Kayakman, your comments are amazing, and akin to telling the rape victim she asked for it by wearing lipstick.
These guys, some of the most experienced kayakers in the country, were out in open water, minding their own business, and one of them guessed wrong whether to zig or zag to avoid the approaching power boat which was veering back and forth on its course by 15 degrees or so, WITHOUT ANYONE LOOKING OUT THE WINDSCREEN.
Yet you choose to blame the victim? I am mighty glad you cannot serve on any jury in my country.
No, not a rapist, something more like a pedestrian. These kayakers were far too close to a rapidly moving boat. If a jaywalker gets hit while crossing a street, who is at fault?
OK, so we agree that a kayaker, or anyone else in a small boat, should not assume that their "right of way" is enough to save their skins.
What makes you think they had the right of way? Boat size is not relevant to determining right of way in a collision. In a head on collision course, both vessels are equally responsible for avoiding a collision. Horn signals or whistle blasts are used to determine whether port to port (preferred) or starboard to starboard. I must have missed where it was written that such signals were given or attempted.
The police charged the skipper of the powerboat, not the kayaker. You seem to believe otherwise, which surprises me no end.
See point F. The police do not know how to implement Maritime Law.
But if they take whatever evasive action they can, and STILL lose, that's when the law must apply.
They did not, "take whatever evasive action they can," in fact, I quote, "We turned to left to run parallel to it (the powerboat) thinking there would be plenty of room between us" plenty of room apparently means," still room to miss us by about 30m" or 100 feet. Stu (the author of the post) says in a later post, "Looking at it now we should not have changed (from) our original course (,) a direct line to shore and it would have passed behind us, The 3 of us are all experienced off shore fishermen and instinctively turned to the left to give plenty of clearance between us and the boat, it can be very deceiving at times,
Take care and don't take for granted the boat can see you."
I know the laws and I know that it is better to be alive and wronged than dead right. There is a genuine feeling among kayakers I have met that they have more right to be on the water, that somehow because we are paddle, peddle, or are sail powered, other boaters should get out of our way, shouldn't "wake us", shouldn't even be out on the water. Please someone explain this to me!
My opinion, which I was trying to share with the rest of the forum is that:A. Boaters can't see you.
B. They are going much faster then YOU think, giving YOU and them very little time to react.
C. If you are not where a normal person would expect (ie. 500 feet off shore) don't expect that they are looking for something as small as you.D. Ultimately, the final responsibility for avoiding a collision is the party who is aware that it may happen.
Notice I said responsibility to avoid the collision, not who will get a ticket. They are NOT the same.E. GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY OF BOATS THAT ARE BIGGER AND FASTER THAN YOU! ARE YOU STUPID? NO?, THEN PADDLE FASTER AT A RIGHT ANGLE TO THE POWERBOAT'S DIRECTION OF TRAVEL!!!
F. If you do E. and still get hit, then whine to the authorities.
G. The police have no jurisdiction on Navigable waters in the US, only the USCG. So call them, not the police.
H. The guy who got hit, Stu, admits he made a mistake by turning to a course parallel to the boat, which he thought then was a good idea at the time. He admits later that he didn't know the complications that the powerboat faced. If he did, perhaps he would have been able to write a post that said, "I was nearly hit by a 38m flybridge but my quick thinking and immediate evasion saved the day."
I. There was lots of blathering on the Aussie forum about radios and horns or whistles, don't bother. You will get hit before getting a response on VHF and they can't hear a whistle or horn. Remember, 2000 feet per minute, so you have very little time to make choices.J. Only one action gives you a near 100% of survival; getting out of the way. Every other option carries a risk of not being seen or heard.
K. If you can maneuver and still make maximum headway then it would be worth trying radios, horns, whistles, or lights. Of course, if you can get out of the way, why are you complaining???
L. Always cross busy channels at a right angle and wait till there is a lull in traffic.
I grew up looking both ways before crossing a street and I didn't cross until I could make it across the road without traffic stopping or slowing down for me. Now, the laws say cars must stop for people crossing the road and people walk without looking. Which is safer?