May 24, 2019

Coast Guard blameless

This letter is in reference to the boating accident near Norwood Cove in which eight people were injured (BDN, July 7). “Rules of the Road,” the mariner’s code of conduct and safety, known as “Navigation Rules International and Inland,” under the section “Safe Speed” in the March 1999 edition, states: “Every vessel at all times shall proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.”

The U.S. Coast Guard rescues thousands of mariners yearly, sometimes due to poor seamanship by boat owners or captains. If conditions were beyond their control that night, such as high seas, which they weren’t in this incident, this letter would not have been written.

I feel very sorry for those passengers who were injured by this tragic act and pray for their complete recovery. I thank God the Coast Guard station was not more than an hour away, otherwise the serious injuries would probably not have been cared for as professionally as they were by the Coast Guard’s immediate presence.

The U.S. Coast Guard did not create this mishap. If the blame should be pinpointed, “look at the causative agent” – poor seamanship late at night in dark, dense fog at excessive speed for the conditions.

Steen L. Meryweather

Mount Desert Island

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