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Old 04-11-2013, 04:00 AM   #41
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In S.A.R boats we used this paper that the skipper needed to sign (if we had the time) where he declared that he was aware that in the rescue his vessel may get damaged and he acknowledged the fact. None refused to sign it.
Well they wouldn`t say no, with seawater around their ankles. In USA someone might argue it was signed under duress, not here (well maybe), we are a lot less litigious.
We have a few Storebro 34s here, they have a good spacious interior design,lots of timber work, nice boats.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:05 AM   #42
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Well they wouldn`t say no, with seawater around their ankles. In USA someone might argue it was signed under duress, not here (well maybe), we are a lot less litigious.
In this country a "voluntary waiver" is not worth the piece of paper it's printed on. They are very easy to render invalid.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:08 AM   #43
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In this country a "voluntary waiver" is not worth the piece of paper it's printed on. They are very easy to render invalid.
Much like an oral agreement, "not worth the paper it`s written on."
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:44 AM   #44
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I gave this bloke a tow once, it was big old wooden yacht with no engine, he had sailed into a bay we frequent quite often, the basin, and the wind dropped to nothing.

He called over to me to give him a lift,not far, a couple of kilometres. So off we went, when we were about 70 meters from his mooring he slipped the tow, this boat probably would have weighed about 20+ tons, it carried on till he got to his mooring.

He lunges for the mooring line and grabs it, with the boat showing no signs of stopping he races down to the aft and slips the line over the aft cleat and the boat does this type of hand brake turn and comes to stop on a 45 degree angle.

This was a pretty crowded anchorage, and had he missed the mooring there would have been hell to pay.Last I saw of him was with beer in hand standing on the bow, lord of all he surveyed.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:06 AM   #45
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The only time I would consider refusing would be if conditions were such that there was a high chance of putting additional lives at risk. In those situations, I'd call for additional assistance and stand by if needed to take those onboard if they were at risk.
Or if someone was blind drunk but not in immediate risk. (above would apply anyway)

Law suits wouldn't even cross my mind. Perhaps I am just naive?
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:57 AM   #46
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............. At $150 or so per year, it's one of most useless things you can buy for your boat...............
Was that really necessary?
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:02 AM   #47
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I think I have y'all beat. We were coming home from Port Aransas in the GICW. The Harvest moon regatta was in town so the potential for "dumbassery" was high. We were coming up on the entrance into Offats Bayou. There is an Eastern and Western entrance into the channel into Offats. It is local knowledge(and in the cruising guides if you aren't local) that the Western entrance is not passable. Anyway, there was a Vagabond sailboat that was pretty hard aground in the Western entrance. I asked who the owner was and somebody piped up and said, "He is the owner and I am the captain!". Of course I had to ask a paid captain???? He answered in the affirmative andI proceeded to tell him that while the markers may suggest there is a channel here...none exists. I also explained to him that if I was successful in getting him ungrounded that he needs to pull back out into the ICW and then go in the Eastern entrance.
I was successful. As we were gathering up our lines and preparing to continue, I reiterated where he needed to go to successfully get into Offats. We pulled away and when were about 1/4 mile away my wife sighs heavily and says, "You aren't gonna believe this." I look back and Capt. Dumbass is back aground in the same spot. My wife likes people less than Marin does and begs me to not go back....but I did. It wasn't for the sake of the captain...it was for the sake of the people that paid the guy. Of course I asked him all of the rhetorical questions about "Didn't I tell you such and such......"...... Anyway, pulled them off again and this time did not look back this time.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:14 PM   #48
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Law suits wouldn't even cross my mind. Perhaps I am just naive?
You are not naive. We have to live our lives and do the right things when called upon. The lawsuit concerns posted on this thread are in my considered legal opinion out of touch with legal reality, but in touch with popular notions of legal risk as garnered through media reports.
Again, as a trial lawyer, I would personally give assistance and I would also advise a paying client of mine not to "turn turtle" on living life out of fear of lawsuits.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:20 PM   #49
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I find this thread pretty eye-opening.

I've never really boated anywhere that has a towing service, so $150 or not I've never used one. I've also never NOT assisted someone who needs help. And, needless to say, I've never been sued.

Maybe it's a cultural thing? I've done all of my boating in Canada...

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Old 04-11-2013, 02:55 PM   #50
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Maybe it's a cultural thing? I've done all of my boating in Canada...

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Could be, I don't know. I keep hearing and reading that the US leads the world in the number of lawyers per capita and the number of lawsuits and the number of seemingly frivolous or greed-inspired lawsuits that are actually won.

There is another aspect of this that's not popular or politically correct these days, and that is how one feels about personal responsibility. I believe that a person is responsible for themselves and if they don't have the wherewithal to keep themselves out of trouble, that is their problem, not mine. While genuine accidents happen, it's been my observation that the vast majority of boating accidents happen because the people involved did a dumb thing, or a chain of dumb things that led to the accident. So, their problem, their job to solve it is the way I tend to look at it.

Some things do happen that aren't anyone's immediate fault. An engine breakdown is one, although I suspect many of these can be traced back to poor maintenance or operation. But for these, there is plenty of professional assistance available in most places be it government or private. The Vessel Assist guy is trying to make a living doing what he does so my attitude is to let him do what he does as opposed to my trying to do it.

In more remote areas like up the coast here where vessel assist services are not available, the decision to help or not becomes a little more difficult. But until we are ever actually placed in this position-- the chances of which are extremely remote--- our baseline decision is not to lend physical assistance of any kind outside of extreme, life-threatening situations. But there is no way to know or predict exactly what we would do until presented with the situation.

But our, or at least my, attitude is that if someone wants to take a boat out on the water they had better be prepared to take themselves out and get themselves back totally on their own including dealing with a problem should it arise. "Dealing with it" may require calling for and hiring professional assistance, but that's part of their responsibility, too.

This business of heading out willy-nilly, which an amazing number of boaters do, and then relying on "being saved" when something goes wrong is not anything I'm interested in promoting. They can fend for themselves and maybe they'll be a bit smarter and better prepared the next time they go out.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:44 PM   #51
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A mechanical breakdown is not a" marine casualty", never mind that she was still underway making way.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:22 PM   #52
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I think Marin is in favor is letting recipients of the Darwin Award run their course.
Seriously, I understand, appreciate, and share many of Marin's concerns. But, that said, I think I'd be a bit more inclined to help. I've certainly given tows to friends (in part so my powerboat friends had to deal with the embarrassment of being towed in by a sailboat). But we approach each situation as unique and make decisions depending on the circumstances. We have tons of tow boats where we are, so I'm less inclined to tow a stranger, though I'd be happy to stand by or call Boat US if they need that type of help, or even give people a ride in while the owner stays with the boat awaiting the tow. On the subject of law suits, while the number of lawyers in the US may be one issue, the other is that in most other countries you pay the defendant's fees if you sue and loose. Here, it is difficult to get that unless the suit is totally frivolous. Plus, even if you know you are protected by the Good Sam laws, that doesn't prevent being sued in the first instance and having to go through the time and expense of having the suit dismissed. That is one reason why so many civil cases settle - sometimes it is cheaper to pay up than fight and win.
Certainly not the best system, but there are worse out there.

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Old 04-11-2013, 05:30 PM   #53
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If I had an abundance of local knowledge and the distressed vessel passed the smell test I would assist providing it was possible with my cruise config. If not, I would call for help for him. That area of ICW is within cell phone range of Sea Tow.

I suspect he just wanted a free tow.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:31 PM   #54
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Steve, I think you did the right thing.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:19 PM   #55
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[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana][FONT=Verdana]I think Marin is in favor is letting recipients of the Darwin Award run their course.
Very much so. I'm really getting fed up with our increasing nanny state mentality. It is no surprise to me that people are more and more helpless in the face of relatively minor problems like power outages and storms. By extension I feel the same way about boating. The boats seem to be getting smarter and the owners seem to be getting dumber.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:27 PM   #56
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very much so. I'm really getting fed up with our increasing nanny state mentality. It is no surprise to me that people are more and more helpless in the face of relatively minor problems like power outages and storms. By extension i feel the same way about boating. The boats seem to be getting smarter and the owners seem to be getting dumber.
amen!!
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:20 PM   #57
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If I had an abundance of local knowledge and the distressed vessel passed the smell test I would assist providing it was possible with my cruise config. If not, I would call for help for him. That area of ICW is within cell phone range of Sea Tow.

I suspect he just wanted a free tow.
A long time ago I tried to call for a tow for some guys in a broken down boat. SeaTow was reluctant to come out without talking to the actual operator of the broken down boat (makes sense to me) and while I was on the radio they got the engine started and took off without a word to me.

Just like towing insurance (in my area, at least), nobody should be out in a boat without a VHF transceiver. They should call for help themselves.

Two other points:

1) It's not unknown for people to pretend to be broken down and then when someone comes to their aid, they are robbed or worse.

2) I'm not typically just riding around in circles on the water, I have a destination and a schedule (more or less). Fooling around towing someone could take two or three hours out of my day and my planned progress. As I posted above, at least in my area, it's irresponsible to be out on the water without a VHF and towing insurance. They should be able to be towed home by a professional with the proper equipment and training without intruding into my day. Tow them and they will expect it the next time. If I boated in an area where professional towing was not available, I might react differently.

If someone had a true medical emergency, that would be a different story. I would see what I could do but of course seven knots is not good for emergency transport.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:44 PM   #58
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Great points.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:02 PM   #59
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Rwidman

Great points.
Thanks.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:40 PM   #60
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Very much so. I'm really getting fed up with our increasing nanny state mentality. It is no surprise to me that people are more and more helpless in the face of relatively minor problems like power outages and storms. By extension I feel the same way about boating. The boats seem to be getting smarter and the owners seem to be getting dumber.
Couldn't agree more! Although Marin refuses to meet with other TFers, I'm going to surprise him someday & just drop in on him. I'm headed to Alaska next July with a stop over in Seattle and that just might be a good time for a tour of the Boeing plant and Marin's office.
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