A run ashore

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch appeared to have joined the Temperance Society in their summing up over the death of two yachtsmen who fell from their dinghy while trying to get back to their yacht.

They jump to the conclusion that ‘there is no doubt that alcohol affected their judgment and ability to make a safe passage back to their yacht’. This sounds like a cop-out to me. One tumbler of Mackesons will impact on any cognitive decision, but it will not necessarily cause the making of an unsafe passage.

No-one knows what actually happened, but I’ve been told that a post mortem on one of the men found that he had not drowned, but was dead before he hit the water. An old hand who knows the river well and the guys concerned posits his own theory: the man in question dies as he’s getting aboard the yacht and capsizes the dinghy throwing the other man in.

Obviously rowing around on a fast flowing river at night after a night on the town is a recipe for disaster, but it is not the place of our leading maritime disaster investigators – who don’t actually know what happened – to join the nanny state and tell us that a dram caused the tragedy.