Stanley Yacht Services: A Stern Warning

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Stern Warning

[UPDATE - March 22, 2011: USCG Petty Officer Paul Ramos was found not guilty on all charges with the exception of Article 92, dereliction of duty.]

Check your lights
As is often the case, unfortunately, tragedy brings to light the importance of routine maintenance and equipment checks on every boat. Indeed, whether a simple stern light was functioning may determine the fate of USCG Petty Officer Paul Ramos, who is being tried by court-martial for the death of an 8-year-old San Diego boy.

Ramos was at the helm of a USCG fast patrol boat when it collided with the DeWeese family's ski boat during a Christmas boat parade on San Diego Bay in 2009, killing young Anthony DeWeese and injuring five others. The 22-year-old is charged with involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, aggravated assault, and dereliction of duty. The jury is expected to begin its deliberations on Monday, having heard a significant amount of testimony about the speed at which the patrol boat was being operated and the functionality of the ski boat's stern light, whether it was visible to the USCG patrol prior to impact.

Yes, that's how important a single light bulb can be on the water.

As we extend our condolences and sympathy to everyone involved in this tragedy, especially the DeWeese family, we respectfully take this opportunity to urge all of our clients, friends and fellow boaters to pay close and thoughtful attention.

With boating season upon us, please remember to conduct a thorough check of all systems and equipment on your vessels. For your convenience, the fine folks at Discover Boating provide some great tips about prepping your boat for the season and have drafted what we consider a comprehensive checklist, which you can print out for free! Do it! For the safety of your passengers and everyone else on the water.

Have a SAFE boating season!

For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!™

Related links:
Coast Guard court-martial focused on boat's light | Sign On San Diego
Boat & Trailer Maintenance: Spring Checklist for Safe Boating Fun

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