Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Airboat Accident / Death - No Criminal Charges to Be Filed

This was said: "Hathaway listed the factors as the dimensions of the airboat, unfamiliarity with the weight limitations of the boat, a lack of standard operating procedures, a lack of experience, the decision to fasten the backboard to the basket, a lack of time to assess the weight carried by the boat and the occurrence of an unexpected wake from a passing boat. "A violation of standards does not establish criminal liability," Hathaway said. "We're not here to assign fault. We're here to see if the event rises to the level of criminal negligence."" .... The question addressed by Hathaway and answered in his report was straightforward: Did Robert Drye, as the operator of the Cornish Rescue Squad airboat, negligently cause the death of Virginia Yates? In short, the answer is no. ---------------------------


Monday, February 19, 2007

Tug Valour Hearings Resumed in Search of Cause of Sinking

SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Coast Guard has concluded it final public hearing this afternoon regarding the sinking of the tug Valour, a 125-foot tug that sank approximately 40-miles east of Wilmington, N.C. Jan. 18, 2006.

Coast Guard investigators recalled the crew of the Valour to testify one last time before the investigators submit their findings to Coast Guard District Seven Command in Miami and Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington for review. Facts collected at this final hearing will be developed into a conclusion to be presented in the Coast Guard's final investigative report.

Investigators focused their questioning for the six crewmen in three major areas: training, survival equipment and the procedures regarding ballast tanks. The Coast Guard called this hearing to clarify certain issues in each of these areas.

It was also released in the public hearing that the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center in Washington and engineers with Over Seas Shipholding Group, Inc., the owners of the tug Valour, believe that Valour couldn't have sank with out water being present in the engine room.

The mood throughout the hearing was very emotional as the crewmen recalled the chaotic events that unfolded that January night. The widows of Richard H. Smoot, 50, of Southpoint, Ohio, and Ronald L. Emory, 56, of Milford, Del., were in the hearing and wept as the crewmen testified about the deaths of their husbands.

The Coast Guard's investigation is intended to determine the causes of the accident and obtain information that may prevent or reduce the occurrence of similar incidents.

The owning company is still talking of bringing the Tug Valour up from the bottom.



Five People Spend Night At Sea After Boat Capsizes

CBS4) MIAMI BEACH Coast Guard crews scrambled into action Sunday morning after a boat capsized, stranding five people in the water for over 15 hours. The accident Saturday evening near Fowey Rocks, about 5 miles south of Government Cut, when the five people on board the boat tried to raise the anchor, but several waves crashed over the bow and forced the vessel to capsize. -------------------------- These folks were really lucky. This could have been a disaster if not for the keen eye of the freighter Seaboard Florida and her captain and crew. Dwayne

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Booze and Boats Don't Mix - Example of Aftermath - Grant Czuj and Judges Wrath

A Livingston County Circuit Court judge was unsympathetic toward a Hamburg Township man he sentenced to prison for a July 2005 fatal boating accident on Zukey Lake, saying he was not the victim, but the perpetrator.

Judge David Reader sentenced Grant William Czuj to a minimum of eight years, three months and a maximum of 15 years in prison for operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol causing the death of Michael John LaFave, of Brighton Town-ship, and causing a crippling injury to Sarah Ribas of Howell. See this also.


This Judge wanted the defendant to take responsibility for his actions. He did not accept that Czuj was in any way a victim but was in the wrong. His sentence reflects this.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Skipper in fatal boat wreck tested for intoxicants - Kenneth Venard, of Newport died

Skipper in fatal boat wreck tested for intoxicants PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Authorities are awaiting the results of toxicology tests given to the skipper of a fishing boat that wrecked last week, killing one man.

An Oregon State Police spokesman said the same man was arrested in December for boating under the influence of intoxicants.

Kirk Opheim, of Burlington, Wash., was arrested Dec. 23 after a tipster told police he was drinking and piloting the Starrigavan.