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Missing swimmer off Cooper #190158
04/09/2019 09:36 AM
04/09/2019 09:36 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 141
Panama City Beach, Florida
xrayman67 Offline OP
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xrayman67  Offline OP
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Panama City Beach, Florida

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Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #190170
04/09/2019 01:31 PM
04/09/2019 01:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 196
Dana Point
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captdennyj Offline
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Dana Point
Sad situation,

Go on vacation to have a good time, and a family member of friend winds up not going back home, alive. Tragic . It hurts all of our hearts to see this happen.

Lived lots of years on Kauai Island, and there were a good amount of mostly visitor, drownings, they all had one thing in common, plus other ignored safety rules..

Every one of the many drownings, every one of them, the person was not aware of an important rule of swimming in the ocean.

DO NOT SWIM ALONE

Most were elderly, most were males, all were alone..

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

They did not check the conditions, especially the currents. They wind up far off the beach, or out to sea, down Current. Then they try to swim back into a rip, or strong current, They fight and fiight, become exhausted,
just could not stay afloat . Some had heart attacks. The families on shore did not have any idea that their loved one was in trouble.

Sailing the BVI, or anywhere, when going snorkeling, or diving or swimming, , Erica and I, or with a group, The dink painter is totally paid out off the stern, and one of us gets into the water with fins, treads water, and checks
the current . At times it can be very strong ,, or at least too strong to swim against. If the person is swept away, they can grab on to the dink painter or the dink. The other person is standing watch on the swim step,

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALWAYS WEAR FINS. ( This is really important to all of us )

Fins give us an enormous amount of extra power to move thru the water.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are other safety rules that should be thought of. Boat or Beach. .Of course , it is all up to the individual.

NEVER SWIM AT NIGHT........( sharks and other sea creatures that you cannot see, as well as corals, urchins, submerged rocks, and reef. )

NEVER SWIM IN MURKY WATER.....( sharks )....that is Day or Night. )
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other safety procedures that can be used to check the strength of directions of the current. ( some times you can use current positively for drift snorkeling or diving ) . Best to be experienced a bit.

But for general safety : .

* before going in, look at the other snorkelers or swimmers in the water, and see if they are laboring to move thru the water, fins splashing, arms flailing , moving slow, or not moving, or actually moving backwards ( Strong Currents)
.
* look for signs of long shore, or rip currents, or any current. long shore currents are parallel to the beach and look like rapids . Also, ocean water running back out thru a pass in the reef. ( very dangerous )

* Also, once in the water , stop finning, float and look down thru your mask, and check out the bottom ( clear and good vis ), and if the bottom is moving, it is actually us who are being whisked along by current,

* Another good tip when swimming or snorkeling is to look at land marks on shore, , or the position of a snorkel boat, and keep in in sight and know you can return. just look up and check your position every few minutes.

Main Thing is , if it is not safe...GET OUT OF THE WATER , or DO NOT EVEN GO INTO THE WATER.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Kauai, or as skipper of a vessel world wide, , we endeavored to keep our visitors to the island , or our friends and family on board the boat safe in all circumstances.

* Also, another good practice , from on board, the skipper or crew member or family, or friend, will keep an easy watch on those who are swimming or snorkeling. Plus those in the water, should " Buddy Swim"..

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trust me, we fully understand that people are in the BVI to have a grand and wonderful good time. We cannot do anything to help out the person who is missing , and he just went for a swim.

But , perhaps, others will add in some of the ocean safety ideas to their sailing vacation, and not have an unfortunate incident like this happen to them or their family .
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Have good fun in the BVI, , take good care, and once back on board, drink quality dark rum, sing sea shantys and embrace your friendships.







.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #190209
04/09/2019 05:56 PM
04/09/2019 05:56 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 926
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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Having taken thousands of guests sailing and snorkeling I am absolutely convinced that a flotation device saved a lot of people from having problems. Even the [USCG Not Approved] ski belt type will keep someone floating and able to rest and be rescued if necessary. Having someone on deck watching is another essential part of a safe program. Not swimming,snorkeling alone should be a rule especially for a person not having a flotation device . Even a simple floating noodle can be carried by one or more of the group and may be the thing that saves a life that day.
I am very sorry to hear of another life lost here on a boat trip, it happens way too often here and is a terrible thing in every case. That is the major worry and serious concern for every Captain everywhere, one that haunts you forever if it happens on your watch and if Negligence is proven evident probably a career ending tragedy.
VISAR is an incredible group of responders and deserve the financial support of any owner/charterer who sails the BVI.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: captdennyj] #190212
04/09/2019 07:05 PM
04/09/2019 07:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,911
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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Wow this is long....

Some of the suggestions are highly questionable. Specifically those re sharks at night. Spreading fear of sharks is not justifiable and implies that a shark was involved.

My Condolences to the family that lost a relative or friend.

Last edited by warren460; 04/09/2019 07:10 PM.

Warren
S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 450
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: warren460] #190214
04/09/2019 07:31 PM
04/09/2019 07:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 194
Okla
ScurvyD Offline
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Okla
Originally Posted by warren460
Wow this is long....

Some of the suggestions are highly questionable. Specifically those re sharks at night. Spreading fear of sharks is not justifiable and implies that a shark was involved.

My Condolences to the family that lost a relative or friend.



Well said Warren. Thank you


I'd like to be a jelly fish, cause jelly fish don't pay rent.
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #190219
04/09/2019 08:15 PM
04/09/2019 08:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
Alexandria, VA and Lusby, MD
ohstate Offline
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When we were there last week or so, a group of boaters swam ashore to the beach at Guavaberry. It was a red flag day. One of them had so much difficulty in the rough surf, he laid down on the bench and wouldn’t go with his friends when they left him to snorkel around to the Baths. A few hours later, they came back to get him. They brought a flotation device and swam him back out to the boat. Not the best day for him.

BTW, so many people think that they can get to the Baths from the beach at Guavaberry. You can’t. Unless you can seriously climb boulders, you can’t. My husband climbs the boulders for fun. He helped boaters find their way out of the boulders because they were already scratched up from trying to pick their way down. Your only option is to swim (fins are best) to the Baths. I’ve sat on that beach numerous times over the last 20+ years, and every day someone swims up, or lands at Trunk Bay, and thinks they can walk to the Baths. I wish charter companies would include that info in the briefing. There is no path.

Last edited by ohstate; 04/09/2019 08:16 PM.


[Linked Image]

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #190225
04/09/2019 11:00 PM
04/09/2019 11:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 196
Dana Point
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captdennyj Offline
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Scurvy, and Warren, .

Interesting about your comments about keeping people safe is questionable and, that some of the others here have posted constructive information to help with that Important info as to safety, as well, .

Scurvy: Nice photo of your catamaran,. Pretty evident that vessel is not sailing, the vessel has the main up, and the jib appears to be back winded,, and the the throttles are full forward so it would look the catamaran has a bow wave and
undersail. And by looking at the water, it is flat no wind.

Warren, a question for you, your are from windsor, ontario canada..... exactly what do you know about sharks.. You were trying to imply that that I stated the swimmer was taken by a shark. I did not say that.,
All of the information was to alert and help people to stay safe in ocean waters everywhere. There is a lot for the responsible skipper to be aware of.

I will give you a little shark story or two, one was in the BVI at the Bight on Norman Island. We have dove and swam with sharks in Australia and Tahiti.

As Local Sailor stated, we professional skippers care about ocean safety and not only our charter people but everyone out there. Skippers responsibility is of extreme importance.

My back ground, been professionally sailing for nearly 40 years. I am U.S.C.G. lic. captain, actually Merchant Marine Officer. It took 720 days at sea, documented time just to sit for the original 100 ton lic. We have
to renew that lic every 5 years with sea time and or testing. I have my 5 th issue, and the U.S.C.G boosted it up to 500 tons. ( never skippered anything close to that, but I want others to understand that those of us
who are professional or highly experienced skippers actually care very much about everyones safety. And we will sound off about it.

Been sailing the BVI, Australia , Tahiti, Tonga, Mexico, Calif Coast and Channel Islands, The Bahamaa, BVi ( 16 trips ), the French West Indies, the Windards and Grenadines, Ireland an Greece. it has been
a marvelous career as a Sailing Instructor, Charter Capt, and Flotilla Leader. And that is professionally .

Thankfully, many here do understand what Skippers Responsibility is. Primary is the safety of the vessel and each and every person on board at all times.

We have been fortunate to have scuba dived the great barrier reef and coral sea , and swam with huge sharks, sting rays and mantas. No biggie, but there are procedures to follow. And we paid attention to the dive masters briefings..

THE BVI. And the promised shark story.

We were sailing the BVI with another couple, and we were moored quite a way out at the Bight , at Norman Island. We had bbq'd steaks the night before. I know, some will say SO WHAT !
I was up at the bow, ready to release our double bridles. Oooppps...... I forgot something.

The the other couple was back in the cockpit hualing up the dink.

I stopped at releasing the bridles. " Let's dump out those BBQ coals, so that they don't start swirling around when we are sailing.

OK, they remove the BBQ, and shake it out.

Within , a minute or less, five reef sharks were in a feeding frenzy off the stern of our our boat. They were going nuts. Know why ? Because they could smell the
blood from the steaks that had dripped on to the coals and ashes. Any body in the water, in the middle of that crazy, speeding, nutso shark frenzy would have
been torn to shreds.

So, I also advise my flotila skippers, do not shake out that BBQ, with anyone in the water, and that includes swimmers from other boats in the area.

In 34 years, that was my only shark encounter in the BVI....but it was a lesson that I have not forgotten.

Yep that post on ocean swimming safety was long, but it was meant to save lives or injuries and heart ache.

Others have contributed helpful and factual comments as well.
















,

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: captdennyj] #190228
04/10/2019 12:54 AM
04/10/2019 12:54 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 443
road town
sleepychef Offline
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I imagine you also dropped food into the sea not just cooked blood on hot coals as that would not attract sharks.

Warren I am sure will answer but seeing as he dives in the BVI 2 or 3 times a year for a couple of weeks at a time, for many years including night dives I suspect he might know a lot about sharks coming from Canada.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #190232
04/10/2019 05:03 AM
04/10/2019 05:03 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 322
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Christo Offline
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There were some pics and vids not long ago of a good sized Tiger Shark encountered on a dive off the Indians. Yes there are sharks (surely there are everywhere?!) But no they are not an issue for swimmers or snorkelers in the BVI. We frequently see lemon, nurse and Reef sharks on our snorkels, there are a few good sized ones that frequent Oil Nut Bay. It's a delight to see them and a highlight of the snorkel.

I think Warren and Scurvy's point was more about brevity, conjecture and relevance. But mostly brevity.

Last edited by Christo; 04/10/2019 05:04 AM.
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: Christo] #190235
04/10/2019 06:36 AM
04/10/2019 06:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 321
Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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Originally Posted by Christo


I think Warren and Scurvy's point was more about brevity, conjecture and relevance. But mostly brevity.


Amen...

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #190238
04/10/2019 07:36 AM
04/10/2019 07:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 624
Memphis, BVI, CT
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RatmansWife Offline
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Memphis, BVI, CT
Denny, people have pointed this out to you numerous times: your posts are too long and repetitive. I confess that I no longer bother to read them. Edit down to two or three short paragraphs and drop the lines. Stop repeating your background. Your information may be good, but you lose credibility with your presentation.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: RatmansWife] #190241
04/10/2019 07:44 AM
04/10/2019 07:44 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,881
Charlotte, NC
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NCSailor Online content
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NCSailor  Online Content
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Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted by RatmansWife
Denny, people have pointed this out to you numerous times: your posts are too long and repetitive. I confess that I no longer bother to read them. Edit down to two or three short paragraphs and drop the lines. Stop repeating your background. Your information may be good, but you lose credibility with your presentation.


Maybe he can just attach a copy of his CV every time he posts.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #190243
04/10/2019 07:53 AM
04/10/2019 07:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 216
Parrish, FL
deliveryskipper Online content
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Amen.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: Christo] #190251
04/10/2019 09:57 AM
04/10/2019 09:57 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,592
VI,NY,AZ
sail445 Offline
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Originally Posted by Christo
There were some pics and vids not long ago of a good sized Tiger Shark encountered on a dive off the Indians. Yes there are sharks (surely there are everywhere?!) But no they are not an issue for swimmers or snorkelers in the BVI. We frequently see lemon, nurse and Reef sharks on our snorkels, there are a few good sized ones that frequent Oil Nut Bay. It's a delight to see them and a highlight of the snorkel.

I think Warren and Scurvy's point was more about brevity, conjecture and relevance. But mostly brevity.

In the late 70’s there used to be a large Tiger shark who made his rounds early in the morning through the Bight and in the mid 90’s there was a large Lemon shark who slept in the big cave on Norman.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #190259
04/10/2019 11:57 AM
04/10/2019 11:57 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,892
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Re sharks: On a surf trip in Baja, Mexico a group was about to enter the water right by a local fisherman." Are there sharks here?", asked one of the group." Taste the water", said the grizzled fisherman." Tastes salty", said the young surfer. "Then there are sharks," said the fisherman as he cast his line...That said, after nearly 40 years of surfing in many parts of the world I have only seen a couple of sharks and they never bothered us. I feel lucky to have actually seen a shark.
I also find that fins are needed as my age increases.I have those short fins and they are terrific..even the "short" swim from a boat to shore at White Bay can suddenly seem much further than you thought..and fins will really push you along. So sad to read these stories every year, often from accidents in the shorebreak at CGB when there is a big swell. It would be nice if some advice was given aboard the cruise ships before the people are brought to the beach.I know this gentleman was on a cat..but , quite often, the victims come from the cruise ships. Is there any update on this story?

Last edited by Manpot; 04/10/2019 12:11 PM.
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #190286
04/10/2019 06:00 PM
04/10/2019 06:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 599
Ft. Worth, TX
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Lcrich Offline
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Denny, Seriously! YAWN

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #190298
04/10/2019 11:08 PM
04/10/2019 11:08 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 184
East Tennessee
Annoddddd Offline
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I’m just concerned about the missing person around Cooper. Any updates?

My heart breaks for his family. 💔

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: Annoddddd] #192217
04/13/2019 10:18 PM
04/13/2019 10:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,764
Med/ Caribbean
sailbynight Offline
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Originally Posted by Annoddddd
I’m just concerned about the missing person around Cooper. Any updates?

My heart breaks for his family. 💔

Thank you for a real, heartfelt response (instead of a boastful, chest-thumping rant!)

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #192235
04/14/2019 08:31 AM
04/14/2019 08:31 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 262
trueblue Offline
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Another broken heart here too.

If the swimmer’s body is not found there are all kinds of complications with death certificates and insurance claims. Add this to the grief of the family and they are going through a living hell.

This gentleman was not the first swimmer to disappear at Cooper, and sadly he won’t be the last.

My prayers for this man’s family.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #192331
04/15/2019 10:45 AM
04/15/2019 10:45 AM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 69
Fayetteville, Ar
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Snorkelers should be aware of very strong currents off the point of Cistern Point.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #192342
04/15/2019 11:26 AM
04/15/2019 11:26 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 188
SF Bay Area
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OneEyedJack Offline
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I really don't worry about mistaken identity while swimming at night, although I suppose there is a low percentage chance of that. What concerns me most about night time swimming is the huge difficulty the lack of light presents if a rescue is required.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: OneEyedJack] #192357
04/15/2019 02:57 PM
04/15/2019 02:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,197
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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The biggest threat swimming at night in the BVI is getting hit by a dinghy or boat.
G

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #192974
04/22/2019 11:42 AM
04/22/2019 11:42 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,949
Milwaukee
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Thanks for posting this. I was searching hard for this news. My sister in law works with his wife and was quite shook by the whole event. I met the wife this week. Lots of questions about how long it would take to get a death certificate to deal with Social Security and insurance. I've parked at Cooper and it was quite a blow, but I didn't think the currents around the BVI were that bad. He went for a solo swim and no one ever saw him again. Just hard to imagine.


Mike M.
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: Joeswind] #192985
04/22/2019 02:07 PM
04/22/2019 02:07 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,592
VI,NY,AZ
sail445 Offline
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The tides and currents between Cooper , Ginger and Salt can be very strong depending on the seas and the wind and much faster then a swimmer. There’s always the possibility of sharks or speed boats making contact.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #193012
04/22/2019 11:04 PM
04/22/2019 11:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,911
Ontario, Canada
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Boats are far more likely than sharks. Currents in some parts can be very very dangerous.


Warren
S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 450
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #195309
05/19/2019 04:03 PM
05/19/2019 04:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,949
Milwaukee
Joeswind Offline
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I'm looking for a little help here concerning getting a death certificate from the BVI government. As I mentioned earlier the wife of the missing sailor is a coworker with my sister in law. Without a death certificate she is having serious financial issues. Since most things such house, cars and banking accounts were in joint accounts, she's limited in what she can move. Can't sell the house. Somehow Social Security found out and cut off her husband's payment, but she needs a certificate for death benefits. She can't do anything with insurance. It seems like she's at the mercy of the BVI government. It's been a while since I was on this forum, but I know there is a lot of good local knowledge here. Maybe she needs to involve the State Department, but that's no easy task. Any hard knowledge on how to expedite the certificate? Thanks


Mike M.
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: Joeswind] #195314
05/19/2019 05:12 PM
05/19/2019 05:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 443
road town
sleepychef Offline
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The BVI Tourist board has a guy who deals with this, he would of already been in contact with the family, he is the best and only hope to get it quicker. I have been in touch with them and hopefully will have an answer soon, I will inbox you once I have the information

Last edited by sleepychef; 05/19/2019 05:15 PM.
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: sleepychef] #195327
05/19/2019 06:32 PM
05/19/2019 06:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,949
Milwaukee
Joeswind Offline
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Thank you so much!


Mike M.
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: sleepychef] #195334
05/19/2019 10:37 PM
05/19/2019 10:37 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,949
Milwaukee
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p.s. so there are no misunderstandings, I'm asking as a friend of a friend, not a representative of the family. And no one asked me to do this. Whatever information you can give me I will be passing on to my sister in law.


Mike M.
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: sleepychef] #195426
05/20/2019 05:53 PM
05/20/2019 05:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,949
Milwaukee
Joeswind Offline
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Thanks again for the information. As you suggested the wife was in contact with the BVI Tourism Board. Mr Wheatly told her he can only help if there's a body. Unfortunate but it looks like her next shot is to contact a senator in Florida to get her to the State Department. She called a Florida law firm for advice. They told her they couldn't help, but sent her a $400 bill for the phone conversation. Meanwhile the standard period for a death cert without a body is 5 to 7 years. I feel so bad for this woman and her sons.

Meanwhile I have a suggestion for all boaters who decide to jump off the back of the boat by themselves. Wear a flotation device and tether yourself to the boat.

Last edited by Joeswind; 05/20/2019 05:56 PM.

Mike M.
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: Joeswind] #195524
05/21/2019 09:35 PM
05/21/2019 09:35 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 819
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Originally Posted by Joeswind
. She called a Florida law firm for advice. They told her they couldn't help, but sent her a $400 bill for the phone conversation.


What Shakespeare said about lawyers... argue

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: jphart] #195525
05/21/2019 09:39 PM
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Carol_Hill Offline
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Frankly, you should look that quote up, as you have no idea what you're talking about..


Carol Hill
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: Carol_Hill] #195541
05/22/2019 08:12 AM
05/22/2019 08:12 AM
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ndfaninnc Offline
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"The first thing we do," said the character in Shakespeare's Henry VI, is "kill all the lawyers." Contrary to popular belief, the proposal was not designed to restore sanity to commercial life. Rather, it was intended to eliminate those who might stand in the way of a contemplated revolution -- thus underscoring the important role that lawyers can play in society.



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Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: ndfaninnc] #195543
05/22/2019 08:57 AM
05/22/2019 08:57 AM
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ndfan--Exactly correct.


Carol Hill
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: Carol_Hill] #195549
05/22/2019 09:25 AM
05/22/2019 09:25 AM
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Rockford, Michigan
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However .... As a retired / retiring lawyer of 45 years, let me say that any of my colleagues who sends a bill for $400 for a telephone call in which he / she declines representation is not playing an important role in society, but rather encouraging the public derision of the profession typified by mis-use of the reference quote. In short, you bill clients for services you provide, not non-clients for services you don't.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: aarpskier] #195570
05/22/2019 11:41 AM
05/22/2019 11:41 AM
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Well, first of all, we don't know what all the circumstances are there, and whether the person was a resident of Florida or not. If so, there could be a lot of things that could have been discussed in the phone conversation.


Carol Hill
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: Carol_Hill] #195577
05/22/2019 01:48 PM
05/22/2019 01:48 PM
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Rockford, Michigan
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I am not licensed or currently admitted pro hac to practice in Florida, so I reviewed the most recent edition of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar ("RRTFB") dated March 29, 2019. Subject to correction by someone who is so licensed, I believe Chapter 4, the Rules of Professional Conduct, permit a Florida lawyer to charge reasonable fees only to actual clients; i.e. persons with whom an attorney-client relationship has been created and to whom the amount and basis for a fee has been communicated in writing before or within a reasonable time after representation has commenced.

You are correct that we do not know more than the poster stated: "She called a Florida law firm for advice. They told her they couldn't help, but sent her a $400 bill for the phone conversation." Perhaps there was an existing client relationship with the firm for other purposes, with an agreed hourly rate, in which case $400 for a somewhat lengthy telephone conversation could have been reasonable. However, the implication is that this was a cold call, not resulting in an attorney-client relationship, for which a bill was nevertheless rendered. If so, irrespective of whether the caller was a Florida resident, in my opinion (and I think also of the Florida bar) that was improper and worthy of criticism.

Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: aarpskier] #195578
05/22/2019 02:00 PM
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Being a member of the Florida Bar myself, if you give someone advice, that creates an attorney client relationship. Pretty simple.

Regardless, this has gone far afield from the original post. I hope that by now this poor lady has been able to obtain a death certificate for her husband. This is truly a nightmare scenario.


Carol Hill
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: xrayman67] #195583
05/22/2019 02:47 PM
05/22/2019 02:47 PM
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Milwaukee
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Sorry. I didn’t mean to start a discussion about lawyers. You’re right I don’t know the circumstances. I quoted my sister in law. The point is it’s a nasty situation.


Mike M.
Re: Missing swimmer off Cooper [Re: Joeswind] #195585
05/22/2019 02:48 PM
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I do hope she has been able to get the death certificate by now. Truly a nightmare.


Carol Hill

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