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RememberSchiff

Sailing fatalities in TX

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I have been on lakes with a heavy sailboat presence and there are buoys in the water noting dangers of power lines above.  I have also seen the typical red balls along the wires as well.  That google earth view I didn't see either.  I also didn't see a large sailboat presence on that lake. I dont know what laws are in place about noting the power lines.  Obviously around airports the large red warning balls are along the wires are pretty standard. Maybe they dont have to note that if there is a low expectation of sailboat use on a lake?

 

It's Texas. You'll find all sorts of craft out. 

 

I do not know what the law requires, but common sense would dictate buoys and visible objects on their lines themselves. The power company has deep pockets so I hope the families go after them. I also hope this is a warning to everyone to really investigate every activity you do and plan around various risks.

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https://www.news-journal.com/news/2017/aug/11/dean-want-review-of-power-line-rules/

 

State Rep. Jay Dean says he's talking with other area lawmakers about legislation in response to the recent electrocution deaths of three Boy Scouts at Lake O' the Pines.

...

 

Troop 620 Boy Scouts Will Brannon, 17, and Heath Faucheaux, 16, died Saturday afternoon when the topsail mast of the boat they were in with Scout Thomas Larry, 11, hit a power line at the lake while on the troop's monthly campout.

 

Thomas died Monday at LSU Medical Center-Shreveport.

 

Longview lawyer G. Brockett Irwin was killed in 1982 when his sailboat hit a power line near Johnson Creek at Lake O' the Pines.

 

Federal and state standards require any electrical or communications line crossing a waterway where boats commonly operate to have a height clearance of 52 feet.

 

But that standard comes with a caveat: Existing power lines were grandfathered in. It's that exemption that has some people looking at whether additional regulations are needed.

 

...

The two accidents 35 years apart, although similar, were in different areas of the lake.

 

In fact, at least three places at Lake O' The Pines have power lines that cross water where sailboats usually travel.

 

The Corps of Engineers, which oversees the lake, said it does not have a list of such locations and neither does the Texas Public Utility Commission, which oversees regulations for electric, telecommunication and water and sewer utilities.

 

No statewide agency is responsible for that information or for checking height clearances on individual power lines, said Terry Hadley, director of communications for the PUC. It's a question for individual power companies or the local authority over that body of water.

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...

No statewide agency is responsible for that information or for checking height clearances on individual power lines, said Terry Hadley, director of communications for the PUC. It's a question for individual power companies or the local authority over that body of water.

Sounds like an Eagle project: surveying and reporting over-water power line heights in the names of the poor souls who were let down by government passing the buck.

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http://www.kltv.com/clip/13789098/boy-scout-killed-in-summer-boating-accident-to-be-honored-for-organ-donation

 

Thomas Larry, the 11 year old scout who died, is being honored by the Circle for Life bike tour for being an organ donor.

 

Thomas had noticed his mother's driving license had a heart donor icon and asked what it meant. He then said he wanted to be a donor too.

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Update 10/23/17

 

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently completed a report regarding a fatal sailboat accident that killed three East Texas Boy Scouts,... but say there are specific laws about what information TPWD can release regarding accidents involving juveniles, and to whom that information can be released. TPWD says to ensure their compliance with these laws, they have requested an opinion from the Office of the Texas Attorney General.

 

http://www.newschannel6now.com/story/36655468/tpwd-issues-statement-on-accident-that-killed-3-boy-scouts

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Update Jan 4, 2018

The report on an electrocution that killed three East Texas boy scouts will NOT be released.

According to the Texas Attorney General's Office, they have ruled not to release the report on the boating accident at Lake O’ the Pines, which killed scouts Heath Faucheux, 17, Thomas Larry, 11, and Will Brannon, 17. 

The scouts were fatally injured last August when their sailboat came into contact with power lines on the lake.

http://www.kltv.com/story/37195916/texas-attorney-general-office-report-on-fatal-boy-scouts-boating-accident-will-not-be-released

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Unless one is a looky-loo, why would it make any difference?

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We learn best from our mistakes. Easy enough to redact photos but to withhold the whole accident report  is tantamount to ignoring the accident altogether.

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Posted (edited)

First of all, what's the odds of hitting a power line over a lake?

Everyone knows that when a metal rod hits an electrical line, something bad's going to happen.  The only "good" that will come from the report is who was at fault so the other two families can sue.

This crap happens all the time.  Daughter driving a car with mom in passenger seat. hits my dad's car.  Mom sues my dad for being on the road and her daughter for driving into my dad.  Both insurance companies pay up.  That kind of PR makes national news.

Better to leave it as is and learn from it in ways other than just the cause of the accident.  

1) When one is piloting a sail boat, don't go under power lines.

2) Hmmmm, I can't think of any other lessons to be learned here.

Edited by Stosh

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Posted (edited)

I would rather read the facts from accident report and work from there. This is at least the second time a fatal accident has occurred here. Why?

Learn from our mistakes or let this happen again.

Maybe we should just agree to disagree.

 

Edited by RememberSchiff
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You missed the most important option: Learn from other people's mistakes.  It's far less painful and accomplishes the same thing.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Stosh said:

First of all, what's the odds of hitting a power line over a lake?

In this case, it appears the odds were just high enough for a tragedy to occur.

Quote

Better to leave it as is and learn from it in ways other than just the cause of the accident.  

1) When one is piloting a sail boat, don't go under power lines.

2) Hmmmm, I can't think of any other lessons to be learned here.

That presumes that one sees the power lines before going under them.  Was there sun glare making it difficult to see the lines?  Was there something else that I can't think of right now that could make it difficult to see the lines?  None of us know the answers to those questions, or to the question of what the power lines were doing that close to the water in the first place.  

17 hours ago, Stosh said:

You missed the most important option: Learn from other people's mistakes.  It's far less painful and accomplishes the same thing.

I don't think RS missed that point at all.  That point is why the report should be released (with anything that is particularly sensitive redacted, since these were youths.)

Edited by NJCubScouter

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And my response was, what was the need for the report to be released?  It is obvious an accident occurred.  If every car accident, boating accident, airplane accident, or accident of any type needed to be disclosed in a report, would it in fact reduce accidents? I think not.  Thus RS thinks the report should be disclosed, and I asked, why?   I don't think the question has been answered yet.  Learn from the mistakes of others?  Why were these boys not properly trained in the first place?  That has nothing to do with the report.  Will disclosing the report insure it will never happen again?  Probably not very likely.  Car accident reports have been produced right from the very beginning of automobile history.  Has any of them stopped accidents from happening?  Nope.  Will there be reports?  Will they help?  Nope. 

So far the only value in releasing the report would be for litigious reasons so people know who it is they are supposed to be suing.  Who is negligent?  Who is to blame? etc.  Then releasing the report would be fine.  Those families involved in that process can hire lawyers to view the reports.  The rest of us don't need to know.

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