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Old 07-09-2010, 01:51 PM   #61
Vermont Scott
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DA announces they are looking into filing more charges, but the boater's attorney is trying to put the blame on the kayaker for not wearing his PFD, and get this...for having a dark colored boat!

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Even if he wore his PFD he got RUN OVER with prop cuts on his neck and a broken neck. The PFD would have kept him on top of the water but even if he survived he probably would have been paralyzed...

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Old 07-09-2010, 01:52 PM   #62
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Even if he wore his PFD he got RUN OVER with prop cuts on his neck and a broken neck. The PFD would have kept him on top of the water but even if he survived he probably would have been paralyzed...

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Oh yea, the attorney forgot about that part clearly.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:25 PM   #63
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I think everyone involved agrees that the boat ran over the kayaker; I don't think anyone's "forgetting" that.

The questions before the court are two:

How much of this is an accident, as opposed to a "fault" on one part or the other? When you pack a bunch of large and small craft together in one place, there will be accidents.

Of the part of this that is someone's fault, how much of the fault is shared by each party. It's easy to scream "Oh look, he was in a dark colored boat and he wasn't wearing a PFD!" It's just as easy to scream "Oh look, the big bad motorboat must be at fault, look at the poor dead kayaker!" Both screams are mindless; that's why we have courts to sort things out.

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Old 07-09-2010, 09:52 PM   #64
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Except that courts are not designed to present the facts. They are designed to present a point of view based on events that both sides can give a completely different "argument" about. Which means that one side has to be lying through their teeth, but if you present it as an attorney it's an argument, not perjury.

And you could take the exact same arguments and present it to two different juries and come up with completely different verdicts depending on the particular philosophies of the jurors.

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Old 07-10-2010, 11:04 AM   #65
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Except that courts are not designed to present the facts. They are designed to present a point of view based on events that both sides can give a completely different "argument" about. Which means that one side has to be lying through their teeth, but if you present it as an attorney it's an argument, not perjury.

And you could take the exact same arguments and present it to two different juries and come up with completely different verdicts depending on the particular philosophies of the jurors.

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Very true Redhawk, considering these latest revelations regarding the Warren County prosecutor knowing the defendant, I would reconsider my earlier post preferring trial by judge vs. jury. In small towns it's likely everyone knows almost everyone. Maybe the judge knows the defendant too. They should move the trial a few counties away. Anybody still have any sympathy for the powerboat operator? I had zero from the start & now I'm feeling some strong feelings of dis-like. I hope the victims family gets justice (prison time for defendant). And now after this attorney's tactics have been put on the table, they sue this powerboater for all that he has.
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:43 PM   #66
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Very true Redhawk, considering these latest revelations regarding the Warren County prosecutor knowing the defendant, I would reconsider my earlier post preferring trial by judge vs. jury. In small towns it's likely everyone knows almost everyone. Maybe the judge knows the defendant too. They should move the trial a few counties away. Anybody still have any sympathy for the powerboat operator? I had zero from the start & now I'm feeling some strong feelings of dis-like. I hope the victims family gets justice (prison time for defendant). And now after this attorney's tactics have been put on the table, they sue this powerboater for all that he has.
Moving it to a different county is probably a good idea to ensure that everything is on the up and up.

Do I have sympathy for the boater? Some, but more for the soul that died.
Actually I feel the one that you should have strong feelings of dis-likes should be the attorneys. I am sure they are leading them, and the family should be asking some serious questions of the DA.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:46 PM   #67
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The kayaker who was killed was named Peter Snyder.

I met a Pete Snyder (or Snider) about 30 years ago, possibly through the ADK or the Northern NY Paddlers club, who was a very well-known and expert whitewater kayaker.

Does anyone know if this is the same person?
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:45 PM   #68
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http://www.timesunion.com/local/arti...sh-1339247.php

A kayak is not covered under navigation laws?
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:59 PM   #69
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I think the court has declared open season on kayakers. I live in Lake George but I won't paddle the lake other than Northwest Bay because of the a-holes in power boats. There's a lot of them that think it's funny to mess with kayaks or canoes, now they'll feel like they have a license to kill. Sorry for the rant but this reallly ticks me off. Another case of Lake George catering to the money crowd.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:43 PM   #70
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My Opinion:
Obviously, Queensbury Town Justice Robert McNally has no common sense, or an agenda that would exclude non-powered boats from his lake (my term), or both. Hopefully, Robert McNally will not be re-elected to an office that he seems unable to properly handle. The operator of the powerboat was certainly at fault, though he has expressed regret for this tragic accident. Dropping the charges is unacceptable in the case of an incident that involves negligence on the part of the operator of a boat that runs down two paddlers.
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:34 PM   #71
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I think LG may be one of the most dangerous lakes to boat on in the US. It is a perfect storm of hazards: hundreds of amateur boaters on the water (and likely drinking), islands, rock reefs, sunken islands, choppy waves, annoying mosquitto-like jetskis buzzing around, 190 foot cruise ships, para-sailers, divers... Honestly, why would anyone want to take out a boat there, much less a kayak??
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:46 AM   #72
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Truly a poor decision by that judge.
Suppose the law is revised to include kayaks, canoes and rowboats? Then what?, a person on a windsurfer is not protected under law? C'mon, this is just a game of semantics, with the bereaved parties paying the ultimate price.

Bottom line, this was a tragic accident, but the motor boat operator clearly was responsible for the paddler's death.

And Lake George in general? Much the same as a weltand filters out effluent, Lake George functions well as a filter for the rest of the Adirondacks, blocking undesirable elements from reaching the purest waters...
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:28 AM   #73
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I remember reading the details of the case when it happened. I do remember that the boat operator was really upset and remorseful and I would imagine that most people sympathized (including myself) with him. I'll bet that this is a case where the judge was looking for an excuse to dismiss in view of the circumstances.

Do I agree? No. Had their been a penalty of some kind it might have made some boaters be somewhat more cautious, but probably not the ones that are reckless anyway. Now it's like a Carte Blanc to some people to act irresponsibly without repercussions.

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Old 04-17-2011, 12:00 PM   #74
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Wait, what!?! Perhaps I'm old fashioned, but I think there are such things as tragic accidents where a convergence of many independently harmless actions results in a horrible outcome that no one could have reasonably foreseen.

According to the original story - http://www.wten.com/Global/story.asp?S=12630268 - the kayak was blue, the conditions were very rough, and the kayaker wasn't wearing his PFD! Also, a kayak is the lowest profile vessel out there, making it about the worst thing you could be in if you're going to be out there in those conditions.

I'm not blaming the kayaker - I too occasionally do things that in retrospect seem to be a recipe for disaster, but fortunately they haven't caught up to me. I'm sure everyone has done things where if one or two seemingly benign factors were added to the equation, real tragedy would have been the result.

Was there anything to indicate that the motor boat operator willfully ran over this kayaker? If not, then I think the fact that charges were brought simply added to this horrible tragedy. Unless the motorboat operator is a psychopath, he's going to have to live with the fact that he killed someone for the rest of his life.

From the article:

Quote:
The boat's driver, 73-year old Donald Peltier is charged with a misdemeanor and could face a year in prison. However, officials say alcohol was not involved in the crash.

They add, Peltier is distaught.

"He's been boating for 50 years on this lake and he says he'll probably never boat again. It's sad," shared Sheriff Bud York.
I think it is very unfortunate that the judge used a technicality from an archaic law to dismiss the charges, but I think dismissing the charges was certainly the right thing to do.

Agreed though, the law should be updated, but at the same time perhaps they should mandate that kayakers put flags or something else on their boats to increase their visibility on waters they share with motorboats, and require them to wear their PFDs at all times.

Last edited by fisher39; 04-17-2011 at 12:05 PM.. Reason: Forgot to mention the judge's decision...
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:30 PM   #75
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Agreed though, the law should be updated, but at the same time perhaps they should mandate that kayakers put flags or something else on their boats to increase their visibility on waters they share with motorboats, and require them to wear their PFDs at all times.
Good to hear from the other side. Perhaps "they" should mandate that operators of powerboats actually look at the water ahead of them.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:35 PM   #76
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Good to hear from the other side. Perhaps "they" should mandate that operators of powerboats actually look at the water ahead of them.
You're mistaken! I spend a lot of time on the water in canoes and rowboats, but have never operated a powerboat. I think the last time I was in one was about 20 years ago.

I drive though, and know that it is impossible to focus all of my attention on everything, and rely on features such as lights and reflectors on cars and bicycles, reflective paint on signs and the road, etc, to draw my attention to the things that matter. And if all that fails, seat belts, air bags and other safety devices provide an additional level of protection from tragedy.

Reasonable safety laws save lives, and I think it could have saved this kayaker's life in this circumstance.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:43 PM   #77
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I was a "they" for half an hour last summer.

On the water small things ARE hard to spot..the bow is up on plane. If the operator is sitting, small things can escape.

If the operator is standing visibility is much better.

I had my neighbors teach me how to operate their 175 hp stern drive.

I don't own a powerboat yet but do want a Lund Alaskan with 40 hp four stroke for skiffing to off shore islands in my old age.

Being on the "other side" was certainly an eye opener and I think regarding paddlecraft as legitimate boats to be respected on the water would make powerboaters less apt to put their boats on autopilot and more likely to stand and actually LOOK.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:20 PM   #78
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I had a powerboat for a few years. If the bow was raised up and blocking my view of the water ahead, I either stood up or sat on the back of the helm seat. Besides other boats, there are obstacles such as logs and other flotsam that boaters need to watch for. Operating essentially blind with a raised bow obscuring the view is negligent.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:33 PM   #79
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Safe Boating Courses

Here is a link that shows Safe Boating Courses. IMHO, if you have never taken one,whether you are paddler or a motor-boater, you should take one.
There is a lot to learn for both camps.

http://www.nysparks.com/recreation/b...y-courses.aspx
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:35 PM   #80
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My opinion in this case is the same as my opinion of hunting on public lands. When you are the one engaging in an activity that potentially endangers everyone around you, then the burden of ensuring the safety of your fellow humans falls on YOU.

On two occasions I have come close to being hit by motorboaters in my canoe- once on cranberry lake, and once on otter lake, near old forge. In both instances the motorboaters were driving recklessly and way too fast. And also in both instances they weren't breaking the law. Wouldn't have made me any less dead had they hit me.
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