Flag on the play:
As you all know, the NTSB recently released its report on the disaster/accident that was the catastrophic launch of Motor yacht Baaden (Blood Baron). This report beyond any reasonable doubt, interpretation or measure completely supports my previous statement and position as well as exonerates me completely from any involvement of this senseless accident. Moreover, the report on the matter directly echoes and corroborates my previous statement and comments regarding the cause of the avoidable capsize of this once fine expedition yacht.
Just a brief recap for all those late to the party:
“I can say without ego or hubris that I feel if I had been still involved with this project in a leadership capacity, this launch accident would never have happened.”-Captain Aaron Pufal
In the final chapter of project Blood Baron AKA the Northern Marine Yacht Baaden, my vindication regarding the launch capsize comes without fanfare.
The facts set out in this official document are absolutely clear.
Firstly, as I stated the day of the incident, the cause of the capsize was due to lack of required ballast specified by the naval architect.
Secondly, and perhaps most egregious is the completely negligent lack of oversight and involvement of the sales brokerage and owners representative from Fraser Yachts Yachts; namely Josh Gulbranson and Clive McCartney.
What a comedy of fools and errors. No wonder my tone is so vitriolic.
It is an inordinately simple task to audit the amount of ballast bought and installed per the stability reports I had ordered long before projected vessel launch (see below documents) from the naval architect. And it is a even more elementary task to check and recheck the scales (load cells) readout vs what is recorded and submitted for analysis.
This is a significant part of the job of the build captain and or owners representative, check everything, twice. In this role it is absolutely necessary to attend the ship yard several times a shift, sign off on every part ordered, commission studies, surround yourself with qualified people and simply be the guy who is ultimately responsible for the owners interests and the project as a whole.
According directly to the fine folks at NTSB:
“The buyer’s onsite “build captain” participated actively in styling and interior layouts of the Baaden design and requested the first weight estimate of the vessel during construction. In late 2013, the build captain’s position was terminated, and his role was performed by a less active yacht management group.”
The “less active management group” was Fraser Yachts Yachts, Josh Gulbranson and Clive McCartney.
Do you see where this is going?
Not a very good job of protecting the owner’s interests is it? And guess what. They still got paid and very handsomely at that.
It seems I also need to address the official published comments of Wes Fridell, the former media representative of Northern Marine (I say former because Northern Marine has ceased to exist).
Not only did he incorrectly and erroneously state the cause of the capsize contrary to as determined in the NTSB report, he slandered/libelled my previous statements and professionalism in the same breath. Now that the NTSB has confirmed my position and statements, I’m sure all the publicized slander and libel issued by Mr. Friedell will not be retracted or deleted from the permanent record of the internet, this has caused me real damage.
Keyboard warriors also cause a permanent record of unqualified harm, to be clear, the report does not cite the design of the vessel to be at fault in any way whatsoever. The NTSB findings are:
“The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the capsizing of the yacht Baaden during its initial launch was the vessel’s low margin of stability due to the combined effects of a recording error during the final vessel weigh, which resulted in an incorrect assessment of the vessel’s center of gravity, and an overestimation of the weight of installed ballast.”
If you have not taken a single basic class on the topic of stability, please, take a look at a photo of other vessels out of the water such as an aircraft carrier, cruise ship or car carrier before banging out harmful redirect from your basement.
What are the tangible effects of this avoidable disaster?
Who will it really effect in the long run, the owner of the project?
Will any party involved in this senseless and highly avoidable and ridiculous accident face punishment of recourse?
Not bloody likely.
I’m told the insurance I initiated and paid each month was still in place and seeing as the owner wished to “get out of boating” and sell the boat, as his life had changed direction, I can only speculate that he is at a zero net loss or better.
As for the (Mis) Management group and brokers, well, Fraser Yachts is unaffected by this mess from what I can see. Josh and Clive still have their jobs at the firm according the brokers website at the time of this posting.
On the other hand, even though this government report fully removes any and all blame from me, any google search brings up damaging and unqualified libel/slander effectively setting my career back ten years.
The irony that the one person who could have ensured the safe and successful completion and launch of this vessel is the one who was damaged the most is not lost on me.
All the people responsible for this accident had to do was properly install the required ballast the report said needed to be added, how hard was that?
Captain Aaron David Pufal