Public Safety: Voluntary Industry Standards vs. Government Regulation

Imagine that your life is in mortal danger as you cling to an inverted sailboat in stormy seas, at night, in the middle of Lake Michigan, with two crewmates caught under the boat.  Whom would you put your faith in to save your life -- a bunch of amateurs writing voluntary industry standards and some Good Samaritans passing by, or federal government regulations and United States Coast Guard helicopter-borne rescue swimmers? For the crew of the sailboat Wingnuts, this was not an academic question.  These six people found themselves in the above situation when their boat capsized last summer during the annual Chicago to Mackinac Race organized by the Chicago Yacht Club.  They were saved by the amateurs.  The bodies of their two crewmates caught under the boat were recovered by divers from the Charlevoix Michigan Sheriff's Department Marine Division and the Coast Guard after sunrise the following morning. The story is one of good fortune combined with a...(Read Full Article)

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