Originally Posted by timw
I don't believe I have passed judgement on anyone's business and livelyhood here...it is precisely this that others are doing on this Rib Operator in Lulworth Cove, including taking photographs of his operation and posting them on here for general comment.
Yes you have. I wouldn't like to be a traffic warden with you around.
Perhaps I was unclear. What I should have said was I don't like your passing judgement, and then criticising others for doing the same. What is happening hear is a discussion of safe practice, legal practice, and the percieved quality of someone who would appear to be a rib charter operator. This is a ribbing forum after all. What you are doing is turning this discussion into an opportunity to degrade and otherwise castigate other forum members, simply because their ideas do not fit your own.
If you have no problems with the safety implications of a charter operator not using lifejackets, or a kill cord, fine. Many on this forum would disagree with you, but that is your opinion, and doubtless you have your own reason for holding it. But why not post your reasons, instead of simply calling people traffic wardens?
If I was the charter operator reading these posts, I would probably be concerned about the image it gives my company. But the only thing I could do about it, would be to change my operating procedures, and perhaps post on here to tell people I've changed them. That's happened before on web forums, and is a fairly transparent, and instructive way of doing business. I do not think these posts on this forum will have harmed his business in any way, as anyone here who think the posts make him look unsafe, wouldn't have paid for a rib excursion with him, regardless. He hasn't lost any customers - although it appears he may not have gained any either.
What you have to remember Tim, is that there are a lot of people on this forum who have made powerboating their profession, and with an industry as competetive and low margin, if you make it your profession, you make it your world. It naturally, therefore, grates, when you see a thriving business that is potentially running unsafely, as in addition to the threat to safety on board, accidents only result in more paperwork, rules, and restrictions, for your own operation. That's why people post such things on a forum, and that's why they are valued discussion points.
Originally Posted by timw
It would have been interesting to hear his responses to these comments, but of course there is little chance of that.
Yes, it would be interesting. I'd like to hear whether or not he thinks it is safe, the reasoning behind his decisions, and if, in light of these posts, he intends to change it.
Anyway, so far I haven't posted my opinion on these photos. The lack of lifejackets - possibly this wasn't an issue. In all photos the boat is lightly loaded, and travelling at a trolling speed. It could be that the Skipper made an assesment based on the weather conditions and itinery that meant he thought the risk from not wearing lifejackets was acceptable. It may not be a decision I would have made, but it may not have been incorrect.
The Kill Cord on the other hand - I find inexcusable. With a running engine, it is all to easy for someone to knock the boat into gear and on to full throttle, throwing the skipper back away from the controls, where a kill cord would be a handy means of stopping the rib. Also possible for the skipper to go overboard, and for the boat to torque steer back to him in the water running him over, there are plenty of risks, and there is no reason I can see, in this application, why it would be safer, or there would be a mimimum of risk, from not having the kill cord on.
Only my view - I welcome any thoughts.