View Poll Results: Should there be a legally enforced alcohol limit for leisure boaters?
Yes. Legislation is the way forward. 33 32.04%
Don't mind. I don't drink and boat so it won't affect me. 11 10.68%
No. Things are fine as they are. 59 57.28%
Voters: 103. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 16 August 2007, 12:55   #101
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Nauti

Before you look for the solution you need to identify the problem.

Is it a fairly isolated incident wher a few pŁ$% heads who were told by the police not to go afloat and then did and hurt themselves?

Or is there some wider problem?

Accidents do occasionally happen, there are anglers who sit on the river side with a couple of tinnies and slip on a muddy bank.
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Old 16 August 2007, 12:56   #102
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I have been reading this thread since it started with interest but have so far refrained from joining it.. but I would like to add a small contribution.

I voted against legislation.. not because I would in any way advocate drinking excessively and being in control of any craft be it car, boat, truck or otherwise. .but because it is my firm belief (and one that has been born out by this discussion in many ways) that the vast majority of people that are involved in boating realise the dangers involved are sensible and level-headed enough to know their own limitations.

One of the main attractions with sailing/boating for me has always been the fact that in general it doesn't attract the kind of ignorance/selfishness and arrogance that are to be found in many many areas of modern society, and that it still maintains an ability to be self-controlling and rely on an individual's common-sense and judgement of a situation.

Now, I know that there are cases such as this one, where the norm is not the rule and common sense does not prevail or is lacking and it is a sad day when things go wrong, but I beleive that we have to find a way to better educate people rather than enforce by rules which are difficult (and expensive) to enforce. I don't know the answer, I only wish I could come up with one, but I am certainly sure that enforcing a drinking limit will not solve the problem... I don't know about you but I have certainly seen many cases in the past (and still do now) of people drinking far in excess of any legal limits and still driving ..(and not just in this country having spent many years in international haulage) these are the type of people that would still do the same if it were a boat rather than a car, regardless of the legality of it. Perhaps in this situation it may have averted what happened as they were spotted, but that isn't always the case.

It seems that this is a debate which will go on for a long time and no doubt there will be many many more incidents of this type before anyone comes up with a solution - legislation or no legislation.

I'll shut up now... thanks for letting me rant
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Old 16 August 2007, 13:36   #103
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Originally Posted by Doug Stormforce View Post
Nauti

Before you look for the solution you need to identify the problem.

Is ia a fairly isolated incident wher a few pŁ$% heads who were told by the police not to go afloat and then did and hurt themselves?

Or is there some wider problem?

Accidents do occasionally happen, there are anglers who sit on the river side with a couple of tinnies and slip on a muddy bank.
Agreed.

I think there is a wider problem - alcohol is just part of it. I think poor general safety awareness is closer to the heart of the problem. Education about safety is certainly easily and cheaply available - although the onus is on the boat owner to arrange this and I would suspect that it is generally the more responsible variety of boat owner that will sign themselves up for this in the first place.

I'm not in favour of unnecessary legislation and those that know me will know that I like an adventure and night on the razzle as much as the next! It just worries me that Joe Bloggs with no previous marine experience, but with a few grand to spare, can buy a powerful boat and head off across the Solent without thinking about even the weather/tides, a lifejacket or handheld VHF.

Perhaps compulsory education is the way forward? It seems to be becoming more prevalent ... I know one insurance company we used in the past wanted to see copies of our Level 2 certs before they would insure us. The company we're with now won't insure us to cross the Channel unless we can prove that we have a small outboard as backup or are in the company of another suitably equipped RIB. I know you can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink ... but maybe a little education and a horror story or two might trigger a spark of responsibility in some of these people.
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Old 16 August 2007, 13:39   #104
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When you look at the statistics it says out of 7,000 drownings booze was a factor in 1,000 of them. of course this means it was NOT a factor in 6,000 - a much higher figure.

The main thing the stats don't show though is what sort of drowning the booze factored in. it doesn't mention boating - I suspect a great many are people jumping into rivers or the sea or swimming whilst drunk which means the number of boating related deaths is tiny.
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Old 16 August 2007, 13:42   #105
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When you look at the statistics it says out of 7,000 drownings booze was a factor in 1,000 of them. of course this means it was NOT a factor in 6,000 - a much higher figure.

The main thing the stats don't show though is what sort of drowning the booze factored in. it doesn't mention boating - I suspect a great many are people jumping into rivers or the sea or swimming whilst drunk which means the number of boating related deaths is tiny.
It's not just about deaths though....
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Old 16 August 2007, 16:04   #106
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Remember unlike RIBs many boat owners will actually live on their boats for a while. Imagine being securly anchored or attached to a mooring buoy for a whole weekend. A skipper has a few drinks and retires to his bunk. Then wakes up to discover another yacht has dragged his anchor in the Force 7 that has sprung up. What is he supposed to do???

This situation is highly unlikely to occur to a car driver so why try and apply the same laws?
Unlikely to happen to a car driver, but what about a camper van driver, or someone towing a caravan?? Imagine the scenario, Mr and Mrs Flatcap have decided to spend a quiet weekend exploring Stratford Upon Avon.. Seeing as they are both well away from the twitching curtains of their neighbours, they decide to have a few glasses of wine, which lead to a few more.. After retiring to bed, they are awoken by the sound of another camper revving their engine as they try to tow their second home away from the rapidly rising water using their trusty Kia Rio..

So, what does Mr Flatcap do? Both are over the drink drive limit, but the water is soon going to turn their little palace on wheels into a little palace on water..

Similar situation as your Codders, one places the skipper in a predicament, the other places the soon to be skipper in a predicament..

Perhaps those who are in charge of a vehicle, (any sort of vehcle,) should take their responsibility seriously, and avoid placing themselves in a position where they may have to break the law..
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Old 16 August 2007, 16:05   #107
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Accidents do occasionally happen, there are anglers who sit on the river side with a couple of tinnies and slip on a muddy bank.
True, but they are not usually doing 30+ knots at the time and they are unlikely to do too much damage to my boat or injury to my family or myself if they managed to somehow skim across the water and collide with me.

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I would suggest we all have to take reponsibility for our actions
In an ideal world this would be the case, the unfortunate fact is that some individuals are irresponsible.

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I do not want to pay for the policing of a system that many of us believe is unnecassary and I dread to think what would follow after the drink laws.
I don't want to have to pay, nor would I like to see anyone else pay, with something far more valuable than money just because some people believe it is an infringment of their civil liberties to be prevented from doing whatever they like whenever they like and bugger the consequences. It strikes me that some people consider it an attack on their machismo if they are restricted from getting drunk.

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Coastal waters and roads are very different, they feature different problems and should not be treated in the same way. What is good for one is unlikely to be good for the other. We need to think outside the box. Replicating road laws at sea is wholly inappropraite
Whilst the mediums are significantly different many road laws can be applicable to the sea, insurance of your vehicle, ensuring your vehicle is in a fit state for use, making sure your safety equipment is in a fit state of repair, driving appropriately for the conditions, sticking to the speed limit if the fuzz are around, the benefits of learning how to drive before you're let loose on your own. I don't see it as that much of a leap of the imagination to see the benefits of not allowing inebriated individuals behind the wheel.
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Old 16 August 2007, 16:44   #108
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Isn't it strange that depsite a raft of new laws covering all sorts of things crime continues to rise? i suspect that a drunk boating law will be about as much help as ASBOS..........
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Old 16 August 2007, 16:56   #109
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Isn't it strange that depsite a raft of new laws covering all sorts of things crime continues to rise? i suspect that a drunk boating law will be about as much help as ASBOS..........
I would suggest that the average boater tends to be a little higher on the evolutionary scale than the average hoodie and is therefore a little less likely to consider a drink driving conviction as an opportunity for bragging rights over his peers, unlike an ASBO which so clearly is for the people that earn them.
The biggest criticism I hear or read concerning new laws which are introduced is that they appear to be protecting the criminal and the rights of the protagonist rather than the victim, maybe thats why crime continues to rise.
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Old 16 August 2007, 17:26   #110
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I would suggest that the average boater tends to be a little higher on the evolutionary scale than the average hoodie and is therefore a little less likely to consider a drink driving conviction as an opportunity for bragging rights over his peers, unlike an ASBO which so clearly is for the people that earn them.
The biggest criticism I hear or read concerning new laws which are introduced is that they appear to be protecting the criminal and the rights of the protagonist rather than the victim, maybe thats why crime continues to rise.
In that case the "average" boater isn't going to drink to excess in the first place so why do we need new laws?
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