3 dead in N2E

Everybody thinks that all mariners are rich and can afford all of these electronic devices that can and do malfunction or fail...if you and a ship on collision course at night..have you ever wondered what that white flair is for? They are normally with that flair gun package that you bought...AWhite flair is exactly for an occurrence like that...shining a flashlight or trying to contact on the radio... Or using this or that...some shipping companies cut their overhead with the radar off and one crewman on duty...and what if that one crewman had to take a leak or went off the bridge for some thing..you don't think it happens? If anybody is anywhere near an open hatch, or port will wonder why the sky just lite up...even for a few seconds..and will investigate..even those million candlepower spotlights don't light up the sky like that WHITE flair...lots of times when we sailed around a lot of ship traffic..we would have a loaded gun with a white flair already in it in one of the empty sheet bags..ready to use...but if you want to depend on all of these electronic devices..it's your prerogative...or a trusted used or centuries proven device? do you know that the military can and do turn off the GPS satellites?

 

CCruiser

Super Anarchist
1,510
13
[

Are you saying that there won't be any lawsuits filed? Against NOSA?
Well, no one can promise that stupid suits won't be filed, but you can promise that there won't be a judgment for the plaintiff. What, exactly, would be the grounds of the suit? Are you assuming that Orange County small claims court has jurisdiction over events in international waters? You realize that Admiralty law explicitly indemnified all parties that are not directly involved in the cause of the collision. Can you outline a basis for a lawsuit against NOSA that could be heard in state court?
OC small claims court? Ahhhhhh.......

The action could be for wrongful death. The issue would be whether or not NOSA was negligent.

One could argue that NOSA (that is, the NOSA Board), in it's unsatiable qwest for more revenue, broadened the scope of the event to include those who would be less likely to possess the skills necessary to venture out on an overnight race, crossing dangerous and busy commercial lanes, and did nothing to ensure that all entries were qualified to deal with such circumstances.

There were no criteria around something as simple as swimming ability, or knowledge of the COLREGS, or instruction on how to navigate busy channels at night, or how to read running lights, or safety measures like carrying flares at the ready near the helm. What criteria were established to be able to stand watch and be responsible for the boat and the lives of the crewmembers sleeping below?

One could argue that NOSA, knowing full well that the race had been expanded to include wingnuts, and knowing full well that night time sailing in shipping lanes was dangerous, did nothing but focus on additional revenue. Infact, by offering valuable monetary incentives, like a two year Lexus lease, NOSA altered the very nature of the Ensenada Race and induced folks to enter who might not have ever ventured offshore.

But - the race had been run for 65 years with no serious incident... Yes, true, but prior races were restricted to racing classes, those that presumably had the skills to go offshore. Further, the event had been run by experienced and knowledagble racers at NOSA...

So, those might be the positions taken by an avaricious attorney. Do not confuse those positions with my personal position, and send me angry messages, as I am an Ayn Rand disciple. And I did not vote for BHO.

The question remains, what will now be the fate of the Ensenada Race? Gird your loins, NOSA, and call your D & O policy holder. The sharks are circling.

It is interesting all of the legal theories that you suggest could be attempted against NOSA. The reality is, the sport has been designed by lawyers from Day 1 to protect the race organizers. The organizing authorities reponsibilities are to "Start a Race" and "Finish a Race." I sure don't ask for more or less from any race or regatta I go to.

Where the line is drawn is reinforced in the rules as follows:

"4 DECISION TO RACE

The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone."

Nobody forced this Hunter 37 to enter this race, it was their option. Nobody forced them to start or continue in this race, they chose to. They chose their safety equipment (USCG minimum required meeting the country's laws). They chose their crew. They chose their course, they chose their watches, they chose everything.

There are no laws requiring race organizers to test participants, there is no national database of educational classes attended and passed for participants. Do your own survey and you'll find most boat owners have not even taken a USCG Aux or US Power Squadron course. But around the bar, every person will brag how experienced and how much knowledge they possess. But good luck finding this knowledge tested in writing and results posted.

As you know there's a requirement for motor vehicles - drivers license, which shows a minimum of knowledge and skill. There is no such equivalent in boating. Some rumyuckle can buy a boat this afternoon with no experience and no training, go sailing for the first time ever and go out sailing in a hurricane. And you want to suggest that is someone else's fault in society that it occurred? No, we love sailing because we do take personal responsibility for out actions. Someone spill a hot cup of coffee on their lap on a sailboat? They deserved it. They can't blame someone else.

To me it is admirable that we have succeeded as one of the final frontiers of freedom with very little government influence. And that personal responsibility is still in force in this sport.

Good points.

However, consider that a waiver of claims, before a negligent act, is not a bar to a lawsuit.

Next comes the issue of the very validity of a waiver of liability. Courts have held that a waiver of liability for negligence is against public policy. And if against public policy, then the courts will not uphold it.

Nimrod the Sailor (NtS) simply cannot be held accountable for risks that he could not possibly be aware of. This issue has far more meaning if the waiver clearly stated the dangers inherent in racing at night, in busy shipping lanes and the need to have qualified folks in charge, at all times, of each vessel. It did not say that severe injury, even death, is a risk of the event.

So, ordinary negligence or gross negilence?

Now, the question therefore becomes: was NOSA negligent in inducing Nimrods to race without informing them of the dangers and doing very little to educate them or set standards for entries?

Which begs the question, what is the standard of care for conducting an overnight race in international waters and in potentially hazardous conditions? We know the Transpac has very strict standards for entries, equipment, and experience. As does Cabo, the Fastnet, etc. We see Kent Island in a post above comment that his club reacted to an influx of Nimrods by establishing new standards for a local race.

Having said all that, please be aware that I do not advocate the potential positions described above. I am just pointing out a probable outcome driven by avaricious, blackhearted lawyers.
Dorag, your on a roll. But you comments do not withstand analysis - 1. a pre-event waiver is effective, 2. waivers of negligence claims are valid, and are not in the vast majority of cases against public policy - waivers of gross negligence are against public policy. 3. You assume that a duty exists for race organizers to undertake a detailed analysis of the qualifications of each boat and all of its crew members, from where does such a duty arise? While a few races, longer distance and more difficult races, have taken a closer look at the crews, specifically the owner/captain and watch captains, none has required anything other than that they submit resumes and that their boats be inspected. (Two of these events - the Caribbean 1500 and the NARC both go to extensive lengths to insure that the boats and crew are offshore capable, and both have suffered loss of life and boats.) Last I knew, which is awhile back, at least the inspected part applied to the Ensanada race. Also the rules expressly remove any such duty - you decide if you want to sail. 4. Finally, cruising does not count? Really? So you think that cruiser do not have to be competent sailors; they do not understand the rules of the road, they do not know what lights for example a tug with tow will be showing. Really? You must not have ever done any substantial cruising, you know that stuff where you cross the Atlantic, or sail to Bemuda or the Eastern Caribbean Islands, or Mexico and Central America. Joshua Slocum, the Pardeys, the Dashews, etc were all cruisers - are you really asserting that they did not know what they were doing?

You attempt to make a legal case, but have yet to establish the fundimental elements - 1. the existence of a duty on the race organizers to undertake an investigation of the qualifications of each boat and each crew member, 2. whether if they had done so they would not have allowed this boat and crew, that had raced before and won, to race, (do you even know the qualifiactions of this crew - no); and 3. how this accident happened, and therefore the relationship, if any, between what you assert to be the race organizer's breach of duty, (letting what you assume, without factual basis, to be an inexperienced crew race), and this accident. Unless you establish each of these elements your asserted claim fails as a matter of law. We do not even reach the waiver issue.

Every responsible sailor knows you need to maintain a lookout, especially in "shipping lanes," and we do not know what happened here, although it is almost certain that the boat was run down/struck by something big - a ship or tow. What we do not know, and will undoutedly never know is why this happened. Was the ship not showing lights, did the boat not have a watch, did the watch crew not know what the lights he saw meant, were the ship's lights lost in the light scatter ashore, should the owner have been using radar, if he was not. For all we know a submarine surfaced undernieth the boat. The list of questions is not endless but it is long, and until you know the answers litigation is problematic to say the least.

I have raced and sailed a lot of miles offshore. More than once competent crew have become disoriented about, or missed, ship lights. All of us have had closer calls than we would have liked, no matter the level of experience. I love AIS, but still post a watch and insist they keep a lookout - I have seen more than one large ship that was not transmitting, and a 50 foot fishing vessal can certainly sink a sail boat.

So I sincerely think you need to sit down, and relax, stick to waht you know, and be a little less prejudiced/judgmental, and perhaps more respectful of your fellow sailors, even cruisers.

 

Catamount

Super Anarchist
This race was ISAF category 3 with AIS Transponder recommended.

In category 2 the AIS Transponder is already a must.

 

There is a big difference pricewise between AIS receiver andtransponder !!!!

Not sure about the powerconsumption of a transponder vs. receiver.
The power consumption of my class-B AIS transponder is really not very much. It is only sending out a short burst of data (milliseconds?) in a low power transmission (2 watts?) once every 30 seconds. My Vesper Marine display is also optimized to use minimal amounts of power.

I also have a EchoMax Active-X Radar Target Enhancer -- and it's power consumption is also very small, depending on the number of radars that are pinging it.

 

LISBS

Member
129
0
Everybody thinks that all mariners are rich and can afford all of these electronic devices that can and do malfunction or fail...if you and a ship on collision course at night..have you ever wondered what that white flair is for? They are normally with that flair gun package that you bought...AWhite flair is exactly for an occurrence like that...shining a flashlight or trying to contact on the radio... Or using this or that...some shipping companies cut their overhead with the radar off and one crewman on duty...and what if that one crewman had to take a leak or went off the bridge for some thing..you don't think it happens? If anybody is anywhere near an open hatch, or port will wonder why the sky just lite up...even for a few seconds..and will investigate..even those million candlepower spotlights don't light up the sky like that WHITE flair...lots of times when we sailed around a lot of ship traffic..we would have a loaded gun with a white flair already in it in one of the empty sheet bags..ready to use...but if you want to depend on all of these electronic devices..it's your prerogative...or a trusted used or centuries proven device? do you know that the military can and do turn off the GPS satellites?
there are 2 people on watch, the mate and the AB

 

ProaSailor

dreaming my life away...
6,106
794
Oregon
It sounds like at least 2 or the 4 crew were quite experienced. There is some evidence (life raft onboard, tethered to debris, experienced skipper) this crew was practicing safe-sailing...accidents can and will continue to happen.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_YACHT_RACE_DEATHS_FLOL-?SITE=FLPET&SECTION=HOME
The Rudolphs would have celebrated their 27th anniversary on May 26 and he leaves two grown children, his wife said. Rudolph and other crewmembers worked for the Raytheon company in El Segundo, she said.
In addition to yachting, Rudolph sponsored robotics competitions, and loved to cook, fish and play the harmonica in a band, his wife said.

"He just loved life," she said.
I think it's a reasonable assumption that this crew understood all the technology available.

 
AIS receiver Pt.Loma (shipfinder.com) shows OVERSEAS ARIADMAR (apologies for error in name in original post) at Pemex Terminal, Rosarito Beach, prior to tragedy. Her outbound departure/track to Anacortes is not recorded at marinetraffic.com until she appears approx. 150 miles WNW of Pt.Conception on 4/29/12 at 17:08Z. Since then, OA has been steaming N. at 10 knots. You can Google this ship for more info.






OVERSEAS ARIADMAR - IMO 9273624






502508.jpg







PAST POSITION





2012 May 1st, 20:00:54 UTC Anacortes / 2012 April 24th, 17:00:45 UTC Rosarito /














.Manager:Osg Shipmanagement GreeceAthens, Greece


That's a big f'ng hammer....

 

C&C 115

Anarchist
963
0
Annapolis
there had to have been almost no wind. before we withdrew, we were doing triple zero's at around that time for at least an hour. we were surely further down the track, but i think the wind shut off for almost everyone. if a big boat comes steaming along, you are a sitting duck. And where we were, there were almost no boats around us - you could have a mishap and no one would even know.....

No you aren't... turn on the motor. That boat probably does 7-8 knots in "Get the fuck out of the way of that big ship" mode.

This isn't the first comment I have seen that said there was little wind as if that was their only means of propulsion.

 

valis

Super Anarchist
3,782
610
Friday Harbor, WA
It sounds like at least 2 or the 4 crew were quite experienced. There is some evidence (life raft onboard, tethered to debris, experienced skipper) this crew was practicing safe-sailing...accidents can and will continue to happen.

http://hosted.ap.org...ET&SECTION=HOME
The Rudolphs would have celebrated their 27th anniversary on May 26 and he leaves two grown children, his wife said. Rudolph and other crewmembers worked for the Raytheon company in El Segundo, she said.
In addition to yachting, Rudolph sponsored robotics competitions, and loved to cook, fish and play the harmonica in a band, his wife said.

"He just loved life," she said.
I think it's a reasonable assumption that this crew understood all the technology available.
Continuing my wild speculation, in the reports of the overheard VHF communications Agean was calling the large ship by name. To me this implies that Agean had an AIS receiver, it not a transponder.

FWIW, my Class-B transponder draws about 0.3A @ 12V. If I want to use the received AIS data I also need to have my chartplotter or computer turned on, so that's another couple of amps. This is still less than my radar consumes. The new VHF radios with built-in AIS receivers are probably among the lowest-power receive-only solutions available.

 

markp999

New member
40
1
AIS requires radar. Needs to be simple. Flarm is GPS and radio based. Requires nothing (no radar). Simple. Does not require interpretation. Intelligent, predicts possible turns of both vessels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLARM

Flarm in mining: http://www.safe-mine.com/

Anyone want over/under on how long to:

AIS receive required

AIS transceiver required
Not so much...AIS requires only a VHF signal path to xmit/rcv the data and a GPS input. If you don't have the GPS input, you can still receive information, but without an own-ship position, you'll have no bearing/range info, but you will still have everyone's position/cse/spd, so if you had a laptop that could display the contacts, you'd know where they were. (At least that's the way ours functions.)

 

Horse Hockey

Member
275
0
San Diego
there had to have been almost no wind. before we withdrew, we were doing triple zero's at around that time for at least an hour. we were surely further down the track, but i think the wind shut off for almost everyone. if a big boat comes steaming along, you are a sitting duck. And where we were, there were almost no boats around us - you could have a mishap and no one would even know.....

No you aren't... turn on the motor. That boat probably does 7-8 knots in "Get the fuck out of the way of that big ship" mode.

This isn't the first comment I have seen that said there was little wind as if that was their only means of propulsion.
I suppose its natural to assume they could get the engine started, but engines dont always start.. impossible to know what happened and will likely never know. its a sad thing this..

 

markp999

New member
40
1
Everybody thinks that all mariners are rich and can afford all of these electronic devices that can and do malfunction or fail...if you and a ship on collision course at night..have you ever wondered what that white flair is for? They are normally with that flair gun package that you bought...AWhite flair is exactly for an occurrence like that...shining a flashlight or trying to contact on the radio... Or using this or that...some shipping companies cut their overhead with the radar off and one crewman on duty...and what if that one crewman had to take a leak or went off the bridge for some thing..you don't think it happens? If anybody is anywhere near an open hatch, or port will wonder why the sky just lite up...even for a few seconds..and will investigate..even those million candlepower spotlights don't light up the sky like that WHITE flair...lots of times when we sailed around a lot of ship traffic..we would have a loaded gun with a white flair already in it in one of the empty sheet bags..ready to use...but if you want to depend on all of these electronic devices..it's your prerogative...or a trusted used or centuries proven device? do you know that the military can and do turn off the GPS satellites?
Good points, Jack...except the last one. Selective availability (SA) is a capability of the system to introduce error into the commercially available systems, denying accuracy to the general population using Standard Positioning System (SPS), while the military receivers still receive Precise Positioning System (PPS) signals (Y-code) with a high degree of accuracy. The S/A error has been dialed down to zero since 1 May 2000 (by order of Pres. Clinton). If you're not getting satellites, it's due to coverage gaps caused by satellite failure. Maybe your tin-foil foulie hat is deflecting the signal? :)

 

CruiserJim

Anarchist
Actually it appears the ship's track crosses the course, and the timing is about right.

/monthly_04_2012/post-2414-098652000%201335812333_thumb.jpg

 

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us7070

Super Anarchist
10,229
243
Everybody thinks that all mariners are rich and can afford all of these electronic devices that can and do malfunction or fail...if you and a ship on collision course at night..have you ever wondered what that white flair is for? They are normally with that flair gun package that you bought...AWhite flair is exactly for an occurrence like that...shining a flashlight or trying to contact on the radio... Or using this or that...some shipping companies cut their overhead with the radar off and one crewman on duty...and what if that one crewman had to take a leak or went off the bridge for some thing..you don't think it happens? If anybody is anywhere near an open hatch, or port will wonder why the sky just lite up...even for a few seconds..and will investigate..even those million candlepower spotlights don't light up the sky like that WHITE flair...lots of times when we sailed around a lot of ship traffic..we would have a loaded gun with a white flair already in it in one of the empty sheet bags..ready to use...but if you want to depend on all of these electronic devices..it's your prerogative...or a trusted used or centuries proven device? do you know that the military can and do turn off the GPS satellites?
Good points, Jack...except the last one. Selective availability (SA) is a capability of the system to introduce error into the commercially available systems, denying accuracy to the general population using Standard Positioning System (SPS), while the military receivers still receive Precise Positioning System (PPS) signals (Y-code) with a high degree of accuracy. The S/A error has been dialed down to zero since 1 May 2000 (by order of Pres. Clinton). If you're not getting satellites, it's due to coverage gaps caused by satellite failure. Maybe your tin-foil foulie hat is deflecting the signal? :)

if you are lighting the white flare, it probably means you already think a collision is possible.

the AIS can prevent you from getting in to such a situation.

I have a Garmin handheld that uses both GPS and GLONASS satellites - other than local jamming, the military would probably have to shoot down the GLONASS satellites to stop them from being used.

I am not aware of and AIS or other marine systems with GLONASS and GPS ability, but I would guess they will be out soon.

 

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