Boy dies after falling from ship (BBC News)

SN NewsCaster
3rd May 2010, 11:40
A 14-year-old sea cadet dies after falling overboard from a training ship anchored off Gosport in the Solent.

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3rd May 2010, 14:08
Sadly, it has been reported that the young lad died.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
3rd May 2010, 15:54
This accident must be investigated but I for one hope that it does not affect the Sea Cadets' operation of training ships.

3rd May 2010, 17:22
Admittedly, very sad, but people of all ages have been falling from the rigging of sailing ships since the first mast was fitted on a vessel. Feel for the parents loss, but please dont lets institute an expensive, who's to blame, should we ever allow people to climb rigging ever again type of enquiry. Everyone who has been to sea knows that by its very nature life at sea is fraught with danger. always has been, always will be. Its the knowledge of that danger that keeps people alive.

3rd May 2010, 17:54
I agree - condolences to his family, nonetheless.


3rd May 2010, 19:00
Was he wearing a safety harness?

3rd May 2010, 22:09
Condolences to family.................very sad.

3rd May 2010, 22:20
Was he wearing a safety harness?
There will be an inquiry (despite what AncientBrit says) which will answer this and other questions, so we need not speculate. Of course it is a tragedy, especially for the boy's family; but we should also think of his watch leader who will be asking himself what more he could have done to prevent this, as well as having to face at some time the questions of the investigators. As a watch leader myself (on other vessels), I know how hard it is to spot every risk as it arises, and try to take the appropriate action to minimise it, in the complex and sometimes difficult environment of a sailing vessel.

3rd May 2010, 22:21
Quite so...............

Donald McGhee
4th May 2010, 23:08
As an ex Cadet Force Officer my deepest sympathies go out to the family of the lad who fell from the rigging of "Royalist".

Accidents do happen and I dread to think what sort of hell the watch officer and those in authority will be subjected to by the Health and Safety police when the investigation is commenced.
If negligence was a factor then any responsible persons should be held to account, but I doubt that would be the case, as the SCC is a very safety concious body, especially when young folk are exposed to risk.

All precautions are taken to avoid accidents such as this and when you go down to sea in ships the chance of a mishap is always present, as ships are not like dry land and tend to "move" under you, as we all know, even when at anchor.
Heights are also a factor and if the young lad was not fitted with a harness or similar (can't see them not being so issued) the question needs to be asked.

I hope this will not see further restrictions being put on the SCC, as our lot here have been so deluged by Rules and Regs, PC jargon and the like that the adventure has been diluted to the extent it is more fun to cross the street!
Again my prayers go out to the family after this most unfortunate and sad event.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
5th May 2010, 11:46
As the father of a Sea Cadet I entirely agree.

The SCC is not the Sea Scouts (which my son was in up to 14) but a different, more disciplined, organisation which tends to attract boys and girls who are interested in going to sea either in the Navy or in any merchant ship that might still want Brits aboard. Although the SCC is not officially a pre-sea organisation, it is seen as such by most of its members. Almost by definition these are more adventurous types.

The SCC is getting a bit rule bound by safety twaddle as it is, as witness my son, who is a proficient and experienced dinghy sailor, not being allowed to wear his own bouyancy aid when sailing for his Unit because of some insurance restriction, and the endless sucession of T1 forms because they cannot be kept on file!

I think my wife puts it best - "I'd sooner he drowned or broke his neck than took drugs !"

5th May 2010, 13:23
I have sailed on the Royalist, both as a cadet and a watch officer. As a result, I know saftey is paramount. The fact that this is the first fatal accident on this ship since she was built in 1971 proves this. All cadets are issued with harness and are not allowed on deck without them, (except when going ashore). This is due the fact they can be called to climb the rigging at short notice and won't have time to go below and fetch them. All staff are also bound by this rule, even the Captain & Sailing Master.
It has already been said in previous posts about introducing new rules to prevent this from happening again, in my opinion, they don't need any new rules. The ones already in place are sufficent. There is always a risk in whatever activities Cadets do, but wrapping them in cotton wool isn't the answer. In recent years, new rules coming in have made it harder for staff, despite being told it'll make things easier. As a result, many experiance staff members are leaving. The main one being staff that have being doing something for years, without any problems suddenly being told they can no longer do this, unless they go on a training course for a certificate. Finding time to do courses is difficult for most members. Then they have to do another one, then another one, the list goes on. While this is going on, the cadets can't get out of the units to do the activities.

I can only offer my condolences to the family for this tragic accident.