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Old January 26th, 2012, 05:03 PM
Arion Arion is offline
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Cruise Maniac
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 111

Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
It would be easy to tell captains they can only go on approved courses, but in fact part of the attraction of cruising is the fact that ships take you places you wouldn't expect to go on a cruise ship.
Lol . I wasn't expecting to stop in Giglio, but yes - I get what you mean.

But I still have to say that if cruise ship safety was as bad as many people are now implying
I'm not saying it's bad, but there are distinct things that need to be improved.

That was most likely a language barrier. They were still below when the ship listed sharply. If a ship is sinking in deep water (far more likely than what happened) the pressure would kill people before they ran out of air.
I forgot to mention, teach the crew some basic safety phrases ( like get to the muster station ) in all relevant languages.

Listen - there are MUCH smarter minds than ours working on this problem. They have a system now that was just challenged by a situation they hadn't put into the calculations (a listing ship where 1/2 the lifeboats were disabled). They will come up with something to fix this.
This is actually a situation I'm in at work on a reasonably frequent basis ( around once every couple of months ). The main difference is that a mistake on our part only costs some number of millions of dollars per minute of outage, as opposed to lives.

OK - I think people have gotten the wrong end of the stick here. I'm not suggesting that cruising is unsafe. What I'm suggesting is that we now have a wealth of experience, from a recent actual disaster that should not be allowed to go to waste.

For the example of the Captain deviating to avoid bad weather, then yes, that would be a legitimate reason for changing course, and he'd write it as such. These writeups would then be examined on a periodic basis, and if it was found ( for example ) that avoiding bad weather was a frequent source of deviations, then come up with a suitable safe protocol for carrying out that action. I'm not saying Captains shouldn't have autonomy. I'm saying they should be accountable for when use of that autonomy puts peoples lives at risk.

And yes; I agree that despite this captains flair for recklessness, it's a testament to the already high standards in the cruising industry, that it's taken 6 years ( I believe he was appointed Captain in 2006 ) for him to have a serious incident.

Any time my employer has a high severity incident, we go through each aspect of what went wrong to see what we can address to make sure that aspect doesn't go wrong again. This is all I'm doing here. I'm not trying to make any underhand inferences here.

I don't think it's ok to dismiss something as human error, and I fear that's what a lot of the relevant people will do. Neither do I think it's ok to crucify someone for human error, unless that person was legitimately negligent, but it is important to learn from that human error, and when lives are at state, make sure that human error never has the same consequences again ( or never happens again ).
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