This years Caribbean season is largely over and as it is confined to the annals of yachting history I am concerned that the it will soon be out of sight and out of mind. There were a number of injuries, accidents and even a fatality during the season that should give us cause for concern and yet they have largely been swept under the table and kept from entering the public domain.
Why have there been no published results of any investigations or were there simply no investigations?
Should it matter that accidents and their causes are kept quiet? Maybe they are not being kept quiet but are simply still 'under investigation'.
We could all benefit from finding out the truth and the documentalble facts of any case. It might shape future legislation or training requirements for the better, it might simply make us do things in a safer way. After all, since the Titanic we have been forced to learn from accidents which have not only yielded clear lessons but provided the political capital to see changes made.
Following the one particular accident where a tender was driven into a rock in the dark, there has been much speculation about the cause and even a statement by one of the crewmembers. This has added to the arguments for a "highspeed" component to be incorporated into any rib training course. Why? The speed may not have been important. If they were drunk let's hear it and be done with it. We all assume that the driver was drunk, after all they were said to be returning from a bar late at night so it is a forgiveable summation, but, we don't know for a fact. My point is this: Was it investigated, was anyone breathalysed? Drug tested? Isn't that the norm in the case of a serious accident?
It is difficult to have faith in a "system" if there is not a dicernable system at all. We all have to train and qualify and conform to the system because that is what is demanded of us yacht crew. Are we not expect we have reasonable demands of the system to inform us of failures.
The MAIB serve to investigate accidents for British flagged vessels but who should investigate accidents for other vessels, the local authorities or the flag state or both? It just seems to easy to let these things go unreported. You have to ask why?