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Why alcohol and jon boats don't mix


skibreeze

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I was doing a little surfing when a jon boat crossed our wake head on. The first pic is just as they got swamped, before they rolled belly up. The second pic shows the driver barely afloat before we tossed him a life jacket. Luckily I had a portable ballast pump to pump their boat out.

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Climbing back in

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Edited by skibreeze
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I am glad no one was hurt, and props for helping out, but remember the operator of a boat is responsible for its wake and any damage that it causes on inland waters. The guys in the john boat might have been drinking, but that doesn't absolve the driver of the surfing boat of responsibility for swamping a smaller vessel with a purposefully enhanced wake. Just some food for thought because that could have turned out pretty bad for all concerned.

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I am glad no one was hurt, and props for helping out, but remember the operator of a boat is responsible for its wake and any damage that it causes on inland waters. The guys in the john boat might have been drinking, but that doesn't absolve the driver of the surfing boat of responsibility for swamping a smaller vessel with a purposefully enhanced wake. Just some food for thought because that could have turned out pretty bad for all concerned.

Really? When it was the jon boat's operator that took the wave head on while underway? I don't think so.

Minus this comment, it's awesome that you helped them out. Looks like you got to see a little eye candy in the process. :rockon:

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Really? When it was the jon boat's operator that took the wave head on while underway? I don't think so.

Minus this comment, it's awesome that you helped them out. Looks like you got to see a little eye candy in the process. :rockon:

I realize that the rules of the road can be a buzz kill, but, yes, generally the law gives smaller vessels certain rights of way and imposes a duty on the operator of a bigger vessel to take extra precautions to not swamp a smaller vessel with its wake. Most states have statutes saying as much. This snippet I pulled from a case on Lexis about sums it up:

"A vessel causing injury to others by her swell must be held responsible for any failure to appreciate the reasonable effect of her own speed and motion through the water at the particular place and under the particular circumstances where the injury occurred, and her officers are required to take into consideration others who may reasonably be expected to be affected, and to take all reasonable precautions to avoid their injury even though former experience has shown that in the ordinary and usual course of events they are likely to escape injury or that the larger vessel was proceeding on ordinary course and at her customary speed. Smaller craft have the right to assume larger craft aware of their presence will observe reasonable precautions and are under no duty to warn the larger vessel of the danger."

The other guy might have made mistakes, been unprepared, and been in too small of a boat for the conditions, but the presumption is going to be that the bigger boat with the big wake was at fault.

Edited by jjackkrash
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I realize that the rules of the road can be a buzz kill, but, yes, generally the law gives smaller vessels certain rights of way and imposes a duty on the operator of a bigger vessel to take extra precautions to not swamp a smaller vessel with its wake. Most states have statutes saying as much. This snippet I pulled from a case on Lexis about sums it up:

"A vessel causing injury to others by her swell must be held responsible for any failure to appreciate the reasonable effect of her own speed and motion through the water at the particular place and under the particular circumstances where the injury occurred, and her officers are required to take into consideration others who may reasonably be expected to be affected, and to take all reasonable precautions to avoid their injury even though former experience has shown that in the ordinary and usual course of events they are likely to escape injury or that the larger vessel was proceeding on ordinary course and at her customary speed. Smaller craft have the right to assume larger craft aware of their presence will observe reasonable precautions and are under no duty to warn the larger vessel of the danger."

The other guy might have made mistakes, been unprepared, and been in too small of a boat for the conditions, but the presumption is going to be that the bigger boat with the big wake was at fault.

does this then mean that you would be at fault if a JetSki jumps your wake and crashes causing injury?

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does this then mean that you would be at fault if a JetSki jumps your wake and crashes causing injury?

That didn't happen here, and the answer is it depends on the facts.

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does this then mean that you would be at fault if a JetSki jumps your wake and crashes causing injury?

In Wisconsin, for example, the statute reads:

(4)Creating hazardous wake or wash.(a) No person shall operate a motorboat so as to approach or pass another boat in such a manner as to create a hazardous wake or wash.(b) An operator of a motorboat is liable for any damage caused to the person or property of another by the wake or wash from such motorboat unless the negligence of such other person was the primary cause of the damage.

******

I wouldn't want to be defending based on this language if the guy in the John Boat goes under and never comes up, which is my primary point here.

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In Wisconsin, for example, the statute reads:

(4)Creating hazardous wake or wash.(a) No person shall operate a motorboat so as to approach or pass another boat in such a manner as to create a hazardous wake or wash.(b) An operator of a motorboat is liable for any damage caused to the person or property of another by the wake or wash from such motorboat unless the negligence of such other person was the primary cause of the damage.

******

I wouldn't want to be defending based on this language if the guy in the John Boat goes under and never comes up, which is my primary point here.

In the event that the jon boat was stationary and the bu' passed too close and caused this accident, then I would agree with you. If the jon boat was underway and made the decision to take on the wake made by the bu' due to his intoxication, then I would strongly disagree with you.

Let's all focus on the positive here though. skibreeze is a good guy for going back and helping them out. :thumbup:

Edited by CincyVLX
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In the event that the jon boat was stationary and the bu' passed to close and caused this accident, then I would agree with you. If the jon boat was underway and made the decision to take on the wake made by the bu' due to his intoxication, then I would strongly disagree with you.

Let's all focus on the positive here though. skibreeze is a good guy for going back and helping them out. :thumbup:

I agree with most of this post. Biggrin.gif

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Pueblo Res? My sister just finished school at Coloardo State University Pueblo. I visited a few times and stopped by the res to jump off the cliffs. Very nice water there.

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I realize that the rules of the road can be a buzz kill, but, yes, generally the law gives smaller vessels certain rights of way and imposes a duty on the operator of a bigger vessel to take extra precautions to not swamp a smaller vessel with its wake. Most states have statutes saying as much. This snippet I pulled from a case on Lexis about sums it up:

"A vessel causing injury to others by her swell must be held responsible for any failure to appreciate the reasonable effect of her own speed and motion through the water at the particular place and under the particular circumstances where the injury occurred, and her officers are required to take into consideration others who may reasonably be expected to be affected, and to take all reasonable precautions to avoid their injury even though former experience has shown that in the ordinary and usual course of events they are likely to escape injury or that the larger vessel was proceeding on ordinary course and at her customary speed. Smaller craft have the right to assume larger craft aware of their presence will observe reasonable precautions and are under no duty to warn the larger vessel of the danger."

The other guy might have made mistakes, been unprepared, and been in too small of a boat for the conditions, but the presumption is going to be that the bigger boat with the big wake was at fault.

And we wonder why Mastercraft and Seadoo have been getting sued for big money lately with thinking like this??? I've been wanting a new boat, sounds like a good way to get one!

Props to the OP for helping!

Edited by mainekneeboarder
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I am glad no one was hurt, and props for helping out, but remember the operator of a boat is responsible for its wake and any damage that it causes on inland waters. The guys in the john boat might have been drinking, but that doesn't absolve the driver of the surfing boat of responsibility for swamping a smaller vessel with a purposefully enhanced wake. Just some food for thought because that could have turned out pretty bad for all concerned.

I'm frequently amazed how few people don't realize they're responsible for damage created by their boat's wake. Tnx for posting this info

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Wait a minute here......

Of course you are responsible for your wake! How many posts have I seen with people ranting because some Cabin Cruiser plowed by and swamped or nearly swamped their skier/ vride/ wakesetter.....probably a few every year that I have been a member.

Oregon Law also states that your responsible for your wake. I don't put this in the same category as the M/C or Yamaha debate. The tides are so easily turned.......remember Malibus are not even close to the biggest boats around.

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Wait a minute here......

Of course you are responsible for your wake! How many posts have I seen with people ranting because some Cabin Cruiser plowed by and swamped or nearly swamped their skier/ vride/ wakesetter.....probably a few every year that I have been a member.

Oregon Law also states that your responsible for your wake. I don't put this in the same category as the M/C or Yamaha debate. The tides are so easily turned.......remember Malibus are not even close to the biggest boats around.

:plus1:

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I can assure you that the jon boat driver was not only trashed, but ignorant as well. Look at the 2nd pic and you can see him (in the gray hat), it's obvious that he's well beyond the legal limit. He was the one that steered towards us and if a patrol boat would have showed up, he would have gotten a DUI. I had to tell him at least 5 times to stop pulling the side of the boat back underwater as we tried to bail it out. Even his buddy in the other boat told him that he was a dumb azz for taking the wake head on. There were several empties floating in the water, who knows how much stuff they lost when they tipped over as they bailed out of the boat.

Just like when we are snowmobiling in the backcountry, we don't leave people in need.

Edited by skibreeze
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Just like when we are snowmobiling in the backcountry, we don't leave people in need.

A great policy. Never know when you might need to draw on the Karma account yourself. I know I've sure fixed a lot of flats and given away a lot of tubes to other unprepared cyclists.

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:plus1: jjackkrash, edwin, Ruffdog, & shawndoggy are on the money. Your responsible for your wake.

The operator of the other vessel being tanked does not relieve yo of your responsibility's. I would be willing to bet if you left the Scene knowing the boat was swamped and someone on the boat were to drown you could be prosecuted for as much as involuntary Manslaughter.

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:plus1: jjackkrash, edwin, Ruffdog, & shawndoggy are on the money. Your responsible for your wake.

The operator of the other vessel being tanked does not relieve yo of your responsibility's. I would be willing to bet if you left the Scene knowing the boat was swamped and someone on the boat were to drown you could be prosecuted for as much as involuntary Manslaughter.

Get a DA that doesn't like boats, or knows the victims in some way, you never know what you're going to get. Then there's the civil side, by the pictures I'll bet a lawyer might be interested in your assets.

Edited by Asmodeus2112
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In Wisconsin, for example, the statute reads:

(4)Creating hazardous wake or wash.(a) No person shall operate a motorboat so as to approach or pass another boat in such a manner as to create a hazardous wake or wash.(b) An operator of a motorboat is liable for any damage caused to the person or property of another by the wake or wash from such motorboat unless the negligence of such other person was the primary cause of the damage.

******

I wouldn't want to be defending based on this language if the guy in the John Boat goes under and never comes up, which is my primary point here.

I completely understand the statements that you are responsible for your wake, especially when it comes to passing other boats or property. But where i am confused is, if there is another vessel, when are their actions negligent and when are they not negligent. Ie, if i am driving back to the dock and a Jet Skiier starts jumping my wake, but crashes and injurs himself because he did not land properly or did not judge the wake or his capabilities properly. is that negligent on his part? or something that i am responsible for? i would 'hope' that it is not something i am responsible for.........but then there is a whole can of worms that gets opened if i were to increase/decrease/change my wake in any way.......hmmmmm...now i am really confused.

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Where I live it is illegal to jump another boat's wake with a jet ski; so in that case you have a point. That does not change the fact that you are responsible for your wake.

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