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Old April 15th, 2007, 02:44 AM
Rev22:17 Rev22:17 is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,770


Originally Posted by You
Rev.. while you are correct about density in ships of old, I believe my point here is that those ARE ships of old, which are not nearly as well made, or just plain as NEW, as the ships we are used to. Ships age, they wear out, and it is hard to update an old vessel for maneuaverability.
Having maneuvered ships in my past life as a naval officer, I can tell you that this ship did not suffer from a lack of maneuverability. Indeed, it was designed as a ferry that would have to maneuver into and out of berths on a daily basis. Any "twin screw" ship can turn on a dime, and bow and stern side thrusters were standard equipment on commercial ships well before 1986, when this ship entered service, because the savings in tug services paid their cost in a matter of months if not weeks.

Originally Posted by You
As the average age of the U.S. market fleet is getting younger, and cruises so affordable, there is no reason to take old ships like these.
That's true, but it's important to remember that the North American market has driving forces that have not come into the European cruise market yet. These driving forces include enough growth in demand for cruises on the major lines to support the economy of scale that the "bigger and better" ships of the major lines now provide. It was not always that way. Also, this economy of scale has pushed the fares of the "mainstream" lines below the cost structure of many of the "economy" lines, causing many of the latter that operated older ships in the American market (Commodore Cruises, Dolphin Cruises, Premier Cruises, American Hawai'i Lines, etc.) to go out of business.

Originally Posted by You
How many commercial prop planes do you feel safe on these days?
I avoid all props -- including the brand new "state of the art" models like Bombardier's "Q" Series (Q-200, Q-300, Q-400) -- like the plague, but not because they are fundamentally unsafe. They are just less comfortable and more noisy than jet aircraft.

Originally Posted by You
Regarding the ship itself, do you not wonder if these "elusive currents" could have been managed by a more modern ship? It isn't just a matter of size or density, it is equipment. Did it have pods (no), it might have had bow thrusters (probably) but how effective? Were they even working? We know nothing of what actions this captain took or the safety record of this ship. Would a more modern ship have been able to avoid this tragedy under the same circumstances?
I don't believe that the problem was the ship, or elusive currents, or any other alibi that the ship's officers may advance in an attempt to save their own hides. Rather, I believe that the problem rests with officers on watch who were not paying adequate attention to the safe navigation of the vessel as it approached and entered restricted waters. As a result, the ship ended up where it should not have been -- on a reef that was plainly visible.

Originally Posted by You
You also have to ask about the captain's actions more than the ship itself. Currents aren't like the wind, changing at any given moment.
When did he see the reef which he tried to avoid and couldn't. Do currents change so much that he didn't know how to avoid it? If so, why haven't other ships hit this reef?

Why did it take 1/2 hour for outside authorities to raise him on the radio to assist in rescue efforts?
All of these are legitimate questions. In fact, they beg the question of whether the watch officer was even on the navigation bridge -- which is where he belongs whenever the vessel is underway. If the officer on watch needs to leave the bridge or any reason (to make a head call, for example), he should be properly relieved by another qualified watch officer before tending to such a need.

But the lines that sail among the Greek Islands never were known for their attention to safety....

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