On all boats, the captain on board is given the prestigious role to command over others but with this power comes great responsibility, the responsibility of those on board. In the case of an accident, even if the victim had put himself in a dangerous situation, it is the skipper who will ultimately be responsible as it is he who must impose all security measures necessary to have avoided such a situation.
Let’s for example take a case where someone on board disappears at sea after having refused to don one’s life jacket or to attach one’s harness. It would be the skipper who would be at fault because he did not take the necessary measures, even coercive, to have sheltered the person in question in the cabin.
The logbook is important in the fact that it is the official document where all the events that take place whilst en route must be recorded, even those that may put into question the actions of the captain. One must also take note of the behaviour of those who have resisted or ignored the security instructions.
The reason that the logbook must always be accurate and up to date is that it is the document that the authorities will use as a reference, which means that poor upkeep may be understood as negligence for the security of the crew.
If there is an urgent medical accident to deal with, the captain must act to assist the injured. If the skipper can not get outside help, then even if his own initiatives are not well adapted or suitable, he can still not be blamed. However, of course in the case that it is possible to get outside professional medical assistance, it is imperative to do so and thus avoid exposing himself from being at fault.