Coast Guard boating collision update 3

San Diego Online has this short piece on the Coast Guard boating case and the ongoing Article 32, UCMJ, hearing which began today.

Lawyers for the driver of a Coast Guard boat that killed an 8-year-old San Diego boy in December said the Coast Guard is prosecuting Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Ramos in order to duck responsibility, and a lawsuit.

“The family is rightly suing the Coast Guard,” said Navy Cmdr. Brian Koshulsky, one of Ramos’ military attorneys. “It’s in the Coast Guard’s interest to blame my client.”

Seen through Ramos’ eyes, the Dec. 20 collision in San Diego Bay that killed Anthony DeWeese is a tragic accident caused by poor training and supervision by the Coast Guard and visibility design flaws in the 33-foot patrol vessel being used — all brought out by the harbor’s holiday lighting during a Christmas boat parade.

In regard to the boat design issue here is an NBC San Diego piece.

ccording to pool reports, when the boats’ engines run at 3,000 to 4,000 RPM the bows of the boats dip up. In that position, the driver and crew can not effectively see over the front of the bow, according to defense attorneys.

Lawyers for the defendants said this problem is widely known among Coast Guard boatswains who serve on these small boats.

Here is a report by SDO which has some snippets of witness testimony.  Witnesses appear to be alleging the Coast Guard boat was speeding, whereas the driver is claiming a speed of about 18MPH.

SDO also notes that:

The hearing will likely offer the most details yet on the mishap. The San Diego Harbor Police has refused to release its findings, and the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board have yet to complete their investigations.

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