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Do I need a licensed Coast Guard Captain?

Discussion in 'Scuba Related Court Cases' started by SYNC, May 24, 2014.

  1. 3arl J0n35

    3arl J0n35 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: USA
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    I agree with a lot of the posts here and arguments on both sides are convincing. But you know how it is in the real world.

    Arguing with the CG is like telling the cop that he's wrong and you're damn sure that light was green when you went thru it. :)

    GG has a habit of making it real tough on people who buck their authority. We had a Cap'n here who had to get his annual CG vessel inspection. Examiner wanted something removed and redone and cap'n told him he was wrong and wouldn't do it and cited the rule. Examiner refused to pass the vessel. Cap'n went to USCG HQ in DC and got the examiners decision overruled and got his vessel certificate. Guess what happened the next year...same inspector....same boat.

    Funny story. Several years ago the inspectors for this region had the reputation of being real butt-holes. CG rules say the vessel has to be inspected in the region where it operates. However, Wilmington CG station is 200 miles away, but in the same region. Cap'ns began to take their vessels to Wilmington for inspection to avoid the nit-picking inspectors at Fort Macon Station. Guess what happened. When the boys in Wilmington began to realize they were getting an unusual # of vessel from Morehead coming to Wilmington for inspection, they'd call the Fort Macon Station and tell them one of "their" vessels was in Wilmington for inspection. The puddle pirates are such butt-holes that when they got the call, they'd load up in a van and drive 2 hours to Wilmington to inspect the vessel. You can be sure they were more butt-holes then than they woulda been if the cap'n had stayed in Morehead for the inspection.

    It's sort of like when I was in the Army and the CO told me I couldn't wear black leather gloves with a field jacket. I coulda dragged out AR670-1 and proved to him he was wrong......if I wanted to give up the hope of ever getting promoted until I went to a new duty station.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
    rjack321 and northernone like this.
  2. Wookie

    Wookie ScubaBoard Business Sponsor Staff Member ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    I had a haulout one year, and the coast guard wanted me to replace 60 feet of hull plating. Now, this is (and was) a $150,000 job. I didn't need to replace the plating, it was terribly dented, but the spec for dents is a depth of 1 inch over one square foot, and that isn't the Coast Guard's regulation, they adopted it from ABS, and to add insult, it's the steel boat rule, as there is no aluminum boat rule. Anyway, he didn't like the look of the boat. No pitting, no corrosion, he just didn't like the way it looked. He and I went round for 2 years about it, and the end result was we hauled out for the job. We marked up the outside of the boat where we were going to make our cute, and I appealed to him one last time. His response was "Frank, do you really want to force this issue?" I came to understand that even if I won it was going to cost me a lot more money in the end than it would to just spend the $150k.
     
    3arl J0n35 likes this.
  3. 3arl J0n35

    3arl J0n35 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: USA
    29
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    I gotcha. Cheaper to play the game than it is to argue your case. We had some plumbing hooked up to a shower on deck for divers to rinse off with. Inspector came that year and told us it was not permitted that we had to re-plumb the thing with steel pipe not PVC. So we just removed it all but left a short piece of PVC pipe that was bolted to the bulkhead and was in a hard-to-reach place. 4 years went by - no problem.

    On the 5th year the inspector says "What's that piece of PVC pipe for? That has to come down." Cap'n said, "Well it was hooked up to a pump in the engine room and ran up to the deck for the rinse shower. But the inspector told us it wasn't legal and we had to replace it with steel pipe. So we just removed the whole thing and that short piece of PVC we just left there. Right here's the brackets where the pump was mounted. You've been on this boat every year for the last 4 years and said nothing about that piece of PVC pipe, now all of a sudden it's an issue."

    Inspector said, "That isn't true. PVC pipe for a rinse shower on deck is allowed. Heck, the part above deck is all waterhose anyway! So why would PVC not be allowed? What inspector told you that? You should have told him NO and left it."

    Cap'n said, "That inspector was YOU 5 years ago."

    Inspector said, "There's no way I told you something like that."...........Capn says, "Wanna bet? It was the day you were training <insert name here> to be an inspector and brought her on the boat with you, and I have the carbon copy of the inspection report with your signature on it. Wanna see it?"

    Inspector didn't have anything to say.

    Sometimes I think they are drunk with "authority" and have no common sense.
     
  4. Wookie

    Wookie ScubaBoard Business Sponsor Staff Member ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    And sometimes they are just dicks. I have a nice new (to me) boat, but the Coast Guard will never see it.
     
  5. markmud

    markmud Captain

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
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    Hi Wookie,

    I believe a bureaucrat that is drunk with "authority" is the same as a dick...yes...no?

    Bureaucrat and dick should be synonyms.

    markm
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
    woodcarver and Wookie like this.
  6. 3arl J0n35

    3arl J0n35 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: USA
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    Some of them are dicks. Many of them are just good guys who don't know any better. The minority are actually pretty decent guys who shut up when they realize it's time to shut up. Nobody likes the Puddle Pirates until they need them. That's the way it is.
     
  7. Wookie

    Wookie ScubaBoard Business Sponsor Staff Member ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    SAR guys are loved by everyone. ATON guys are liked, and most of us wish that their budget was larger. Sector guys seem to be mostly clueless about what boats do and where they go, especially in the Response Center, and prevention guys are universally disliked. The exceptions to the prevention folks are rare, and up
    In Norfolk teaching the new prevention guys. Best inspector I ever had walked me through a load line with ABS. When I say walked me through, she probably spent 200 hours researching regulations, doing pre inspections, looking at inserts, and coming in on her weekends off to make sure we were complying with ABS rules as she understood them. As a result, my boat was the first in her class to receive a load line from ABS (a number of others had bought them in the past from less savory classification agencies). That was a Quarter-million dollar bill, but if I’d had to have the ABS inspector come from Fort Lauderdale more than 4 times, that would have sucked.
     
    Johnoly and markmud like this.
  8. nolatom

    nolatom Captain

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Orleans
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    I used to be one of those inspectors, and later a marine casualty investigator, loooonngg ago, and in a galaxy far away (actually about 38 years ago and right here in New Orleans).

    The issue of "passengers for hire" is typically determined above the field inspector's pay grade. And it usually used to come up not out of pure inspector prickery, but from a casualty (say a bootleg swamp tour outfit in federal waters when there's been a death, injury, or complaints) or a complaint from an operator who got the license and inspection certificate and is hacked off at the fly-by-nighters who were trying to get around the regs and "stealing' business.

    And yes, Charlie Golf in general treats those who try to live within the rules better that those who try to skirt them and get away with it. Report a casualty yourself and promptly, and you are probably going to be treated "differently" than if they find out about it some other way and then casualty itself takes a back seat to the non-reporting. This is basically human nature anyway. The Coast Guard can handle bad news, hell they're in the bad-news business. But they take a dim view of lying, or being "economical with the truth". I saw this when I was one, and still see it now. You can work with them, or against them. With is generally easier in the long run as well as the short run.

    I, of course, could be biased on this topic.... ;-)
     
    rjack321 likes this.
  9. Wookie

    Wookie ScubaBoard Business Sponsor Staff Member ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    I’ll let you run the new boat too....
     
  10. nolatom

    nolatom Captain

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Orleans
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    Woo hoo!! I was waiting for you to dive back in, Frank. What kind, and whatcha going to do with her? Still take divers out of Key West, or what? Best wishes whatever it is.
     

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