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Old 22 October 2016, 13:11   #1
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Rescued Competition - what would you do?

A nice picture taken yesterday by a friend on our return.

So our competitor who doesn't own his own boats or pay insurance or taxes or licenses "Exuma Escapes" started taking on water and we had to rescue their guests in the middle of the trip. Not sure what happened to their boat.

I will be reporting the incident to the port department, but what else would you do? Should they be required to pay us for taking their guests? Should I post the save publicly so people know to stay away? I'm just getting scared that something worse could happen and ruin it for the rest of us.

Thoughts?
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Old 22 October 2016, 14:31   #2
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I would say report it to the authorities and hope they decide to give it up! Hopefully the guests you rescued will promote you by word of mouth and warn others of the experience.

It's down to the authorities to enforce the rules but you might want to have a chat with the tourist board and the local hotel reps. People will always take a cheaper option and unscrupulous operators will always offer them an opportunity.
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Old 22 October 2016, 15:30   #3
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What would you do ?

Wait...it's November?

Thank my lucky stars that nothing went wrong when I was cruising with a boat full of friends and their children with no life jackets ?
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Old 22 October 2016, 17:11   #4
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remember that no-one is infallible and that next time it could be yourselves needing help from them.

I don't think it would be acceptable to charge them for returning their passengers to a point of safety. Different if you continued the tour. Different if you saved their property. But once we start getting into how much you will charge to recover people you are on a very fine line before you are too busy arguing over the price and ignoring those drowning. That said - if they have any decency they will have come and thanked you and asked how they can repay the favour.

Should you post it publicly - erm you have! But if you mean all over their facebook page or whatever - I think it makes you look bad. Let the authorities manage the management of risk, not a competitor who stands to make gains by them being shut down. Meanwhile make sure your own outfit is 110% compliant with rules and regs and you've done all you can to mitigate risks etc. Result of that being if the regulators are all over the competition it wont be long till they are all over you too.
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Old 22 October 2016, 17:38   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandflyer View Post
A nice picture taken yesterday by a friend on our return.

So our competitor who doesn't own his own boats or pay insurance or taxes or licenses "Exuma Escapes" started taking on water and we had to rescue their guests in the middle of the trip. Not sure what happened to their boat.

Should they be required to pay us for taking their guests?

Thoughts?

Shiny shoes put my thoughts across rather well he must be
I've been scratching a living driving boats for about 20 years now all in code and all dues paid and I would not hesitate to rescue any body in trouble on the water without any thought of reward. Apart from being a fairly nice guy 1/we also have a duty of care to those in Peril on the sea. So if they were in potential danger then well done you! You can feel good doing the right thing and be grateful that you landed many unhappy customers of your competition who won't be singing his praises.

If they weren't it any potential danger why rescue em I do however empathise with your predicament re competing with a cowboy operator its very frustrating and I'd certainly let the port authorities know.
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Old 22 October 2016, 17:59   #6
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Personally I'd be carefull how I approached reporting a cowboy competitor
Yes it would be nice if they were out of business or were forced to comply by the authorities BUT if they know it's another operator trying to put them out of business they may want to retaliate &you can do a lot of damage to a rib in a short time with a knife
Could you persuade one of the rescued passengers to report them rather than doing so yourself?
It may be better to stay well clear than risk revenge
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Old 22 October 2016, 22:36   #7
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Thanks guys,

I certainly didnt mean to imply we wouldn't or shouldn't help them or anyone else in need at any point. We've done it a few times already for others.

I'm not sure if it was on the way down or on the way back - will know more details on Monday.

The frustrating part is we have emergency and and backups in place and they obviously had none and we just happened to pass by.

Yes I mentioned their name so hopefully those searching for reviews will find this

We haven't heard a peep from their captains or the business owner regarding as much as a thank you.

That's my biggest fear with the rib - the pissed off competitor with a knife. Fingers crossed. They will be reported though - to the port and to tourism and the resellers.

Thanks again for the input!
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Old 23 October 2016, 04:57   #8
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If I was taking on PAX from a vessel as described the very first thing I would do is IMMEDIATELY appraise the Coast Guard of the situation by VHF. My reasons:
  1. I would likely be overloading my own vessel (above regulation max PAX) but a nod from the CG in a MAYDAY would be a "waiver".
  2. The crew left on board the casualty vessel might be at risk - you seem unsure - but your crew left them?!?
  3. By not reporting what is patently a MAYDAY situation you would be putting your own operation at risk of action by the authorities.
That said, I'd guess that it really was no biggie and they were having a relatively minor technical issue that was best sorted without PAX wailing in the background. My impression from other posts is that the authorities in the Bahamas aren't too worried about "illegal" passenger vessels and your reports would fall on ears that would rather be listening to the Test cricket. Badmouthing the opposition online will certainly do you no favours, either with the clients or the operators and as we say here - "it's a long road that has no turning". However, in your shoes I would certainly be revisiting my advertising material and highlighting the safety of my operations. I'm sure you carry serviced liferafts and ensure that your passengers wear lifejackets while under way. In the event of a steering failure, do you have a method of jury rigging control, or could you find yourself asking the nearest "illegal" boat for a tow?

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Old 12 January 2017, 10:43   #9
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Although not really the point of the thread, and without the full facts, I'm not sure I agree that a 'Mayday-relay' would be appropriate or justified, a 'pan-pan' would achieve the required outcome.
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Old 10 March 2017, 13:06   #10
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Having been in a similar situation in the past from both sides( rescuer and casualty) I think the last thing I would do is report to local authorities however Under SOLAS accidents and incidents should be reported to the flag state( in the uk that is the MAIB)as it wasn't one of my vessels that had the incident. Reporting incidents to the wrong people will attract attention to all operators. By not reporting hopefully they will return the favour in the future should the need arise.
You will be amazed how many people see a boat towed in and usually another operator will mention so and so was towed in last week or what ever to the wrong people who happen to be the harbour master or authorities. Let the grape vine do the dirty work for you. If you do report then if they are nasty and do your tubes do fill your fuel with water then it might cost you more in the long run.
You could send them a bill for the time taken to carry out the recovery after all you are a commercial operator.
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Old 12 March 2017, 10:49   #11
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As an aside, I trust that you realise that the MAIB is not flag-state. Flag state for the UK is represented by the MCA. MAIB investigate accidents/incidents in order to learn and promulgate lessons and avoid similar incidents in the future. They are not flag-state.
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