Re: Kayak Fatality

Posted by Ice - Phil on Mar 3, 2005

"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind who's fault this is - the whitewater boater that thought he was an open water marine boater. I'm surprised the CG didn't charge him with not having a captains license."

I don't have all the facts to make any kind of judgment. No doubt there will be a Coast Guard 'Inquiry' held in the weeks to come since there was a loss of life. I've been involved in three such hearings in the past, as a witness, with no loss of life. As far as a U.S.C.G. Masters License, these are based on a vessels gross tonnage, tow operator vs. sailboat vs. motorized vessel, number of passengers, and whether the vessel is operated on Inland Waters or in International Waters.

I've placed a chart/map of the area and their trip looks pretty benign depending on the weather conditions. The group leader was an experienced 'open water kayaker' whatever that means. Their planned route had them about 3/4 of a mile off the mainland on Coon Island. I haven't ventured more than 7-8 miles offshore due to the unpredictable weather you might encounter. That was on crossings from Delaware to Cape May, N.J. I would consider myself a marginal 'open water' paddler.

In Response to: Re: Kayak Fatality by Sailboy on Mar 3, 2005