mistake, to be also found negligent.

 

This was a very sad incident and its further saddening that the families rather than coming together have come to this point.

 

All just my opinion, of course.

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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?

 

Leave it to a fucking lawyer to answer a question with a question.

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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?

 

When the electronics go dead, all you have is dead reckoning. Lights, whether "houses" or not, will always be *essential* to safe navigation. Geez.

 

Have you sailed outside the U.S.? In remote waters? Or in Canadian waters that were "privatized"? If you had, you'd understand just how dangerous they are. Better make sure you have two or three independent GPS units and watertight ones at that...

 

Have I ever sailed outside the US? In remote waters?

 

How 'bout two years in small boats in the rivers (where the rains would alter the course of the river every year) and bays and shore line of Vietnam? How 'bout two summers constantly crossing the Med at night? How 'bout 25 N2E races?

 

Electrical system go dead? All the time. Nothing works well in the Navy. But there were backup systems. Today, cruise with at least two battery driven GPS's. Extra batteries. Use charts. Keep a constant, current plot with DRs.

 

How did Magellen and Columbus ever sail around?

 

No, your question is ridiculous. What if the lighthouse goes down? The difference here is my self-reliance and detailed preparation vs. your needing assistance and relying on others. I trust you don't go in the N2E race.

 

Flame wars. How fucking stupid.

 

All I am saying is that lights still have a place in the marine traffic safety situation. You don't know shit about my sailing experience and I don't know yours, neither and frankly I don't give a shit.

 

Just seemed like you were another one of these iPhone GPS Zombie types who thinks all we need to do is use our GPS and to hell with redundant fixed assets.

 

I think we actually agree.

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They were just guys with meaningful experience trying to do their best, as we all do.

 

Ugh! Again with that "experience" word! The only people claiming their experience are their non-sailing family members. To them, group of C3 sabot kids look like some kind of unholy mash-up of Christopher Columbus and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

 

"Trying to do their best"? With a spray dodger and Bimini shade up? That is not trying. At all.

 

Look, I'm very very sorry that their incompetence ended in their death. But look at it this way: how would you feel if, instead of ramming an island at full speed under power, they ran down a becalmed sailboat?

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I've tried to imagine being on that boat in the last 5 minutes of its existance. I imagine at least 1-3 below in their bunks grabbing shut eye and one on deck tethered. Wind was minimal, seas had swells, not so much to be difficult. I imagine the autopilot steering (based on the satellite track). What was the one person on deck doing (if there were two I imagine the second one sleeping in the cockpit)? Was he jamming to some tunes? Was it cockpit speakers or an I-device? Was he reading a book with a book light? Sitting in the cockpit it appears that the dodger was up and with those vinyl windows that are never crystal clear. The GPS plotter had been set hours earlier for this doomed course. How was the driver maintaining a look out? Did he think if he didn't see anything lights through the vinyl window that he was good? Did he ever stand up and look over the top of the dodger to have a better view? I suspect that it was cool, long pants, long sleeve jackets, possibly glove and at least a peak cap. If damp, maybe some foulies on. No moon. Engine humming (they're so quiet in cars, why are they so loud in boats?).

 

North Coronado Island is a wildlife refuge without any bays, where people are not allowed to go ashore. It is small, a half mile long with total of only .18 sq. mile. Its peak 500 feet above the water. At one point they were called the Desert Islands, snakes, rabbits, lizards, mice and birds. There is litle vegetation, sea dahlias, cactus, and wild cucumber. While many islands produce their own "odor" I try to imagine if these islands have an "odor." Small animal droppings don't seem to be a source.

 

Did the driver fall asleep? Take a 15 ninute nap and set his alarm? The gentle rolling of the swells, little activity on the horizon, and then BOOM. The autopsies said that Rudolph had head and neck injuries, Stewart drowning with head injuries as a contributing factor, Mavromatis died from multiple injuries, and Johnson, died of multiple bodily injuries. How long did it take for them to die? Is 6 knots to zero knots in a snap of a second into a wall enough force for the injuries to have them succumb? Aren't car bumpers to hold up to a 5MPH hit? It was reported that the panic button on the Spot was pressed, it seems someone was still able to do things at the crash site. Was it the repeated hits into the wall? The boat must have stayed afloat for some time, pounding over and over again to cause the boat to be found broken up in a long debris field.

 

It is amazing that things like this happen.

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"Trying to do their best"? With a spray dodger and Bimini shade up? That is not trying. At all.

 

A LOT of very experienced and very competent blue water cruisers sail with dodgers, most of them in fact. You can keep a perfectly good watch with a dodger up.

 

how would you feel if, instead of ramming an island at full speed under power, they ran down a becalmed sailboat?

 

Equally Sad.

But in that hypothetical case there would clearly have been an 'innocent party'. Here we had a bunch of guys all voluntarily taking a sporting risk together.

 

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"Trying to do their best"? With a spray dodger and Bimini shade up? That is not trying. At all.

A LOT of very experienced and very competent blue water cruisers sail with dodgers, most of them in fact. You can keep a perfectly good watch with a dodger up.

 

Yup. We're done here.

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"Trying to do their best"? With a spray dodger and Bimini shade up? That is not trying. At all.

A LOT of very experienced and very competent blue water cruisers sail with dodgers, most of them in fact. You can keep a perfectly good watch with a dodger up.

 

Yup. We're done here.

 

Good, because they have sailed around the horn and you have not.

 

But I might also note that the Vendee boats, with some of the best racing sailors in the world, for instance also have the equivalent of permanent hard dodgers.

 

and the important point in any case was : "But in that hypothetical case there would clearly have been an 'innocent party'. Here we had a bunch of guys all voluntarily taking a sporting risk together."

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This sort of thing makes me like the SSS sailing idea more and more. At least if something goes wrong no one will go wacko and take my family to court.

yeah U20, i cant think of anything more WACKO after the sole breadwinner of the family is killed on somebody's boat, than to sue. Who the hell do they think they are, trying to keep the bank from foreclosing on the house while also trying to figure out how to pay for junior's college tuition??!!! dont they know a bunch of smart guys on the internet, who know NOTHING about them will call them crazy??? they must simply not have a conscience!

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This sort of thing makes me like the SSS sailing idea more and more. At least if something goes wrong no one will go wacko and take my family to court.

yeah U20, i cant think of anything more WACKO after the sole breadwinner of the family is killed on somebody's boat, than to sue. Who the hell do they think they are, trying to keep the bank from foreclosing on the house while also trying to figure out how to pay for junior's college tuition??!!! dont they know a bunch of smart guys on the internet, who know NOTHING about them will call them crazy??? they must simply not have a conscience!

 

I thought that was what life insurance was for,

that's certainly why I pay life insurance, why would I have to sue someone to ensure my families financial security if I die unexpectedly

what would happen if no-one was to blame? how screwed would they be then?

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Maybe people (or 'crew' as they are sometimes known) should carry enough life insurance on their own so that their families will not be devastated if they are killed while engaged in a voluntary sporting event.

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Re lights: Three points of fact and one opinion:

 

1. there is in fact a light on south Coronado island.

 

2. Aegean's track put them in the obscured sector of that light.

 

3. One of USCG San Diego's take aways and action items is to try to get the Mexicans to put a light on north Coronado.

 

And my opinion: it would be less expensive (so easier for the Mexicans to actually implement) and might broadly be more effective today to put an AIS Nav beacon on the island rather than a light. But that would not have helped with this particular incident.

 

How about setting your waypoint at least a mile outside the Coronados, or for the halfway point between the Corononados and shore? Hello? It's Mexico. I love my brown brothers hit even if they put 10 lights on the island, you're crazy to bet your life on having them work. When stating in Newport, don't just put the cursor on the finish line and click "go." You need to make sure there's nothing attached to the earth in the way, like maybe an island, or Punta Salsipuedes, or Point Loma. Even then, there may be a couple hundred sailboats drfiting around out there so maybe, uh, poke your head over the dodger from time to time. Out of curiosity to see the new warning lights on the island if nothing else.

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Hard to see an island when you're asleep, or possibly drunk and/or passed out with the rest of the crew down below asleep.

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"Trying to do their best"? With a spray dodger and Bimini shade up? That is not trying. At all.

A LOT of very experienced and very competent blue water cruisers sail with dodgers, most of them in fact. You can keep a perfectly good watch with a dodger up.

 

Yup. We're done here.

 

Good, because they have sailed around the horn and you have not.

 

But I might also note that the Vendee boats, with some of the best racing sailors in the world, for instance also have the equivalent of permanent hard dodgers.

 

and the important point in any case was : "But in that hypothetical case there would clearly have been an 'innocent party'. Here we had a bunch of guys all voluntarily taking a sporting risk together."

 

Yes many ocean passage boats have dodgers. You should also note any skipper who has sailed across the oceans or done his homework on those who have gone before him will always tell you landfall is the dangerous part.

 

The crew of the Aegean never left the danger landfall zone.

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How about setting your waypoint at least a mile outside the Coronados,

 

Agreed. Some margin like that should always be built into waypoint navigation.

 

Racers do (unfortunately) tend to slice the margin down as low as they can to save distance - just witness Low Speed Chase.

 

No-one knows where this particular waypoint was actually set (because everyone is dead).

 

poke your head over the dodger from time to time.

 

Agreed again. A 10 minute repeating kitchen timer is a useful mechanism (at 1am) to force regular 360 degree scans of the horizon and the plotter and the radar.

 

 

landfall is the dangerous part.

 

There can be multiple dangerous parts, but we agree completely that the hard edges are certainly one of them. Crossing a major ocean current or a continental shelf can be another.

 

The crew of the Aegean never left the danger landfall zone.

 

Agreed. They were in an area with both traffic and hard bits to hit. They needed to be alert.

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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.

It goes much further than that.

 

In the US we can sue anybody for anything. That means that I can sue you right now for killing my dog. yes that's true. I don't even have a dog, have never met you, and we live thousands of miles apart (I don't even live in the US right now)

 

But when I visit home next year, if I pay the filing fee and fill out some forms I could actually file a lawsuit against you for whatever I have chosen. It will be dismissed. But you will go thru some effort and expense to make that happen. You could counter sue me for filing a frivolous lawsuit, and even get damages from me. Which you would then have to collect.

 

And while you could file a lawsuit against a country, I think that will be dismissed too.

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More lights, bigger chart plotters and redundant GPS units stowed in sea bags are of little value to the crew that has lost situational awareness. IMO, our many modern electronic crutches increase the risk for loss of situational awareness.

Here are the last seconds of three airline pilots who got distracted by a warning light and lost situational awareness. In this case three train guys killed a large number of people by fiddling with on of the gadgets on board.

First Officer: We did something to the altitude!

Capt. Bob: What?

First Officer: We’re still at 2000—right?

Capt. Bob: Hey—what’s happening here!

Control tower: Eastern 401, I’ve lost you on radar—and your transponder. What is your altitude?

Pilot: Miami Approach, this is National 611. We just saw a big flash—looked like it was out west. Don’t know what it means, but we wanted to let you know.

Pilot: Lan Chile 451—we saw a big flash—a general flash, like some kind of explosion.

Capt. Bob Loft’s last words were spoken on approach to Miami International Airport on a clear December night with 10 flight attendants and 162 passengers on board. With 30,000 hours of flying experience Bob piloted his airworthy Lockheed L-1011 (Eastern 401) into the Florida swamp in 1972. Pilots call this CFIT or Controlled Flight Into Terrain and it’s a leading cause of airplane accidents responsible for over 9,000 deaths in the history of aviation.

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[

Newspaper reports say Theofanis Mavromatis held an USCG Captain License:

 

Not true, according to the USCG.

 

Is there some online database to check? What's the link?

 

Looks like you're wrong on this one DB.

Do, it's important to be clear what DB is wrong about. DB is correct that the press reported the existence of such a license. But you're correct that DB should not accept news reports as true or believe in the validity of media investigation of facts.

 

Do be careful.

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[

Newspaper reports say Theofanis Mavromatis held an USCG Captain License:

 

Not true, according to the USCG.

 

Is there some online database to check? What's the link?

 

Looks like you're wrong on this one DB.

Do, it's important to be clear what DB is wrong about. DB is correct that the press reported the existence of such a license. But you're correct that DB should not accept news reports as true or believe in the validity of media investigation of facts.

 

Do be careful.

 

Do always tries to be careful....

 

I have read that he had a USCG license, then I read it was a Greek license. Who knows? The check with the USCG reported above seems to settle the issue.

 

I'm wondering where the US Sailing report on the incident is. They made a big deal about establishing a panel to review both the Aegean and the Slo Boat accidents. Of course, US Sailing appears to have bungled that.......

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Here's the U.S. Sailing two paragraph report - http://media.ussaili...port_061212.htm They said that the boat ran into the island.

 

Don't know how you can say it was bungled, seems to be right to the point.

That's a press release, not a report. If they think that'll do, they're nuttier that we all thought!

 

As the press release says, "The Panel will continue their efforts to document the accident, draw conclusions, share the lessons learned and offer recommendations to the sailing community. A full report from US Sailing is expected by July." [That would have been July, 2012.]

 

The "Low Speed Chase" report is reported at http://media.ussaili....aspx?vid=18674 . If the "Aegean" report has been released, it's damned hard to find on the USSailing site.

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Here's the U.S. Sailing two paragraph report - http://media.ussaili...port_061212.htm They said that the boat ran into the island.

 

Don't know how you can say it was bungled, seems to be right to the point.

That's a press release, not a report. If they think that'll do, they're nuttier that we all thought!

 

As the press release says, "The Panel will continue their efforts to document the accident, draw conclusions, share the lessons learned and offer recommendations to the sailing community. A full report from US Sailing is expected by July." [That would have been July, 2012.]

 

Theh "Low Speed Chase" report is reported at http://media.ussaili....aspx?vid=18674 . If the "Aegean" report has been released, it's damned hard to find on the USSailing site.

 

The Farralones report (for an incident a few weeks earlier than N2E) came out in early August. I'm almost guessing that the Aegean report may have been near release when the wreckage was found, and probably went back into draft to incorporate the new info.

 

I don't think there's any reason to imply that US Sailing is stonewalling on the Aegean report.

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Here's the U.S. Sailing two paragraph report - http://media.ussaili...port_061212.htm They said that the boat ran into the island.

 

Don't know how you can say it was bungled, seems to be right to the point.

That's a press release, not a report. If they think that'll do, they're nuttier that we all thought!

 

As the press release says, "The Panel will continue their efforts to document the accident, draw conclusions, share the lessons learned and offer recommendations to the sailing community. A full report from US Sailing is expected by July." [That would have been July, 2012.]

 

Theh "Low Speed Chase" report is reported at http://media.ussaili....aspx?vid=18674 . If the "Aegean" report has been released, it's damned hard to find on the USSailing site.

 

The Farralones report (for an incident a few weeks earlier than N2E) came out in early August. I'm almost guessing that the Aegean report may have been near release when the wreckage was found, and probably went back into draft to incorporate the new info.

 

I don't think there's any reason to imply that US Sailing is stonewalling on the Aegean report.

 

Full report will be released any day now (literally might be tomorrow - except Sandy may delay it). It's been 'done' for a while (yes, since just after the wreckage was found), but need a closer/longer than normal legal double check.

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Full report will be released any day now (literally might be tomorrow - except Sandy may delay it). It's been 'done' for a while (yes, since just after the wreckage was found), but need a closer/longer than normal legal double check.

If it takes the legal eagles four months to produce a legal opinion, someone better start auditing the legal fees or shop for new counsel. And why would the legal issues be any more complex that the Low Speed Chase report issues? The only need for a legal check would stem from a report that needs to worry about concerns about the truth. Truth is a rather complete defense to any issues that might be posed; opinions are protected; only factual errors would be the basis for any liability. So what's that all about? Sounds like double talk from Big Brother to me.

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Here's the U.S. Sailing two paragraph report - http://media.ussaili...port_061212.htm They said that the boat ran into the island.

 

Don't know how you can say it was bungled, seems to be right to the point.

 

Gee, I think we all knew that they ran into an island.....a blinding glimpse of the obvious?

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What is the jurisdiction if a guy from Iowa drives a car off one of those mega cliffs on the toll road south of Rosarito?

 

My US Auto Insurance covers me automatically in Mexico if I am within 75 miles of the US border. I crashed my car near Rosarito and my US policy paid for the repair. If there had been injuries or death then the US insurance company would be on the hook. (I also had Mexican liability insurance --their agent came to the scene. If the cops had come, the MX agent's presence would have been helpful.)

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What is the jurisdiction if a guy from Iowa drives a car off one of those mega cliffs on the toll road south of Rosarito?

 

My US Auto Insurance covers me automatically in Mexico if I am within 75 miles of the US border. I crashed my car near Rosarito and my US policy paid for the repair. If there had been injuries or death then the US insurance company would be on the hook. (I also had Mexican liability insurance --their agent came to the scene. If the cops had come, the MX agent's presence would have been helpful.)

 

Unless something has changed Down South in the past 2 years, your 'U.S. Auto Insurance' company can not legally sell Mexican auto insurance policies, as they would be worthless and not protect you under Mexico law. So those policies can only be written from Mexican companies, operating in Mexico. Sounds like what your U.S. insurance company did/does is actually contract with a legit Mexi company to insure you south of the border.

 

Just thought you'd like to know, even though it sounds like you made it out ok. But in the future, I'd double check before venturing there again----'cuz if you're in an accident down there and do NOT have liability insurance, your life will change for the worse quicker than you can say Midnight Express....

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¡El expreso de medianoche!

 

That guy who starred in it was a regular at the Beach Hut in El Porto for a long while. Interesting person to talk to....'til he picked up a real nice coke habit and just disappeared one day.....

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What is the jurisdiction if a guy from Iowa *drives a car off one of those mega cliffs on the toll road south of Rosarito?

 

My US Auto Insurance covers me automatically in Mexico if I am within 75 miles of the US border. I crashed my car near Rosarito and my US policy paid for the repair. If there had been injuries or death then the US insurance company would be on the hook. (I also **had Mexican liability insurance --their agent came to the scene. If the cops had come, the MX agent's presence would have been helpful.)

 

Unless something has changed Down South in the past 2 years, your 'U.S. Auto Insurance' company can not legally sell Mexican auto insurance policies, as they would be worthless and not protect you under Mexico law. So those policies can only be written from Mexican companies, operating in Mexico. Sounds like what your U.S. insurance company did/does is actually contract with a legit Mexi company to insure you south of the border.

 

Just thought you'd like to know, even though it sounds like you made it out ok. But in the future, I'd double check before venturing there again----'cuz if you're in an accident down there and do NOT have liability insurance, your life will change for the worse quicker than you can say Midnight Express....

 

 

*the Toll includes MEX insurance = Everyone on the Toll road is properly covered.

 

 

**your US auto insurance can indeed fix your car that was wrecked in Baja

 

the fact that his US policy covered his car

 

did Not keep him from understanding the need for MEX insurance

 

to cover his Arse

 

Much Better th GTFO and have your car fixed back home, as he did

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What is the jurisdiction if a guy from Iowa drives a car off one of those mega cliffs on the toll road south of Rosarito?

 

My US Auto Insurance covers me automatically in Mexico if I am within 75 miles of the US border. I crashed my car near Rosarito and my US policy paid for the repair. If there had been injuries or death then the US insurance company would be on the hook. (I also had Mexican liability insurance --their agent came to the scene. If the cops had come, the MX agent's presence would have been helpful.)

I did not ask about coverage - I asked about jurisdiction. (unless you are implying that NAFTA or some other treaty gives jurisdiction to the venue in which the insurance was contracted for?)

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119 pages of fluff. There's little substance there.
  • We get the RayMarine Model ST 6002 User Handbook appended, but no one has asked or attempted to answer the question: had any of the crew other than the Captain read the handbook? What purpose does the handbook serve in the report other than as padding? Does it support some finding of the committee? If so, which finding?
  • We get the power point slides from the pre-race NOSA "Racer to Win" Seminar for participants in the race. Is there any indication that the Captain or any of the crew attended? Or got prints of the slides? If not, why is it relevant to the incident?
  • Where is the finding (and reminder to all racers and sailors more generally) that the skipper bears responsibility (and authority) for all the areas addressed in the report whether others perfom well or not?

Even with the lack of more facts - even in attempting to avoid litigation or the threat of litigation - there is more substance that can - and should - properly be found in the review of the incident. IMHO, the crash was a self-evident case of human error and not an act of God. If the committee cannot come fully to grips with such a fundamental aspect of the incident, they have defaulted on the primary potential utility of the investigation for the sailing community and have neutered their own role.

 

Those who enter races in the "cruising classes" with crews with limited capabilities and training in the basics of safety at sea - including such niceties as setting waypoints and waypoint alarms, keeping a watch, not crashing into large, rocky islands, etc. - need to be impressed with their authority and their responsibility as master of the vessel. And, to the extent such impressions can be gotten to crew, it is a good idea that they be appropriately cautioned about all these matters as well.

 

In my opinion, such "near beer" as the "new" report serves only to camouflage the underlying issues and encourages the "cruising class" to (continue to) treat the N2E race as the "World's Largest Floating Cocktail Party." It is an opportunity lost.

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· We get the RayMarine Model ST 6002 User Handbook appended, .... What purpose does the handbook serve in the report other than as padding? Does it support some finding of the committee? If so, which finding?

 

The fact that this autopilot continues on its previous course after going thru a waypoint is fundamental to the incident.

 

· We get the power point slides from the pre-race NOSA "Racer to Win" Seminar for participants in the race. . . . , why is it relevant to the incident?

 

This is directly relevant to one of the recommendations: “The panel recommends that NOSA’s Pre Race Seminar include the advice to set a Course that does not intersect the Coronado Islands. The Panel also recommends that The Pre Race Seminar include information on the zones of light obscuration from the lights on South Coronado Island. (Not all charts used in this race are marked with this information.)”

 

· Where is the finding (and reminder to all racers and sailors more generally) that the skipper bears responsibility ....?

 

The report states it's perspective on this in the first sentence of the first recommendation :The panel reminds all sailors that a lookout is a requirement for racing and safe vessel operation.” You may disagree with this perspective, and believe that the captain was solely responsible, but the reports stated perspective is that the captain and the watch keepers were all responsible for maintaining a proper watch.

IMHO, the crash was a self-evident case of human error and not an act of God.

 

The first sentence of the findings is: "The panel determined that a key element of the accident was likely an inadequate lookout". That sounds to me rather like a finding of human error rather than an act of god.

 

 

The recommendation on hand steering over autopilot usage would be a significant change to the race if implemented.

 

 

The above is, of course, all just my opinion and interpretation and not any sort of official statement from the panel or US Sailing.

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119 pages of fluff. There's little substance there.
  • We get the RayMarine Model ST 6002 User Handbook appended, but no one has asked or attempted to answer the question: had any of the crew other than the Captain read the handbook? What purpose does the handbook serve in the report other than as padding? Does it support some finding of the committee? If so, which finding?
  • We get the power point slides from the pre-race NOSA "Racer to Win" Seminar for participants in the race. Is there any indication that the Captain or any of the crew attended? Or got prints of the slides? If not, why is it relevant to the incident?
  • Where is the finding (and reminder to all racers and sailors more generally) that the skipper bears responsibility (and authority) for all the areas addressed in the report whether others perfom well or not?

Even with the lack of more facts - even in attempting to avoid litigation or the threat of litigation - there is more substance that can - and should - properly be found in the review of the incident. IMHO, the crash was a self-evident case of human error and not an act of God. If the committee cannot come fully to grips with such a fundamental aspect of the incident, they have defaulted on the primary potential utility of the investigation for the sailing community and have neutered their own role.

 

Those who enter races in the "cruising classes" with crews with limited capabilities and training in the basics of safety at sea - including such niceties as setting waypoints and waypoint alarms, keeping a watch, not crashing into large, rocky islands, etc. - need to be impressed with their authority and their responsibility as master of the vessel. And, to the extent such impressions can be gotten to crew, it is a good idea that they be appropriately cautioned about all these matters as well.

 

In my opinion, such "near beer" as the "new" report serves only to camouflage the underlying issues and encourages the "cruising class" to (continue to) treat the N2E race as the "World's Largest Floating Cocktail Party." It is an opportunity lost.

 

The report is a dissappointment in many respects. Many would like to have the question answered as to the experience of the captain and crew, including any formal training. The question around the captain being a licensed USCG skipper should be answered.

 

If thse folks were inexperienced, then NOSA could be held liable for the lack of action to ensure entrants were aware of the risks and had adequate training to safely participate in the event. To allow autopilots in a race is absurd. To not set a requirement for at least two people on deck at all times is absurd.

 

What was the point in the US Sailing report?

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Many would like to have the question answered as to the experience of the captain and crew, including any formal training. The question around the captain being a licensed USCG skipper should be answered.

 

Do,

 

The reports states the facts: that the captain had done a half dozen of these races and been a life long sailor.

 

I have already answered the USCG ticket question - NO. You can either believe me or submit a FOIA request yourself if you care so much.

 

With the captain dead there was no way for the panel to form or state any further objective assessment of his capabilities. He was more 'experienced' than many, but less than some. There is just not much you can make of it.

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More lights, bigger chart plotters and redundant GPS units stowed in sea bags are of little value to the crew that has lost situational awareness. IMO, our many modern electronic crutches increase the risk for loss of situational awareness.

Here are the last seconds of three airline pilots who got distracted by a warning light and lost situational awareness. In this case three train guys killed a large number of people by fiddling with on of the gadgets on board.

First Officer: We did something to the altitude!

Capt. Bob: What?

First Officer: We’re still at 2000—right?

Capt. Bob: Hey—what’s happening here!

Control tower: Eastern 401, I’ve lost you on radar—and your transponder. What is your altitude?

Pilot: Miami Approach, this is National 611. We just saw a big flash—looked like it was out west. Don’t know what it means, but we wanted to let you know.

Pilot: Lan Chile 451—we saw a big flash—a general flash, like some kind of explosion.

Capt. Bob Loft’s last words were spoken on approach to Miami International Airport on a clear December night with 10 flight attendants and 162 passengers on board. With 30,000 hours of flying experience Bob piloted his airworthy Lockheed L-1011 (Eastern 401) into the Florida swamp in 1972. Pilots call this CFIT or Controlled Flight Into Terrain and it’s a leading cause of airplane accidents responsible for over 9,000 deaths in the history of aviation.

 

The Airfrance crash into the ocean was a pretty sad read..don't remember all of it but they flew it into the water http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_447

 

" The aircraft crashed following an aerodynamic stall caused by inconsistent airspeed sensor readings, the disengagement of the autopilot, and the pilot making nose-up inputs despite stall warnings, causing a fatal loss of airspeed and a sharp descent. The pilots had not received specific training in "manual airplane handling of approach to stall and stall recovery at high altitude"; this was not a standard training requirement at the time of the accident.[8][1][9] "

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· We get the RayMarine Model ST 6002 User Handbook appended, .... What purpose does the handbook serve in the report other than as padding? Does it support some finding of the committee? If so, which finding?

 

The fact that this autopilot continues on its previous course after going thru a waypoint is fundamental to the incident.

 

· We get the power point slides from the pre-race NOSA "Racer to Win" Seminar for participants in the race. . . . , why is it relevant to the incident?

 

This is directly relevant to one of the recommendations: “The panel recommends that NOSA’s Pre Race Seminar include the advice to set a Course that does not intersect the Coronado Islands. The Panel also recommends that The Pre Race Seminar include information on the zones of light obscuration from the lights on South Coronado Island. (Not all charts used in this race are marked with this information.)”

 

· Where is the finding (and reminder to all racers and sailors more generally) that the skipper bears responsibility ....?

 

The report states it's perspective on this in the first sentence of the first recommendation :The panel reminds all sailors that a lookout is a requirement for racing and safe vessel operation.” You may disagree with this perspective, and believe that the captain was solely responsible, but the reports stated perspective is that the captain and the watch keepers were all responsible for maintaining a proper watch.

IMHO, the crash was a self-evident case of human error and not an act of God.

 

The first sentence of the findings is: "The panel determined that a key element of the accident was likely an inadequate lookout". That sounds to me rather like a finding of human error rather than an act of god.

 

 

The recommendation on hand steering over autopilot usage would be a significant change to the race if implemented.

 

 

The above is, of course, all just my opinion and interpretation and not any sort of official statement from the panel or US Sailing.

 

For the same reason I don't like specific rules on how to safely round an island, I don't like rules that say specifically avoid this island. Or is everyone convinced that Coronados island are the only thing that can be run into on the course? now and forever?

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[ QUOTE ]

 

 

For the same reason I don't like specific rules on how to safely round an island, I don't like rules that say specifically avoid this island. Or is everyone convinced that Coronados island are the only thing that can be run into on the course? now and forever?

 

 

[ UNQUOTE ]

 

 

I am sure this would be well covered in the Sailing Directions ( PILOT )

 

NOAA also produces several nautical publications. For example, the United States Coast Pilot® is a series of nautical books with a variety of important information for navigators to supplement the nautical chart.

 

How many would have read the relevant parts of that ?

 

Perhaps the club should require a copy on every boat that enters ?

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Many would like to have the question answered as to the experience of the captain and crew, including any formal training. The question around the captain being a licensed USCG skipper should be answered.

 

Do,

 

The reports states the facts: that the captain had done a half dozen of these races and been a life long sailor.

 

I have already answered the USCG ticket question - NO. You can either believe me or submit a FOIA request yourself if you care so much.

 

With the captain dead there was no way for the panel to form or state any further objective assessment of his capabilities. He was more 'experienced' than many, but less than some. There is just not much you can make of it.

 

It seems to me that because you participated in a number of Ensenada Races does not, in an of itself, make you an "experienced" sailor. All Aegean ever did was to motor sail to Ensenada several times. Kinda like the typical SoCal motor sailor that believes going to Catalina for a weekend in the summer qualifies him as a safe blue water sailor. My YC is full of those folks and they all have a very distorted view of their capabilities as a sailor under difficult situations. Their boathandling skills are usually a joke and they can't dock in any kind of wind.

 

Additionally, the same comment holds for being a "lifelong" sailor. Was the "lifelong" sailor simply motoring about on autopilot for a lifetime?

 

So, I think his experience needs to be examined more closely. What professional training did he have? Could he navigate without all the electronic garbage he added to the boat? Did he know enough to demand rotating two person watches?

 

US Sailing might conclude those sailors were competent, but they hardly looked into the matter and present zero evidence to support that contention. The fact that these folks ran hard into an island bigger than an aircraft carrier seems to indicate that they weren't all that experienced.

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Many would like to have the question answered as to the experience of the captain and crew, including any formal training. The question around the captain being a licensed USCG skipper should be answered.

 

Do,

 

The reports states the facts: that the captain had done a half dozen of these races and been a life long sailor.

 

I have already answered the USCG ticket question - NO. You can either believe me or submit a FOIA request yourself if you care so much.

 

With the captain dead there was no way for the panel to form or state any further objective assessment of his capabilities. He was more 'experienced' than many, but less than some. There is just not much you can make of it.

 

It seems to me that because you participated in a number of Ensenada Races does not, in an of itself, make you an "experienced" sailor. All Aegean ever did was to motor sail to Ensenada several times. Kinda like the typical SoCal motor sailor that believes going to Catalina for a weekend in the summer qualifies him as a safe blue water sailor. My YC is full of those folks and they all have a very distorted view of their capabilities as a sailor under difficult situations. Their boathandling skills are usually a joke and they can't dock in any kind of wind.

 

Additionally, the same comment holds for being a "lifelong" sailor. Was the "lifelong" sailor simply motoring about on autopilot for a lifetime?

 

So, I think his experience needs to be examined more closely. What professional training did he have? Could he navigate without all the electronic garbage he added to the boat? Did he know enough to demand rotating two person watches?

 

US Sailing might conclude those sailors were competent, but they hardly looked into the matter and present zero evidence to support that contention. The fact that these folks ran hard into an island bigger than an aircraft carrier seems to indicate that they weren't all that experienced.

Or competent. Res ipsa loquitur!

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What professional training did he have?

 

If you mean professional marine training - None. But relatively few offshore racers have 'professional training'. The fact he did not is not at all extraordinary.

 

Could he navigate without all the electronic garbage he added to the boat?

 

Yes

 

Did he know enough to demand rotating two person watches?

 

Yes, at least we know he did in previous races. (By the way, I agree that this should have been mentioned in the report)

 

 

The fact that these folks ran hard into an island bigger than an aircraft carrier seems to indicate that they weren't all that experienced.

 

No, that's not at all a valid conclusion. Well trained and experienced pilots fly planes into the ground, well trained and experienced navy captains run into land and other vessels. The unfortunate fact of human existence is that well trained and experienced people do make mistakes.

 

all just my opinion

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Jesus, while I certainly feel bad for the family of those aboard, that seems like a blatant money-grab to me - just because something bad has happened doesn't mean you get paid.

 

from story:

 

" Mavromatis’ boat became disabled about 1:35 a.m., leaving him and his crew “in dire need of emergency assistance,” the suit states.

 

Mavromatis activated the SPOT system on board his boat, but it did not put him in contact with emergency help, according to the complaint.

 

As a result of the system’s alleged failures, Mavromatis “suffered severe injuries and ultimately death,” the suit states. "

 

 

Does anyone know if the SPOT 'panic button' WAS activated ? or if it just went offline ? And either way that is answered - could IMMEDIATE action have saved that crew, so far offshore, injured, in the dark, and in the water ?

 

What the lawsuit will likely do is add expense to the type of service SPOT and others offer.

 

But that part about the SYSTEMS FAILURES resulting in death ? Oh, come ON.

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^^

 

The SOS button was pushed, and GEOS's response was let's say "clearly less than optimal", but they also have all sorts of small print in their contract to protect them.

 

A faster, better response might (or might not) have helped, we just don't know. If they had activated an epirb the uscg helo would probably have been on site within 45-60 mins, with the Spot/Geos response they did not get on site until the next day.

 

Spot and inreach's strength is in allowing family and friend to follow along, but If you want to get rescued, an epirb is MUCH better than spot/inreach. The marketing has obscured this fact, and could easily be considered mis-leading.

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I can't stand this. Here's how I see it in my humble opinion - My husband moronically drove his boat right into the side of an island. On board he had modern navigation equipment, he had the ability to read charts and see that this Island was there and that he was heading straight for it. He had decades of experience. He hit the panic button on the SPOT, the way he set the SPOT up was when the Panic button was hit, the responders were to call his/my house. But you know, it was in the middle of the night when my phone rang, I didn't bother to get it. So I let the opportunity pass to get involved in tracking down his whereabouts. But due to his own ineptitude, not only did he drive the boat right into the island, destroying the boat completely, he took 4 soles with it.

 

It must be someone else's fault.

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I can't stand this. Here's how I see it in my humble opinion - My husband moronically drove his boat right into the side of an island. On board he had modern navigation equipment, he had the ability to read charts and see that this Island was there and that he was heading straight for it. He had decades of experience. He hit the panic button on the SPOT, the way he set the SPOT up was when the Panic button was hit, the responders were to call his/my house. But you know, it was in the middle of the night when my phone rang, I didn't bother to get it. So I let the opportunity pass to get involved in tracking down his whereabouts. But due to his own ineptitude, not only did he drive the boat right into the island, destroying the boat completely, he took 4 soles with it.

 

It must be someone else's fault.

Word

He plowed right into an island, on autopilot, with everyone asleep. Sorry for the families, but that's a pretty clear cut case of natural selection. Some of the monkeys fall out of the tree, and fancy electronics can't save all of them.

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I don't think there is any objective argument about the primary fault for the incident. We all know and agree where that should be placed.

 

The debate would be around (1) whether SPOT's marketing is misleading, and/or (2) GEOS's response was inadequate (given the marketing). Those are entirely different questions than 'fault' for the incident. We do hold companies responsible for misleading advertising. I personally believe the boating consumer is being mis-lead/mis-informed about how effective these devices are for SAR, and that it would benefit all of us for that to be corrected. And in our society a (threat of) lawsuit may be the only way to correct it. The USCG has tried to explain why Epirbs are much more effective, but their communication is drowned out by the SPOT and Inreach marketing.

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I don't think there is any objective argument about the primary fault for the incident. We all know and agree where that should be placed.

 

The debate would be around (1) whether SPOT's marketing is misleading, and/or (2) GEOS's response was inadequate (given the marketing). Those are entirely different questions than 'fault' for the incident. We do hold companies responsible for misleading advertising. I personally believe the boating consumer is being mis-lead/mis-informed about how effective these devices are for SAR, and that it would benefit all of us for that to be corrected. And in our society a (threat of) lawsuit may be the only way to correct it. The USCG has tried to explain why Epirbs are much more effective, but their communication is drowned out by the SPOT and Inreach marketing.

Yes that will be plaintiff's main argument, but causation will be problematic, as well as a huge comparative negligence component

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Estar, you make an interesting point. Perhaps the private tracker device industry does oversell it's benefits (when has THAT ever happened before?) - but this sure doesn't sound like anything more than a payday to me. Is that is the only tool in the drawer to adjust corporate behavior ?

 

some dude, I'll chalk your callous reference down to internet insulation, because the loss of four sailors to an ACCIDENT is really no place for you to get on your high horse of evolutionary superiority - unless you'd like it when the same is said of your loss. Likely three of them were just asleep and waiting the change of watch - you really want to call'em stupid monkeys ?

 

That the guy on watch had a really long day and dozed off at the wrong time, and an autopilot set to a heading too close to the island and a bit of current/cross track error all coincided to take four lives isn't any 'mental' defect, it was just a tragic chain of events because people do make honest mistakes.

 

Like not double-checking a universal mast base.

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Estar, you make an interesting point. Perhaps the private tracker device industry does oversell it's benefits (when has THAT ever happened before?) - but this sure doesn't sound like anything more than a payday to me. Is that is the only tool in the drawer to adjust corporate behavior ?

 

some dude, I'll chalk your callous reference down to internet insulation, because the loss of four sailors to an ACCIDENT is really no place for you to get on your high horse of evolutionary superiority - unless you'd like it when the same is said of your loss. Likely three of them were just asleep and waiting the change of watch - you really want to call'em stupid monkeys ?

 

That the guy on watch had a really long day and dozed off at the wrong time, and an autopilot set to a heading too close to the island and a bit of current/cross track error all coincided to take four lives isn't any 'mental' defect, it was just a tragic chain of events because people do make honest mistakes.

 

Like not double-checking a universal mast base.

Didn't call them stupid or monkeys. Go back and re-read carefully

 

They were killed by their own negligence. A hard fact for their families to accept, I'd imagine, but true nonetheless.

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Didn't call them stupid or monkeys. Go back and re-read carefully

 

They were killed by their own negligence.

So who did the 'fancy electronics' refer to ? Actual monkeys ?

 

And just to be clear - we don't really know EXACTLY what happened that night, so I wouldn't be so quickwith the negligence label. They all paid the price for in the end, not keeping an adequate watch - (we think) - which could mean just one guy fell asleep when he shouldn't have, and we will probably never know who.

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Didn't call them stupid or monkeys. Go back and re-read carefully

 

They were killed by their own negligence.

So who did the 'fancy electronics' refer to ? Actual monkeys ?

 

And just to be clear - we don't really know EXACTLY what happened that night, so I wouldn't be so quickwith the negligence label. They all paid the price for in the end, not keeping an adequate watch - (we think) - which could mean just one guy fell asleep when he shouldn't have, and we will probably never know who.

And some guy set the autopilot to go to a waypoint directly on the other side of an island. A tragic accident due to someone's negligence. Whose? I agree that we'll likely never know for sure, except that whoever it was, was on the boat that night. We can't know for sure what happened but based on the results we can infer negligence because this kind of thing doesn't happen in the absence of negligence. The legal doctrine is known as Res Ipsa Loquitur. Look it up.

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After looking at the FP article I had a quick bit to add. It's no secret that the recent Everglades Challenge, run by Watertribe requires a Spot tracker. However it isn't for the SOS/help button to save our soggy asses. No, it's so the folks at home can follow along and know what is going on. Sure the rules state how to use the "Help" function but that is just so race HQ knows something is up and they can monitor the situation. The PLB requirement is to assist in saving our soggy asses, as is the handheld submersible VHF, flares, signal mirror, and all the other stuff we have to carry. This year several boats hit the "help" button and race HQ picked it up right away. Then they start trying to get info. Are there cell phones on that boat? Are they in coverage? Where is their shore contact? Calls are made minutes after the "Help" is pushed. The calls don't always produce immediate results but the situation is monitored. I was involved in one of these situations during this years race. We had answers within 15 minutes and made all calls needed. No one in Watertribe relies on the Spot as a fail safe. It is one of many tools we carry to try and be safer. No one else should rely on it either. A hockey puck sized transmitter sending signals to a for profit company is just 1 way to get the word out, just 1. Personal responsibility!

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I'm not speaking about the Legal aspect, just the decent manner that we ought to have toward the victims.

Gotcha. I'm just speaking about the legal aspect I'm sure their loss is very hard on the families, but that doesn't mean it's someone else's fault.

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I don't think there is any objective argument about the primary fault for the incident. We all know and agree where that should be placed.

 

The debate would be around (1) whether SPOT's marketing is misleading, and/or (2) GEOS's response was inadequate (given the marketing). Those are entirely different questions than 'fault' for the incident. We do hold companies responsible for misleading advertising. I personally believe the boating consumer is being mis-lead/mis-informed about how effective these devices are for SAR, and that it would benefit all of us for that to be corrected. And in our society a (threat of) lawsuit may be the only way to correct it. The USCG has tried to explain why Epirbs are much more effective, but their communication is drowned out by the SPOT and Inreach marketing.

We had an incident where the racer spot track stopped mid race in the ocean. It was noticed and caused some excitement. 2 days later spot sent an email mentioned the outage. The track on this spot then showed only the track after the outage. Prior to the outage was gone.

 

The CG's very good and a friend fortunate in this incident- but the GPIRB was 3 hrs response- 80 degree core temp

GPIRB is best offshore.

 

Coastal we like VHF-DSC-GPS and appreciate the test we did with our CG http://vimeo.com/89669435

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^^ agreed dsc good, when and where you are in range.

 

In the Aegean case we do not know for sure but we suspect the rig came down almost immediately bringing down the dsc antenna with it. And it then sunk way too fast to deploy an emergency antenna, if they had one.

 

Regarding the sailors aboard . . . I wrote this as the introduction page for a presentation I made on three recent sailing fatality incidents . . .

 

" The answer is NOT that they were stupid or inexperienced;

The question IS how intelligent and experience sailors made such mistakes

and how we can be more sure to avoid making them ourselves"

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^^ agreed dsc good, when and where you are in range.

 

In the Aegean case we do not know for sure but we suspect the rig came down almost immediately bringing down the dsc antenna with it. And it then sunk way too fast to deploy an emergency antenna, if they had one.

 

Regarding the sailors aboard . . . I wrote this as the introduction page for a presentation I made on three recent sailing fatality incidents . . .

 

" The answer is NOT that they were stupid or inexperienced;

The question IS how intelligent and experience sailors made such mistakes

and how we can be more sure to avoid making them ourselves"

We also have handheld DSC-GPS-VHF requirements w registered MMSI for dismasting, capsize, COB, redundancy.. http://tinyurl.com/DHF-DSC-test

Heat wave rescue was simple handheld VHF with visual bearings/sightings (at night) http://www.sfbama.org/fs/index.html

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After looking at the FP article I had a quick bit to add. It's no secret that the recent Everglades Challenge, run by Watertribe requires a Spot tracker. However it isn't for the SOS/help button to save our soggy asses. No, it's so the folks at home can follow along and know what is going on.

Here is a good example of what SPOT is really mean't for. Lots of big rocks directly in this guys way.

 

https://share.delorme.com/GordonBoettger

 

The soaring community is taking interest in the AEGEAN suite too.

 

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.aviation.soaring/eY5a7wP67wc

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I can't stand this. Here's how I see it in my humble opinion - My husband moronically drove his boat right into the side of an island. On board he had modern navigation equipment, he had the ability to read charts and see that this Island was there and that he was heading straight for it. He had decades of experience. He hit the panic button on the SPOT, the way he set the SPOT up was when the Panic button was hit, the responders were to call his/my house. But you know, it was in the middle of the night when my phone rang, I didn't bother to get it. So I let the opportunity pass to get involved in tracking down his whereabouts. But due to his own ineptitude, not only did he drive the boat right into the island, destroying the boat completely, he took 4 soles with it.

 

It must be somebody else's fault.

 

Go ahead. Blame me.

I've got broad shoulders.

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If SPOT really did get an SOS and decide f-it, we'll see what the issue is in the morning then I hope they do get their asses sued right off.

Not to say setting an autopilot course through an island is a good idea or anything, but do NOT put an SOS button on something and then have it be the "when we feel like it" button. As for OnStar, if I get drunk and hit a tree and manage to hit the HELP button, I kind of do expect them to actually send help that day. I did whack the help button in a rental car by accident and the voice asking me if I was OK scared the crap out of me :o:D

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If SPOT really did get an SOS and decide f-it, we'll see what the issue is in the morning then I hope they do get their asses sued right off.

Not to say setting an autopilot course through an island is a good idea or anything, but do NOT put an SOS button on something and then have it be the "when we feel like it" button. As for OnStar, if I get drunk and hit a tree and manage to hit the HELP button, I kind of do expect them to actually send help that day. I did whack the help button in a rental car by accident and the voice asking me if I was OK scared the crap out of me :o:D

+1. If there is no intent to actually follow up on an SOS, then don't put the button on the device or pretend it is part of your service. It is dishonest at best. Not that it excuses other causes of this tragedy or that all motives in the lawsuit are guaranteed pure, but if the, "we'll even save your ass when you're in trouble," sales pitch is complete BS, then that pitch needs to change immediately.

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I don't think there is any objective argument about the primary fault for the incident. We all know and agree where that should be placed.

 

The debate would be around (1) whether SPOT's marketing is misleading, and/or (2) GEOS's response was inadequate (given the marketing). Those are entirely different questions than 'fault' for the incident. We do hold companies responsible for misleading advertising. I personally believe the boating consumer is being mis-lead/mis-informed about how effective these devices are for SAR, and that it would benefit all of us for that to be corrected. And in our society a (threat of) lawsuit may be the only way to correct it. The USCG has tried to explain why Epirbs are much more effective, but their communication is drowned out by the SPOT and Inreach marketing.

Agree that the SPOT activation (even with quick COSPAS/SARSAt response) would probably not have changed the outcome one bit.

 

BUT

 

I have been waiting for a lawsuit to happen against SPOT as they do promote the emergency feature even though the network behind the feature is farr from robust and anyone relying on a SPOT as an emergency beacon are close to SOL.

 

It is unfortunate that a company (SPOT in this case) markets a product beyond its capabilities and maybe something good will come out of the lawsuit (although it seems like the motivation for the lawsuit is probably money rather than getting SPOT to stop overstating its capabilities) so SPOT dials down the rhetoric a bit.

 

I do find it wrong that anybody would market and sell anything with false claims in the safety category. And that also goes to retailers selling this kind of junk. I remember a conversation with the (at the time) product head for West Marine about WM marine selling questionable safety equipment such as SPOT (with the safety claims) , fanny pack PFD's and the like where it was clear that WM did not care if the crap they are selling is any good or not - and this person is active in USS safety at sea - go figure...............

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We also have handheld DSC-GPS-VHF requirements w registered MMSI for dismasting, capsize, COB, redundancy..

Also a good idea . . . But there are range and battery issues with handhelds.

 

Aegeon was out of handheld range for the USCG, and probably the Mexicans. They would most probably have been in range of some racing boats, if those boats had their radios on and could hear them in the cockpit. There was a commercial ship around, but I can't remember if it was within handheld range or not - I think not but am not sure.

 

Whenever I go to use my handheld I find the batteries dead. I fully admit this is just sloppiness on my part, but safety practice needs to acknowledge that humans are by nature sloppy.

 

DSC is great "in theory", but a bit lacking in practice . . . Starting with the fact that +90% of dsc installations (in the USA) do not have either an MMSI or a GPS connection. And very few people who gave a proper installation have made or heard a (test) dsc mayday. The number of actual dsc maydays the uscg responds to is very very small (like single digits).

 

Re the lawsuit . . . The "interesting" question is if you advertise an SOS/911 capability, what sort of response must you be able to provide. I would think it should be essentially identical to the public capabilities (epirb and 911) in terms of all the important metrics, as these terms have been defined by their public implementations.

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We also have handheld DSC-GPS-VHF requirements w registered MMSI for dismasting, capsize, COB, redundancy..

Also a good idea . . . But there are range and battery issues with handhelds.

 

Aegeon was out of handheld range for the USCG, and probably the Mexicans. They would most probably have been in range of some racing boats, if those boats had their radios on and could hear them in the cockpit. There was a commercial ship around, but I can't remember if it was within handheld range or not - I think not but am not sure.

 

Whenever I go to use my handheld I find the batteries dead. I fully admit this is just sloppiness on my part, but safety practice needs to acknowledge that humans are by nature sloppy.

 

DSC is great "in theory", but a bit lacking in practice . . . Starting with the fact that +90% of dsc installations (in the USA) do not have either an MMSI or a GPS connection. And very few people who gave a proper installation have made or heard a (test) dsc mayday. The number of actual dsc maydays the uscg responds to is very very small (like single digits).

 

Re the lawsuit . . . The "interesting" question is if you advertise an SOS/911 capability, what sort of response must you be able to provide. I would think it should be essentially identical to the public capabilities (epirb and 911) in terms of all the important metrics, as these terms have been defined by their public implementations.

True but locally vhf is good. We had voice and DSC position polling success at 25 miles fixed mount- as a boat had rounded maintop. The benefit of DSC in a race environment is the net/repeater effect- it keeps propagating the alert which improves the range of handheld and fixed mount. We also have several fleet rescues locally (USS rescue at sea winners) which DSC enhances. Class D and MMSI were required for race entry to be valid. Education and familiarity w the equipment is important. Our practice session included a distressed vessel in the marina. a fixed mount as the RC role and the handhelds to represent the fleet. Very popular joint exercise http://tinyurl.com/DHF-DSC-test To move from theory to practice- takes practice

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I would guess the Aegean was well within handdeld range of USCG / DHLS

 

There are Many Eyes and Ears out in the dark around that area 100% of the time

 

and from shore the USCG can pick up a faint VHF signal from many places high above the water - you might not hear them But .......

 

as for the commercial ship in the area, it was to the South of the Coronado's

 

and the Aegean was against the North Wall of the Island so Zero Line of Sight

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Someone picked up on the thread here over at a soaring forum as they have similar needs and concerns over SPOT capabilities and use. A pretty sober crowd over there but this popped up which I couldn't help but offer here.

 

Glidergeek
Mar 30 (14 hours ago)
Excerpt from the report on this accident:
"Based on all factors, the panel concludes that the skipper set a waypoint that took Aegean on a path that intersected North Coronado Island, that Aegean was motoring under autopilot as she approached the island, and there is no evidence of any intervention to prevent Aegean's running into the island".
The SPOT is not a navigation device, The captain F up he cost everybody their lives, none of them were wearing life preservers, This is speculation but his wife is probably being sued and her only recourse it to in turn sue everybody she can to try to off set her husbands tragic mistake.
This is also speculation, the captain was so pissed off that the SPOT would not transmit a message conveying the emergency that he beat and killed all of the crew with the SPOT. As a report stated they all died of blunt force trauma, couldn't possibly have happened because they weren't wearing life preservers and there was 4 to 6 foot seas.

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