The problem with all the good options; slowing down, turning around, not leaving in the first place, is that it’s generally impossible to prove you were prudent rather than overly cautious. The rare time you can prove it would be if you bailed, and your relief had a catastrophe, or you protested, the office said go, and you had a catastrophe.
Third party weather routing is a good idea, and we use it in the oilfield. I’ve also used it towing where they provided a forecast for your route twice per day, and it was very accurate. If you at least required this, it would give the master another tool, and a good reason to delay, turn around, etc.
If you really want to tune things up, require the LDPA, to have command experience on board. At least you’d have some hope he or she had some idea what you’re dealing with.
As far as making the master criminally liable, are you completely out of your mind? No. Full stop. You’ll have DA’s with an agenda trying to toss Captains in jail to make some point. If you want to put the fear into somebody, it needs to be the owners. The more disincentive they have to push the masters to take risks, the better.
QUOTE=captjacksparrow;171430]There’s the rub: define “skilled.”
There has never been any general consensus for this. Plenty of good, even great, boat or ship-handlers amongst us. That relatively narrow skill set usually takes precedence (at least in mariner’s minds) when it comes to the establishment of pecking orders and bragging rights, which is really stupid.
Brett Favre was a very bold and skilled quarterback who won many games, 2 NFC Championships and a Super Bowl. He was admired and emulated by many. But he also got picked off a lot (holds the Packers record for it), and lost winnable games and even more potential championships because of that very same unbridled boldness. But until he couldn’t play anymore there was always “next season.”
Well, if we let boldness or wishful thinking routinely get the better of us and make a bad call at the wrong time and place there will never be a “next season” for us or the people who’s safety we’re entrusted with and responsible for. You only have to get picked off once and everyone’s done.
El Faro’s captain thought they could see the end zone through Crooked Island Passage and made a run for it. But they tore a hamstring and pulled up lame at the worst possible moment. Then a middle linebacker with surprising speed named Joaquin moved in for the devastating tackle. Game over.
Except it wasn’t a game. Somebody else mentioned it earlier on another thread: any voyage plan that contains the words “this’ll work as long as nothing goes wrong” is a sure sign that you’re really screwing up badly, even if you make it without a scratch.
Trying to satisfy that professional ego leads to trouble. Sometimes the only thing you need is the ability and discipline to recognize a bad bet and cut your losses while you still can: drop back 10 and punt.
Knowing when to slow down, stop or even (gasp!) turn around is, in fact, a skill.[/QUOTE]