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Old 10-08-2010, 08:37 PM   #21
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USCG San Diego Collision

Before I got out the USCG had already switched its standard boarding forms used for every boarding of every vessel to PDA's So while doing a boarding we had our little Palm Pilot or whatever they where out, entering data with one of those electronic pens instead of real paper on a clipboard. They even modified our SAR vests (vests we wore with EPIRB, flares, mirror, whistle, knife, etc to carry them,) and added spots on the standard issue gun belts for those and nextel phones. Often when working a large search and rescue case or LE case, it was easier and more secure to communicate with the Group Operations center or Station dispatcher/command with the nextel phones then on the VHF, especially when mulitple agencies and civilians where going crazy on the vhf. Even when they outfitted the boats with the VHFs that you could code and have secure transmissions, have cell phones onboard and using them to communicate to the command was expected and used to cut down on wasted time waiting for air time on the vhf when working a big case.

-- Edited by JMYSS on Friday 8th of October 2010 08:37:47 PM
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:38 PM   #22
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

Regardless, I'd expect the Coast Guard, in particular as they are professionals and not your average yahoos, to keep a good watch and not move faster than the visible distance one could stop or maneuver around, especially in a boat-rich environment.* Someone on watch/guard while texting his sweetheart, reading a joke, etcetera*is immature or irresponsible.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:42 AM   #23
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

I refused on the grounds that it was amateur night on the bay and I didn't want any part of it.

You would have enjoyed the OP Sail in 1976 and the follow on spectacles in NY Harbor..

I'd expect the Coast Guard, in particular as they are professionals and not your average yahoos,

Well expect away , but the reality of the insanity of different command structures goes on.

In one NY Harbor debacle the SS or USN , decided the anchoring plan promulgated 8 or 9 months in advance by yje USCG was to be canceled , in the MIDST of the ongoing operation!

Boats that were anchored in front of the statue and immigration island , 2 ,3 and 4 days early were told to clear out IMMEDIATLY , and forced to anchor in water 4x as deep in almost the middle of the harbor.

After about 3 hours the order was canceled, so a huge race was on back to the anchorage , no re opened.

Who won? The 4 story high tubs that ringed the "fence" leaving hundreds of smaller boats with a view of NOTHING, stuck behind them.

So much for 4 days of planning.

2 boats were destroyed as a tug and fuel barge picked up the anchor lines of about 30 ft sail boats and drug them to their destruction.

Professional? Not the USCG !!
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:11 AM   #24
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

It seems I read somewhere that the NTSB is investigating this incident. I hope so because they are the gold standard when it comes to finding the real cause of an incident. As a professional aviator Ive learned that an accident or incident is not caused by the actions of one crew but rather a combination of many events that lead to an accident or incident.
Ive read many initial newspaper reports of aircraft accidents that seemingly indicate pilot error as the cause of an accident only to learn a year later when the NTSB issues its final report that though pilot error is a contributing factor many other factors came into play contributing to the accident.


The recent Gulf oil spill is a good example. A corporate culture at BP that put profits ahead of safety led to the accident, not the simple lack of monitoring that BP initially blamed on the oil platform crew.


Tim Nichols is in a unique position to describe the pressures and responsibilities felt by the Coast Guard crews and certainly that can be an important part of any investigation. If there was pressure on these crewman to respond in the manner they did then the NTSB will discover that. It has been a contributing factor in aircraft accidents.


My first thoughts on this were to ask myself was this really an accident. Did some mechanical thing fail, like the throttle cable or steering, preventing the crew from properly guiding the boat? This doesnt appear to be the case, but rather the crew intentionally guided the boat in a manner that caused the accident. So it was a preventable accident, an accident that would have been prevented with a properly trained crew following standard operating procedures (SOP).


So a proper investigation will at least include the following:


<ul>[*]Was the crew properly trained? This is an important question and leads directly to supervisory personal.[/list]<ul>[*]The creation and implementation of SOPs are the responsibility of the highest command of the CG. Were there SOPs governing how the crew should respond to a distress call and how to operate their vessel in a crowded anchorage at night? Surely there must be SOPs governing the operation of the vessel, but were those SOPs sufficient to cover this event.[/list]With cell phones an important part of our daily lives, did SOPs address the operation and use of cell phones? As an example, most airlines prohibit the use of cell phones by crews after push back. Its part of our SOPs.
<ul>[*]Were SOPs followed? If not why not? Was there a corporate culture within that unit of the CG that regularly disregarded SOPs. My guess is this is where any investigative agency if they are really interested in getting to the bottom of this will focus on.[/list]

Its always easy to blame the crew for an accident, especially if the supervisors of that crew are conducting the investigation. For this reason I hope the CG is not the primary investigating agency. If a proper investigation is preformed my guess is the blame will reach high up the chain of command.


Shame on the CG if this investigation ends with the court martial of the 3 crew members. Anyone with any knowledge of accident investigation will know these 3 are being used as scapegoats and the CG will loose credibility, at least in my mind.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:13 AM   #25
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

Quote:
JMYSS wrote:This is a tough one for me to comment on
Before you pull a muscle patting yourself on the back and apologizing for the documented incompetence, poor training, lack of oversight, and general yahoo attitude of the CG small boat service, I will tell you most professional mariners simply don't share the view through your rose colored glasses.

As one who watched while a CG helo lifted an injured crewman off my ship in the middle of the Bering sea as a Herc circled overhead I will tell you I have the greatest respect for courage and professionalism of the aviation group. The small boat folks, however, are almost universally despised because of their Rambo antics and supercop attitude.

If you want to find a model for coastal life saving and the level of professionalism that can be obtained, have a look at the UK lifeboat service. http://www.rnli.org.uk/

*
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:21 AM   #26
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

Quote:
timjet wrote:It seems I read somewhere that the NTSB is investigating this incident. I hope so because they are the gold standard when it comes to finding the real cause of an incident.


Tim Nichols is in a unique position to describe the pressures and responsibilities felt by the Coast Guard crews and certainly that can be an important part of any investigation.
I guess you missed these a couple of posts back:


http://www.ntsb.gov/pressrel/2010/100811.html

A previous collision incident in Miami was determined by the NTSB*to be caused by: "... the failure of the coxswain of the Coast Guard patrol boat to operate his vessel at a safe speed in a restricted-speed area frequented by small passenger vessels and in conditions of limited visibility due to darkness and background lighting.Contributing to the cause of the accident was the lack of adequate Coast Guard oversight of nonstandard boat operations.
http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2002/MAR0205.pdf

http://www.uscg.mil/foia/docs/MSSTAnchCapsizeFDL.PDF

http://www.uscg.mil/foia/ANCHORAGE/ExecSummary.pdf

I suggest Mr. Nichols may lack objectivity in this matter.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:37 AM   #27
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

timejet - It would be nice if BP's disaster were soley due to looking for higher profits. Corporate incompetance yes, greed not. It would not*have not cost*BP any more* "big" $ to do the thing right so the blow out would never taken place. It is now all confused due to lawsuits and politics. BP's new experienced boss is a refreshing step forward for a company that for too many years was run by a group of twits who in this case paid too little*attention to their in-house expertise.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:15 AM   #28
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

-I guess we are all entitled to our opinions, which is what makes the USA so great.

-There is a good possibility that I lack complete objectivity. I still have many friends who serve, and still have plenty of Red, White, BLue, and Coast Guard orange ink that will be with me for the rest of my life. But I do know what it is like to wear their boots, and drive their boats.

-RickB....I have the utmost respect for your credentials as a merchant mariner...that being said, how many merchant mariners have run into bridges, run over tour boats, run over pleasure boats, barges running over jet skits, barges not listening to their radios, commerical vessels running aground, Merchant mariners running aground and spilling millions of gallons of oil, running over pilots, etc. etc. ......? How many accidents have happend aboard ships or yachts at sea killing crew members because of lack of command oversight? I've even responded to accidents that caused death and injury from commercial vessels operating too fast for the conditions or area they are in and waking out recreational boats and even military boats in security zones....I dare say there have been far more instances of Merchant Mariners killing people at sea then Coast Guard vessel operators. Even if you look at some sort of ratio between the number of merchant vessels and hours underway compared to the number of Coast Guard vessels and hours underway, I have a feeling that the casualty rate for Merchant Mariners will be far higher the USCG small boat operators.

3. " Rambo antics and supercot attitude" ... September 11th, 2001 forever changed the Coast Guard. Prior to that event, it was a Search and Rescue organization that participated in law enforment. After that event, it became a Homeland Security/Federal Law Enforement/paramilitary orginazation that still performs Search and Rescue. There where ALOT of growing pains. I understand that the new rules that the Merchant Mariners have to abide by is a pain in the butt, because I am one. I understand that people feel intimidated by the fast boats with machine guns. I know that commercial captains are annoyed when a group of 21 year olds come onboard with lots of guns to do a security boarding, and tell the captain what they can and cannot do. I , for one, am willing to put up with the inconveniance or hassle, because it makes us safer. These men and women who volunteer to wear a uniform, are being tasked with these "antics" from the very top of the chain of command, the elected officials we did, or did not, vote for.

I'm not saying the Coast Guard is perfect and does not make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. Just show them some respect until the investigation is over and the real facts are know.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:17 AM   #29
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USCG San Diego Collision

Quote:
JMYSS wrote:Just show them some respect until the investigation is over and the real facts are know.

I understand that people feel intimidated by the fast boats with machine guns.
I am happy to show them the respect they have earned.

As far as the investigation(s) are concerned, those that have been completed (see links in previous posts) and the CG's own policy letter in response to the NTSB preliminary findings represent what those organizations have declared to be "real facts."

We don't feel "intimidated' as much as appalled at the behavior and the real hazard it all too often creates for those in innocent passage. having personally witnessed such an incident recently where the crew of one of those boats put its own crew and another much larger vessel "in extremis" while reacting without guidance or communication to a situation which involved a legitimate and specifically authorized* vessel movement.

I know very well the details and events and the CG response as I am the one who wrote the official company complaint which detailed the hazard and the "near miss" created by the poor judgement of the crew of the patrol boat. It was a foreign flag vessel, thankfully commanded by a highly experienced and confident master who chose to ignore the dangerous behavior and commands of the boat crew and kept the safetey of his vessel and crew as the highest priority. We two Americans on the bridge of that vessel felt no intimidation, we felt anger, embarrassement, and shame at the behavior displayed by the CG crew.

*


-- Edited by RickB on Saturday 9th of October 2010 11:34:45 AM
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:45 AM   #30
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

Quote:
JMYSS wrote:

...* I understand that people feel intimidated by the fast boats with machine guns. ...
Funny, it was/is comforting for me*to see those 50-calibre-machine-gun-equipped CG boats accompanying/protecting our ship, leastwise until I see the guns pointed at me.

*
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:09 PM   #31
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

My reference about "being intimidated by machine guns", I was referring to the general boating public. I know that those of you in the commercial world are not intimidated by them, I was refering to the fact that when a Coast Guard boat used to pull a runabout or fishing boat over for a routine boarding, it used to be a guy in a janitor uniform with at most a 9mm on his waist. Now they are being pulled over by guys that look like commandos with a 9mm, M16, Shotgun over their shoulder, and a***** M240 on the bow and stern, all on a 25' boat....while they are doing the same boarding, the look is much different now. The "show of force" is aimed at others, but they still have to do the same job.

As far as the rest of the conversation, let me just say I hope everyone has a great weekend. I am going to respectfully disagree with some of the comments, and go play on my boat, its sunny and 75 here today.
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:10 PM   #32
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

September 11th, 2001 forever changed the Coast Guard. Prior to that event, it was a Search and Rescue organization that participated in law enforment

Nope the deterioration was long before that , in the 60's it was a place to hide from the draft.

In the 80's they were "lawmen" , instead of the light house keeper service.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:52 AM   #33
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

"in the 80's they were Lawmen, instead of lighthouse keeper service."

I hate to burst your bubble Fred, but many of the lighthouse and lightship personnel were
undesireables that were waiting discharge. The pot smokers/alcoholic or other problem children were frequently sent to these units to minimize their impact. At least 1 island off the coast of New England had a small "Garden" that didn't include tomatos! As a high schooler in the mid 70's , we used to go there by skiff and "celebrate" with the coasties.
As a young Coastie myself, in the late 70's and early 80's, I saw the reality of the situation. The last of the lightships was still in service, as were the lighthouse keepers.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:02 AM   #34
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

Hiya,
** Where are these islands when ya need em?* Support prop' 19...
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:23 AM   #35
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

Quote

"(She is no longer allowed on my boat until she can adhere to the captain's
wishes, with no back talk.)"




*Please let me know how this works out, and if you lose any appendages in the process.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:23 PM   #36
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

Quote:
Sharkey wrote:

Quote

"(She is no longer allowed on my boat until she can adhere to the captain's*wishes, with no back talk.)"

Please let me know how this works out, and if you lose any appendages in the process.
Yeah neither my husband nor I would get away with expecting to always get our way with no discussion!*

Though I DO agree that was a good day to stay in the marina!* We skipped fleet week this past weekend after our unpleasant prior experiences with the ZOO the bay becomes as soon as the show ends and several hundred boaters who normally never leave the dock all head for home at WOT with no regard for other people's safety or the rules of the road!*

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Old 10-11-2010, 03:38 PM   #37
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RE: USCG San Diego Collision

...I was standing on Angel Island with a beer in one hand and binocs in the other watching the madness when the show was over.* I enjoyed it more than the Blue Angels!

Ray
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