Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Doofus Of The Day #644

Today's award goes to an unnamed and clearly unable seaman at the recent Toshiba Tall Ships Festival in California.

Two people were slightly  injured by live ammunition during a mock sea battle at the Tall Ships Festival in Dana Point Saturday.

Authorities say someone inadvertently loaded a live shotgun shell in one of the cannons on a tall ship competing in a mock sea battle.

The bird shot struck two people. Their injuries were not not life threatening.

Art Barron, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, spoke to Donna Reed, a crew member of a ship named the Bill of Rights.

Reed showed Barron her battle scarred legs cut up by what looks like bird shot.

. . .

A passenger was also injured by the ammo fired by a ship called The Amazing Grace.

Sgt. Mark Alsobrook of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. He says live shells  look remarkably life blanks so the department is handling the case as a negligent discharge case.

The ammunition for the blanks and the ammunition for the 12-guage were kept in somewhat the same area. So, it appears at this time that it was an honest mistake,” says Alsobrook.

There's more at the link.  Bold print is my emphasis.

Let's be clear about this.  If some damn fool stored live and blank ammunition in the same storage space, when he or she knew they were going to use the blanks for demonstration firing, the problem is not 'an honest mistake'.  It's criminal bloody negligence!  Imagine if you or I were to make that sort of mistake, and injure or kill somebody while demonstrating a firearm with what we thought was blank ammunition.  Can you say 'reckless or negligent injury or homicide'?  I thought you could . . . and I'm sure the cops who arrested us, and the court that tried us, could say it just as well!



FrankC said...

What calibre were these "cannons" that a shotgun shell would fit?

Stuart Garfath said...

If the live and blank ammo 'looked' similar, why was'nt the most basic rule of recognition applied.
Have the live munition a completely different colour, or clearly and differently marked, it's not hard.
I was the nr#2 (layer) on a Bofors 40MM AA gun, and each crewmember had to be competent and capable at all other positions, safety was paramount, so complete knowledge of all munitions we'd likely come in contact with was fundamental, hence colour coding or differential markings.
Pretty basic really.

Anonymous said...

I am sure the resulting lawsuits will eliminate the possibility of this happening again. The Tall Ship Festival will be bankrupted and no will longer be held.