Old 07-10-2018, 05:43 AM
Pure Luck
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Jensen Beach, FL
Posts: 990

Originally Posted by Aliboy View Post
I run fishing charters. In a couple more years my 14yr old son will easily be able to drive our 44ft boat. If I told him where to hunt for fish he would find them and he would tell you how to catch them just fine. What no 16year old can do though is deal with a serious emergency situation. If the boat runs well, doesn't hit something, the winds stay down etc then everyone gets back alive and the boat is safe again. In other words it is just a potentially dangerous situation for everyone.. Even if there are experienced seaman amongst the clients, who knew how the emergency systems worked on that boat? Who knew how the fire system worked. Who knew how the bilge pump system worked. I wouldn't rely on a panicking 16 year old to be doing the right thing under immense pressure he has never dealt with before, and that is assuming that he even knew the systems inside out
I well understand the pressure that a charter operator can be under to fulfill a charter obligation when something has messed up your plans, especially with non-local anglers who have traveled, but this one to me was very poor judgement. As a client also I would have not left the dock and just asked for a refund. Way too much risk here for everyone involved.
As a comment on the above, I know a young charter skipper who recently lost a person overboard. The person died because they couldn't find him in time. The young skipper is a really good guy who grew up with his families multi generation charter business. Crewed for his dad and grandad ever since he was able. Turns out that when the guy went overboard and brown stuff hit the rotating thing he was out of his depth. Been through all the training, years of crewing experience, grew up in the business, but when the stress levels redline it helps to have a bit more age and experience. He will do better next time. but that's not the way to learn.
I didn't even think of the emergency aspect of it. I'm guessing that we should have had a briefing on where the emergency equipment was and how and when to use it. I don't even know where the life jackets were on the boat. I guess that's our screw up for allowing it to happen. Like I said, this kid seems like he could be great one day, but now is not that time. Having family numbers and catching fish on those numbers doesn't make a great captain. I'm sure any of us on THT with any boating experience could take those numbers and have an epic day.
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