Now that security is tighter do you feel better? I don't know about you but I haven't seen much of a difference in boarding the ship than before 9/11 in the area of security. I do see the Coast Guard escorting the ship out 3 miles, and suppose there are divers checking the hull when in port, but when I get off the ship and walk through customs with my baggage and only have to hand the declaration form to the agent I'm not sure I feel that much better.
Do you think there should be the equivalent of air marshals on the ships too? Do you think the ship should be equipped with some means to repel attackers?
We had a Coast Guard cutter escort us from San Francisco harbor on a recent Alaskan cruise, and I have to admit it did give a warm fuzzy feeling. I'm not sure what they could have done if a suicide boat decided to ram the hull, but somehow it was reassuring to wave to them and see them wave back. That was the only time we had an escort, and there was nothing to stop a mad bomber from finding us on the open sea or the half dozen other ports we visited, but it made us feel good at least.
I can't say the same about airport or terminal security measures. It seems to me they are more for show than anything else. They cause delays and inconvenience for travellers and appear to be more politically motivated than practical. Perhaps if I heard there were cases of actual thwarted terrorist attacks I could see the value, but all I see now is the infringement of liberty from searches without probable cause and new layers of government bureaucracy to contend with. In that sense, these tactics play into terrorist hands by discouraging travel and hurting the industry.
What good would marshals on board ship do? I assume that senior officers already have access to firearms and anti-terrorist training. Ship's staff know their vessel's vulnerabilities better than outsiders. I don't think I'd feel more secure seeing heavy artillery mounted on the navigation deck, would you?
I differ. I was strongly opposed to the increaase in the searches and the time spent waiting at airports.
Spend some time talking with airline pilots, spend some time talking with senior officials at TSA and the FAA.
The increase has proven it's worth. We do FORGET that the bad guys have not been able to conduct an opration since 9-11.
The only noise you hear is from the scum bags that call themselves "candidates" They dishonor every person that died on 9-11 and every soldier that has helped move the battle from Lower Manhatten to Iraq and Afghanistan.
We have lost no freedoms. Every action by the government STILL requires judicial oversight. We have been "inconvenienced" but I guess those that have lost loved ones have also been inconvenienced
I feel a bit more secure, and a lot more inconvenienced!
It seems to me that many of the new security measures aren't going to be particularly effective. I think that the greatest danger to a cruise ship would be from someone sneaking aboard a dangerous device or weapon of some kind. Attacking the ship from the outside would be fairly difficult to do.
A ship underway at sea would be very difficult to hit with anything less than a long-range aircraft, or a submarine. No one, for example, would be able to fly a Cessna into a cruise ship at sea. For several reasons: the Cessna couldn't carry enough explosives to do more than minimal damage -- and it simply doesn't have the range to reach a ship several hundred miles out at sea. And as large as modern cruise ships appear to be, finding one visually in the middle of the ocean would be very difficult.
Moving targets are very difficult to hit. Tall buildings with known GPS coordinates are fairly easy targets; hitting a ship underway at sea, possibly engaged in evasive maneuvers, would be beyond the means of all but professional navies and air forces.
So the security measures must prevent dangerous persons and weapons from boarding the ships. And I think the cruiselines are taking measures to prevent this. This last October, when we sailed on the Radiance, we were photographed, and every time we boarded the ship, our smiling faces were compared to our boarding photos. It inconvienced us not in the least, and provided a measure of real security.
Things are getting better. We just need more of the actually effective measures in place. I see too many of the ineffective measures in place.........
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Do you feel better now?
Europeans and Israelis have lived with these security measures and ones much more strict for many years. Are they an inconvenience? Yes. Do they work? Probably. Do they infringe on our rights? I believe not. For too many years the security in the USA was woefully inadequate.....it is better now, but still not up to what others in other countries put up with...and they live in democracies also. The preamble of the Constitution contains the phrase "provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and insure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity".....the Declaration of Independence has the phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." To me, being able to keep my liberty requires cooperation on my part to insure "domestic tranquility" and insure "general welfare." We are in a war with terrorists...we must do our part to help fight it - even though we are innocent.
As a side note, on my Hawaii cruise last year, our coast guard escort in Kauai was an inflatable raft with outboard motors and a canopy on it that was with us in the harbor - two men onboard - the minute we left the harbor, they disappeared.
Carnival Breeze with Ray B and Aerogirl 5/4/14!
Thomas, what makes you think that ships don't have extra security onboard and don't have a means of dealing with an "attack". I doubt that they want to get into a gunfight with potential "boarders" but there are arms onboard, there are security and crew members trained to use them. The best situation of course is to keep them from getting onboard to begin with. Once at sea it is not going to be easy to board a moving cruise ship without a helicopter (and even that will be seen coming with the multiple radars ).
Just after 9/11 we sailed on Ocean Princess. Gram and I noted two things different.
Instead of the usual non english speaking crew servicing the pool areas, there was a group of 6 or 8 mid 20's to early 30's young American men. All were 6feet or over and in
great shape. Each night as we had a drink in one of the lounges we noticed the same guys enter the security office behind one of the bars.
When I asked a crew member we had become friendly with if they were additional security, he said he could not confirm that but that I had very astute powers of observation. Were these your equivilent of "airmarshals"? I think so.
I have a few comments with regard to travel security and some of the responses already offered here.
I'm somewhat disappointed with TSA's actions thus far. When I fly, I like to think that there are at least a couple of armed marshals on board, and that the cockpit crew knows enough to keep their door secured at all times. Of course, I don't know that there are marshals, and I worry when I enter the plane and see the cockpit door wide open. I also worry about how easy it would be for several villains to sneak lucite knives taped to their bodies onto my flight. And I worry about ramp security and the distinct chance that terrorists could breach the aircraft defenses without ever going through routine security.
On the other hand, maybe I'm worrying about nothing. But I disagree with the idea that <<airport or terminal security measures...are more for show than anything else.>> Besides the threat of murderous people boarding my plane, I fear the thought of explosive devices being loaded into the luggage and cargo compartments as well. I believe that the measures currently in place at most U.S. and many foreign airports are an effective, although certainly not foolproof, deterrent to a disaster like PanAm 103 or similar bombings ever happening again.
Someone said before, <<Perhaps if I heard there were cases of actual thwarted terrorist attacks I could see the value...>> I'm sure that such actions have already occurred, and that perhaps we'll never see or hear anything about them in the media. The TSA loves to brag about their good deeds, but there are certain controls imposed by security agencies that preclude the details of some successful operations from ever seeing the light of day.
But just look at the vast numbers of firearms, knives, scissors, flammable devices, etc. which have reportedly been taken from people boarding aircraft (and probably cruise ships). Penny ante stuff, one might say, but those box cutters carried by the 9-11 terrorists were probably thought to be harmless at the time! And think about the shoe bomber event over the Atlantic, which tipped authorities off to a potential threat scenario. TSA acted quickly & properly IMO by now including footwear in their pre-boarding inspections, even though a more proactive rather than reactive approach would have given me a little more confidence in their efficiency.
Finally, there's the matter of <<infingement of liberty from searches without probable cause.>> When avowed terrorists are out there threatening to repeat 9-11, I would say that probable cause is present and frightening! Do you know that there is in international law a maxim that states, "The very fact that a person crosses an international boundary creates probable cause to inspect the person and his property"? Has that person done anything wrong to create suspicion? Probably not. Has his right to freedom from search in the absence of probable cause been violated? Certainly not!
Now compare this scenario with that of a possibly dangerous person preparing to join hundreds (or in the case of a cruise ship thousands) of other people on a vehicle of public transportation, during a period when overt threats have been made to harm innocent travelers. Don't you think that the time for protecting the rights of that individual vis-a-vis the rights of his fellow travelers (think society) has come to an end? The ACLU may not think so, but I sure do!
The Office of Homeland Security has instituted many security measures that are not readily apparent. Most, but not all, of these measures that pertains to cruise ships are the responsibility of the Coast Guard. Many of these measures are handled in a clandestine manner, as the less people are aware of them, the more effective they are. Just as we are not aware of whom on a commercial air carrier is a sky marshal, the same applies on cruise ships, which is how it should be. Safety is the primary concern of the cruiselines and the law enforcement arm of the federal government and the military. Starfighter, USAF
"A ship underway at sea would be very difficult to hit with anything less than a long-range aircraft, or a submarine. No one, for example, would be able to fly a Cessna into a cruise ship at sea. For several reasons: the Cessna couldn't carry enough explosives to do more than minimal damage -- and it simply doesn't have the range to reach a ship several hundred miles out at sea.....Dean Renner
I have a 28 ft. sportfishing boat with a 165 gallon tank on it which gives me about 200 miles range. I can easily go to the Bahamas from FLL or Miami in it. If it was docked in St. Thomas I could easily intercept a number of cruiseships on the open sea. Think about a 70 ft. Cigarette boat with a 1000 gal. tank and it's range. Remember what a small lake boat did to the U.S.S. Cole?
We have routinely flown a friends Cessna 310 from K.C. to Co., refueling in Pueblo, about 600 miles, with 6 adult males and full luggage and ski gear. If you figure 200 lbs. per male the payload for explosives in this plane could be more than 1200 lbs. So this plane, which is general aviation, could carry 1200 lbs. or more of explosives 600 miles.
LIke Mike I appreciate the attempt at better security and the increased awareness everyone has. I also agree that the level of training for these TSA people is in the toliet to be kind. They do need trained Law Enforcement people who undergo a real background check and psych exam and not someone they picked up at the temp office. As for Security at sea. The USA has trained interdiction teams, (think US Navy SEALS), that hopefully could handle any serious problems. I personally would like to see the Cruiselines themselves do more in the way of trained individuals but it isn't cheap. I have even made inquires myself due to my training but it isn't approprate to go into any details. If offered the job, yeah, I would probably take it but there currently is no position like that at the moment.
On the other hand. Based on some of the scenarios presented....we should all go buy a falout shelter, never come up for air and hide until old age or boredom does us in.
I, for one, have no intention of hiding.