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Old 11-26-2013, 11:05 AM   #1
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USCG Has No Duty to Launch a Rescue Effort, Court Says

Wow....

Coast Guard Has No Duty to Undertake Rescue Efforts, Court Ruless
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:16 AM   #2
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Leave a party in a small boat in rough weather without wearing a lifejacket, and then try to blame it on someone else when things go wrong.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:16 AM   #3
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The other side of the coin ...

now what the EFF is this nonsense all about? - Page 4
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:30 AM   #4
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Given the facts of the case as posted by Sea-Duction, the actions of the Coast Guard seem justifiable.

Sometimes, before the fact personal initiative trumps the need for after the fact search and rescue.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:35 PM   #5
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Not a surprising ruling. It is right in line with other rulings that have held that police, fire, rescue, etc. services are not responsible to any particular individual.

That is, if you call the police, and they don't show up, and you are robbed/raped/whatever as a result, I can guarantee you that any attempt to sue them for failure to respond is going to go nowhere. Courts have repeatedly ruled that they are not liable to you as an individual in such a circumstance. Same with fire departments. Same with ambulance services.

Why should the Coast Guard by any different?
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:07 AM   #6
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Leave a party in a small boat in rough weather without wearing a lifejacket, and then try to blame it on someone else when things go wrong.
My thoughts exactly.
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:46 AM   #7
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What's gets the USCG in trouble is when they don't follow "standard level of care"..the court found that the USCG's actions were "standard care".

I was in that position as a regional operations officer many a time....

You wouldn't believe how many times a guy was found at some bar with his boat on a trailer, with a bunch of dead bait and the bottom never wet.

The most interesting part of a USCG operations center is the detective work...usually not the search planning as that is very canned. Trying to figure out where to start looking with scanty info or to keep searching when you know the area told to you where the boat should be was covered well.

The courts and lawmakers will probably NEVER make it law the USCG HAS to launch...it would get people killed by putting too much pressure on responding.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:32 AM   #8
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THe issue is simply about personal responsibility.
We have a fully developed Nanny State, so of course we have trained people, all people, not just boaters, that they can do the stupidest things and someone (the taxpayer) will bail them out.

How is this any different than having to rescued on Mt. Hood, Rainier, or Denali because the weather changed? Or getting lost in the woods and having no food, etc.

Wierdly, Europe, while having many expensive social programs, takes a far more reasoned appraoch. We understand you may get in trouble, so when we have to save you from youself, you will pay. Now, knowing how expensive rescues can be (this includes even mundane stuff like the ski patrol), people have insurance to cover this.

No insurance? No problem.They will get their money, one way or another. No putting your house, boat, car in someone else's name. They figured out that scam 500 years ago.

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Old 11-28-2013, 08:55 AM   #9
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I wouldn't say the US is a fully developed"nanny state"...fortunately someone/a few people awhile back forced the government to take a back seat for stupid people on the water (most of the time) as long as they aren't in danger..

Thus the assistance towing industry....
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:20 AM   #10
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Not a surprising ruling. It is right in line with other rulings that have held that police, fire, rescue, etc. services are not responsible to any particular individual.

That is, if you call the police, and they don't show up, and you are robbed/raped/whatever as a result, I can guarantee you that any attempt to sue them for failure to respond is going to go nowhere. Courts have repeatedly ruled that they are not liable to you as an individual in such a circumstance. Same with fire departments. Same with ambulance services.

Why should the Coast Guard by any different?
Probably very true.
Interesting in that the anti-gun lobby under these situations will make no exception in their policies.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:24 AM   #11
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Here we go again ...

Cheaply built boat, amateur sailors, no skills to repair or jury rig. No danger, just waiting for a ride going their way ... the taxpayer picks up the tab.

This really is one where they should be billed for every penny spent on the "rescue."

now what the EFF is this nonsense all about?

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Old 01-19-2014, 10:50 AM   #12
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So gone are day's of "You have to go out, you don't have to come back!"?
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:31 PM   #13
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As I read it, the call came in for an overdue boat. That is not necessarily an emergency at all. They could have just decided to stay at the party and sleep it off. Or had a mechanical breakdown. It is not practical to scramble helos and boats just because someone is late and doesn't answer their phone. I'm with the CG on this one.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:36 PM   #14
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Every minute and every resource the USCG spends "rescuing" disabled boats they cannot respond to a true emergency.

There are commercial operations that will tow a boat. The USCG should not be in that business. Its a waste of my as a taxpayer resources, competes with local industry, and takes them away from their primary missions.

And I say this as a proud father of Two USCG enlisted members, one who served his time on the Oregon Coast, and another that is still serving in Juneau Alaska
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:01 PM   #15
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That's a good thing...lost a lot of friends/coworkers that followed that ridiculous, old school mentality...the new motto is "you have to go out, but you have to come back"....
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:08 PM   #16
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That's a good thing...lost a lot of friends/coworkers that followed that ridiculous, old school mentality...the new motto is "you have to go out, but you have to come back"....
Sorry to hear that my friend.
When I was with them, we used repeat that ridiculous comment every time we went out on a rescue on a schitty day. Just as we did as cops, we all had our little "tag phrases", things that were meant to either pump you up or somehow motivate you when the SHTF. With the CG, we did it mainly because it always rattled the 1st Class's cage. The stark reality of it all was, well, "the reality." You knew that anything could happen. It was our job to make sure it didn't.

As was mentioned earlier, there have been numerous court rulings that have said local law enforcement is responsible for the "public" safety, not an individual. At the same time, it won't save them from a law suit stemming from piss poor police work and negligence. A good attorney just has to be able to connect the dots. I would assume just as the other poster did, that the CG would fall under similar rulings. I'm not sure how I feel about this one, but if they were busy, they were busy. You only have so many bodies, birds and boats (BTDT).

We (they now) really don't belong in the non-emergency towing business, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. With all the budget issues going on, if the CG were to begin simply ignoring, or refusing to launch on legitimate, responsible calls for assistance when not booked to capacity, then I think they'd have bigger problems when their budgets were proposed.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:23 PM   #17
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Sorry to hear that my friend.
When I was with them, we used repeat that ridiculous comment every time we went out on a rescue on a schitty day. Just as we did as cops, we all had our little "tag phrases", things that were meant to either pump you up or somehow motivate you when the SHTF. With the CG, we did it mainly because it always rattled the 1st Class's cage. The stark reality of it all was, well, "the reality." You knew that anything could happen. It was our job to make sure it didn't.

As was mentioned earlier, there have been numerous court rulings that have said local law enforcement is responsible for the "public" safety, not an individual. At the same time, it won't save them from a law suit stemming from piss poor police work and negligence. A good attorney just has to be able to connect the dots. I would assume just as the other poster did, that the CG would fall under similar rulings. I'm not sure how I feel about this one, but if they were busy, they were busy. You only have so many bodies, birds and boats (BTDT).

We (they now) really don't belong in the non-emergency towing business, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. With all the budget issues going on, if the CG were to begin simply ignoring, or refusing to launch on legitimate, responsible calls for assistance when not booked to capacity, then I think they'd have bigger problems when their budgets were proposed.
It boils down to highly trained, well prepared and responsible watchstanders..and ultimately the senior duty officers...when they went to sectors based on Homeland security and away from Group/Air Stations...it was a huge blow to SAR....

The right people are no longer calling th shots.

As much as the surface fleet hated Air Stations running groups...the average airdale officer had more practical SAR experience under one fingernail than an entire district of surface officers....add the Senior enlisted and cox experience to a Group/Airsta and you had the best of both worlds as long as the command structure wasn't total idiots.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:55 PM   #18
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...add the Senior enlisted and cox experience to a Group/Airsta and you had the best of both worlds as long as the command structure wasn't total idiots.

I might have to agree with you on that
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