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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. Rred

    Rred Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
    In pretty much any "agency" everyone backs up everyone else. But. When you can pull out a rule book and show someone's CO "That guy was wrong, and here's your rules proving it" sometimes, they are also aware that someone down the line is a jerk, and when the villagers start picking up torches and pitchforks, they are actually GLAD to have someone reposted to a remote ice station.

    Yes, you have to know when to pick your battles. But when some petty Napoleon needs to be taken down...give 'em all the rope they need to hang themselves. That's a public service.
  2. nolatom

    nolatom Captain

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Orleans
    I don't disagree, Rred. Some of the new-ish inspectors can be kinda full of themselves. And the longtime charter operators know the real world, and the rules, better than the LTJG or MST3 who is new to that sphere. The older Warrant Officers tend to "get" this. While keeping it professional rather than personal, we still find in many situations in life that honey, and vinegar, both serve a purpose in their proper time and place.....
  3. rjack321

    rjack321 Captain

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
    I'm a bit late to this party, but

    I think about it this way...
    A business (LLC) owns this boat.
    The business (LLC) has insurance on the vessel.
    The business has a relationship with the university and grant funding agencies (NOAA, EPA, USGS, state government, local agency) which funds the boat operation.
    Students, as part of this degree granting university that they pay tuition or fees towards, are passengers on the boat.

    My opinion (which is worthless for the CG or in litigation) is that you need at least a 6 pack license to get business insurance and to keep the risk management office at the university happy that your business is complying with all applicable regulations. If one of these students is a casualty on your boat you are going to get hung out to dry - by the students heirs, insurers, the university, the CG, or all four.

    I am a bit surprised that the grants are only with the boat LLC and the university is not also a named party to the agreement. Not sure what institution you're at but when I was in grad school the university took a portion of every grant for faculty salary/benefits/overhead (which was appropriate as the faculty wouldn't exist without their institution). The amount depended on the total grant hours and who was doing the work.
  4. caydiver

    caydiver Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cayman Islands
    What does the insurance company say? We have an dive op in another country but our insurance is through a US based provider. They are very explicit on exactly who can do what when. I have no doubt they got a lot of help from lawyers.
  5. mmerriman

    mmerriman Captain

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Boston MA
    that's a totally different question - 1 - am i legally required to have a captain under these circumstances vs 2 - does my insurance cover me if I don't
  6. Seaweed Doc

    Seaweed Doc Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA
    The fact that you own the boat as a business worries me. I manage our University field station and we have multiple small boats for use on lakes and ocean.

    Our cutoff on this is that we can transport classes on our boats for research or teaching, but not transport them to the station itself. That is, if it's part of a class activity or research project, no problem. This is routine research use of small boats that I've seen at multiple marine labs I've visited or worked from. We draw the line at transporting students point-to-point simply to get to the island the field station is on. That would require the captain.

    Pleasure use is never a problem. We can use the boats to go fishing, if we desire.

    However, what worries me in your case is the fact that you're a commercial business. As a business entity, you're making a profit strictly out of the transport (or at least you theoreticlaly hope to, if you're an LLC and not a non-profit). You're at least charging the university (in effect) for using your vessel. I think you'd be on the hook with the USCG in this case, not the University.

    Talk to your lawyers....
  7. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    Folks, the OP started this thread in 2014 and hasn’t been here since. Just FYI.

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