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Old 07-03-2011, 13:48   #91
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
The time is coming when we will need permission of our own Government, plus the Gov'ts of every country you might be visiting, plus the destination Gov't, plus the UN and a dozen enviromental bodies to go anywhere, or do anything. Then someone will decide sailing is dangerous and has too big a carbon footprint, and then just stop giving out permits

If that's what you are worried about . . . please realize that badly planned and poorly executed voyages like this one make that future much more likely.

My hope from this discussion is that we can save some lessons to make such a tragedy less likely in the future, that would provide proper respect for the lost crew members. And IMHO, the correct lesson is NOT more regulations and rules, but more respect for and attention to fundamental seamanship. Arriving too late in the season and expecting a small yacht to survive several weeks in an essentially completely unprotected polar road stead (With relatively inexperienced crew left aboard) are breaches of fundamental seamanship. That's NOT second guessing. People familiar with the area said so plainly before hand.

I understand that several of you don't have much time or respect for the international treaties and rules for the Antarctic. I am not going to debate that, except to say that IMHO cruisers do NOT have any fundamental right to go to, and leave trash on, and potentially depend on outside assistance, in the Antarctic.

What do you all think the essential lesson from this should be?
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Old 07-03-2011, 14:31   #92
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

The essential lesson is that if you are involved in expeditions into high risk regions of the planet you can suffer a bad outcome.

BTW, this holds for even the most trained, prepared, and knowledgeable parties with all the best equipment. Mountain climbing exemplifies this principle.

Being better prepared and/or more knowledgeble increases the probability for a good outcome but does not assure it. All IMHO.
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Old 07-03-2011, 14:37   #93
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post

Being better prepared and/or more knowledgeble increases the probability for a good outcome but does not assure it. All IMHO.

And I believe that is what we can ask and hope for.
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Old 07-03-2011, 14:41   #94
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
The essential lesson is that if you are involved in expeditions into high risk regions of the planet you can suffer a bad outcome.

BTW, this holds for even the most trained, prepared, and knowledgeable parties with all the best equipment. Mountain climbing exemplifies this principle.

Being better prepared and/or more knowledgeble increases the probability for a good outcome but does not assure it. All IMHO.
I believe we can ALL agree with that. That's the 'S&^t happens' theory.

Just living is a risk, walking to the store is a risk and cruising to the Antarctic is even more of a risk.

However, I feel that is a rather weak lesson to take from this individual and particular episode. I hope we can take some more pointed and useful lesson(s). But perhaps that's too much to hope for from this sort of forum.

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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
"Being better prepared and/or more knowledgeble increases the probability for a good outcome but does not assure it. All IMHO."

And I believe that is what we can ask and hope for.
Yes!
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Old 07-03-2011, 14:49   #95
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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However, I feel that is a rather weak lesson to take from this individual and particular episode. I hope we can take some more pointed and useful lesson(s). But perhaps that's too much to hope for from this sort of forum.
You just keep talking down to us. I get it!
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Old 07-03-2011, 14:52   #96
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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You just keep talking down to us. I get it!
I am just expressing a "hope" . . . not in any way "talking down".
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Old 07-03-2011, 14:57   #97
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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What do you all think the essential lesson from this should be?
That Global Warming hasn't yet reached Antartica?
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Old 07-03-2011, 15:11   #98
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
The list is very long.

You might want to read these two sources. . . The first, while a little old, is the starting point bible for yachts in the Antarctic. He essentially broke both ALL the rules and ALL the recommendations.

http://www.era.gs/resources/soc/SOC_web_v1.pdf

And this is the organization with general responsibility for overseeing the current rules and recommendations for visitors. Again, he followed none of this:
International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators

But his fundamental miscalculation about the seasons was his primary mistake. (...)
You opened with "the list is very long" (the list of safety rules broken) and then failed to discuss which rules have been broken. If you find time to write up in a few brief words I would love to read the long list.

The documents you have linked, much as I consider them most interesting read and reference, seem not to bind the Norwegian sailors.

Here:

In case of the first document - "The Second Edition published by ERA on 7 November 2007 includes far-reaching changes to the environmental regulations in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions. Produced at the request and with the support of the Polar Regions Unit in the Overseas Territories Directorate of the United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office,..."

I am not clear about why Norwegians should be governed by British FCA. (Unless they were operating in the s.c. UK Overseas Territory, which - when talking about Antarctica, I, for one, not being British, do not recognize).

In case of the second document - "IAATO is comprised of more than 100 respected companies..."

I am not clear about why IAATO should dictate to a non-member individual how to do things. (BTW I am also wondering why some companies will self-proclaim themselves as 'respected').

I think your point on the expedition being too late in the season is valid - but one argument does not make a 'very long list', does it.

PLS if you claim the list is very long, do take your time and make out the list.

Cheers,
barnie
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Old 07-03-2011, 15:58   #99
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
PLS if you claim the list is very long, do take your time and make out the list.


Barnie, I would have to write a book. Just for example, Let’s take just one of the (about a dozen) Antarctic treaty documents "Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic". I have put NO when we are relatively sure they broke the item.

A) PROTECT ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE
Taking or harmful interference with Antarctic wildlife is prohibited except in accordance
with a permit issued by a national authority.
1) Do not use aircraft, vessels, small boats, or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or on land. NO
2) Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or moulting. Don’t know, but it is documented that they did not follow this rule in the Arctic so I doubt they did here
3) Do not damage plants, for example by walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes. NO
4) Do not use guns or explosives. Keep noise to the minimum to avoid frightening
wildlife. NO (motor bikes)
5) Do not bring non-native plants or animals into the Antarctic (e.g. live poultry, pet dogs and cats, house plants).
B) RESPECT PROTECTED AREAS
A variety of areas in the Antarctic have been afforded special protection because of their particular ecological, scientific, historic or other values. Entry into certain areas may be prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by an appropriate national authority.
Activities in and near designated Historic Sites and Monuments and certain other areas may be subject to special restrictions.
1) Know the locations of areas that have been afforded special protection and any
restrictions regarding entry and activities that can be carried out in and near them.
2) Observe applicable restrictions.
3) Do not damage, remove or destroy Historic Sites or Monuments, or any artefacts associated with them.
C) RESPECT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Do not interfere with scientific research, facilities or equipment.
1) Obtain permission before visiting Antarctic science and logistic support facilities;
reconfirm arrangements 24-72 hours before arriving; and comply strictly with the
rules regarding such visits. NO
2) Do not interfere with, or remove, scientific equipment or marker posts, and do not disturb experimental study sites, field camps or supplies.
D) BE SAFE
Be prepared for severe and changeable weather. Ensure that your equipment and clothing meet Antarctic standards. Remember that the Antarctic environment is inhospitable, unpredictable and potentially dangerous.
1) Know your capabilities, the dangers posed by the Antarctic environment, and act accordingly. Plan activities with safety in mind at all times. NO
2) Keep a safe distance from all wildlife, both on land and at sea.
3) Take note of, and act on, the advice and instructions from your leaders; do not stray from your group.
4) Do not walk onto glaciers or large snow fields without proper equipment and
experience; there is a real danger of falling into hidden crevasses. NO (certainly not proper experience)
5) Do not expect a rescue service; self-sufficiency is increased and risks reduced by sound planning, quality equipment, and trained personnel. NO
6) Do not enter emergency refuges (except in emergencies). If you use equipment or food from a refuge, inform the nearest research station or national authority once the emergency is over.
7) Respect any smoking restrictions, particularly around buildings, and take great care to safeguard against the danger of fire. This is a real hazard in the dry environment of Antarctica.
E) KEEP ANTARCTICA PRISTINE
Antarctica remains relatively pristine, and has not yet been subjected to large scale
human perturbations. It is the largest wilderness area on earth. Please keep it that way.
1) Do not dispose of litter or garbage on land. NO Open burning is prohibited.
2) Do not disturb or pollute lakes or streams. Any materials discarded at sea must be disposed of properly. NO
3) Do not paint or engrave names or graffiti on rocks or buildings.
4) Do not collect or take away biological or geological specimens or man-made artefacts as a souvenir, including rocks, bones, eggs, fossils, and parts or contents of buildings.
5) Do not deface or vandalise buildings, whether occupied, abandoned, or unoccupied, or emergency refuges.
Guidance for those Organising and Conducting
Tourism and Non-governmental Activities in the Antarctic
Antarctica is the largest wilderness area on earth, unaffected by large scale human
activities. Accordingly, this unique and pristine environment has been afforded special protection. Furthermore, it is physically remote, inhospitable, unpredictable and potentially dangerous. All activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area, therefore, should be planned and conducted with both environmental protection and safety in mind. NO

Parties under the Antarctic Treaty.
In 1991, the Consultative Parties to the Antarctic Treaty adopted the Protocol on
Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. This Protocol sets out environmental principles, procedures and obligations for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, and its dependent and associated ecosystems. The Consultative Parties have agreed that, pending its entry into force, as far as possible and in accordance with their legal systems, that the provisions of the Protocol should be applied as appropriate.
The Environmental Protocol designates Antarctica as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science, and applies to both governmental and non-governmental activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area. The Protocol seeks to ensure that human activities, including tourism, do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, nor on its scientific and aesthetic values. NO
The Protocol states, as a matter of principle, that all activities are to be planned and conducted on the basis of information sufficient to evaluate their possible impact on the Antarctic environment and its associated ecosystems, and on the value of Antarctica for the conduct of scientific research. NO
Those responsible for organising and conducting tourism and non governmental activities must comply fully with national laws and regulations which implement the Antarctic Treaty system, as well as other national laws and regulations implementing international agreements on environmental protection, pollution and safety that relate to the Antarctic Treaty Area. They should also abide by the requirements imposed on organisers and operators under the Protocol on Environmental Protection and its Annexes, in so far as they have not yet been implemented in national law. NO
KEY OBLIGATIONS ON ORGANISERS AND OPERATORS
1. Provide prior notification of, and reports on, their activities to the competent
authorities of the appropriate Party or Parties. NO
2. Conduct an assessment of the potential environmental impacts of their planned
activities. NO
3. Provide for effective response to environmental emergencies, especially with
regard to marine pollution. NO
4. Ensure self-sufficiency and safe operations. NO
5. Respect scientific research and the Antarctic environment, including restrictions
regarding protected areas, and the protection of flora and fauna.
6. Prevent the disposal and discharge of prohibited waste. NO
PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED BY ORGANISERS AND OPERATORS
A) When planning to go to the Antarctic Organisers and operators should:
1. Notify the competent national authorities of the appropriate Party or Parties of
details of their planned activities with sufficient time to enable the Party(ies) to
comply with their information exchange obligations under Article VII(5) of the
Antarctic Treaty. The information to be provided is listed in Attachment A. NO
2. Conduct an environmental assessment in accordance with such procedures as may have been established in national law to give effect to Annex I of the Protocol,
including, if appropriate, how potential impacts will be monitored. NO
3. Obtain timely permission from the national authorities responsible for any stations they propose to visit. NO
4. Provide information to assist in the preparation of: contingency response plans in
accordance with Article 15 of the Protocol; waste management plans in
accordance with Annex III of the Protocol; and marine pollution contingency
plans in accordance with Annex IV of the Protocol. NO
5. Ensure that expedition leaders and passengers are aware of the location and
special regimes which apply to Specially Protected Areas and Sites of Special
Scientific Interest (and on entry into force of the Protocol, Antarctic Specially
Protected Areas and Antarctic Specially Managed Areas) and of Historic Sites
and Monuments and, in particular, relevant management plans. NO
6. Obtain a permit, where required by national law, from the competent national
authority of the appropriate Party or Parties, should they have a reason to enter
such areas, or a monitoring site (CEMP Site) designated under CCAMLR. NO
7. Ensure that activities are fully self-sufficient and do not require assistance from
Parties unless arrangements for it have been agreed in advance. NO
8. Ensure that they employ experienced and trained personnel, including a sufficient
number of guides. NO
9. Arrange to use equipment, vehicles, vessels, and aircraft appropriate to Antarctic operations. NO
10. Be fully conversant with applicable communications, navigation, air traffic
control and emergency procedures.
11. Obtain the best available maps and hydrographic charts, recognising that many
areas are not fully or accurately surveyed.
12. Consider the question of insurance (subject to requirements of national law). NO – don’t meet Norwegian law for polar regions
13. Design and conduct information and education programmes to ensure that all
personnel and visitors are aware of relevant provisions of the Antarctic Treaty
system. NO
14. Provide visitors with a copy of the Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic.
B) When in the Antarctic Treaty Area
Organisers and operators should:
1. Comply with all requirements of the Antarctic Treaty system, and relevant
national laws, and ensure that visitors are aware of requirements that are relevant
to them. NO
2. Reconfirm arrangements to visit stations 24-72 hours before their arrival and
ensure that visitors are aware of any conditions or restrictions established by the
station.
3. Ensure that visitors are supervised by a sufficient number of guides who have
adequate experience and training in Antarctic conditions and knowledge of the
Antarctic Treaty system requirements. NO
4. Monitor environmental impacts of their activities, if appropriate, and advise the
competent national authorities of the appropriate Party or Parties of any adverse
or cumulative impacts resulting from an activity, but which were not foreseen by
their environmental impact assessment.
5. Operate ships, yachts, small boats, aircraft, hovercraft, and all other means of
transport safely and according to appropriate procedures, including those set out
in the Antarctic Flight Information Manual (AFIM).
6. Dispose of waste materials in accordance with Annex III and IV of the Protocol.
These annexes prohibit, among other things, the discharge of plastics, oil and
noxious substances into the Antarctic Treaty Area; regulate the discharge of
sewage and food waste; and require the removal of most wastes from the area. NO
7. Co-operate fully with observers designated by Consultative Parties to conduct
inspections of stations, ships, aircraft and equipment under Article VII of the
Antarctic Treaty, and those to be designated under Article 14 of the
Environmental Protocol.
8. Co-operate in monitoring programmes undertaken in accordance with Article
3(2)(d) of the Protocol.
9. Maintain a careful and complete record of their activities conducted.
C) On completion of the activities
Within three months of the end of the activity, organisers and operators should report on the conduct of it to the appropriate national authority in accordance with national laws and procedures. Reports should include the name, details and state of registration of each vessel or aircraft used and the name of their captain or commander; actual itinerary; the number of visitors engaged in the activity; places, dates and purposes of landings and the number of visitors landed on each occasion; any meteorological observations made, including those made as part of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Voluntary Observing Ships Scheme; any significant changes in activities and their impacts from those predicted before the visit was conducted; and action taken in case of emergency.
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Old 07-03-2011, 16:52   #100
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post

Barnie, I would have to write a book.

(...)

Well, you nearly did!

But seriously - THX for the list and for pointing out where you know the Norwegians breached the rules. I consider the Treaty to be a fair document and I agree that we should as far as possible try to stick not only to the Treaty's propositions but also to minimize all and any of our impact, even when it is not required by any treaty, rule or other type of arbitrary code.

I must admit I do not have the knowledge of facts nor information that would allow me to state, in so many cases, that the points of the treaty have been violated.

You must know about the Norwegian crew and their expedition much more than me, but I only know what has been publicly available in English as my Norwegian is very limited. This especially relates to the Antartcic expedition of which I only knew from the Norwegian website and, much later, from grossly dramaticiszed (IMHO) reports available on (mostly NZ) media.

In any case, NZ media will not be considered by myself to be a reliable source of information given the attitude, the language and the sensation driven (IMHO) story making practices they exercised during the SAR. Apparently, every time the NZ media report on a SAR it is 'the storm of the century', the 'worst in the Southern Hemisphere' and due to some 'ignorant foreign sailors'.

But are Norwegians foreigners in the Antarctic any more than any other nationality?

To put things in some perspective, I would also like posters and readers to give a quick look at these two pictures:

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikiped...le:McMurdo.jpg
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikiped...Mcmurdo118.jpg

These above are only two samples and anybody can fish out more of the like on the web. They do pose a question of how many points of the Treaty have been violated there, and by whom, and why we will blame single individuals while turning a blind (blind is a sore understatement in this case) eye on activities of whole governments, commercial enterprises and the likes.

I do not want to sound like I am taking the side of any disputing party here. However, much of this thread reminds me of a lynch - like when before reliable information is made available and hard facts known we will base our judgment on media flicks and hang the guy. But it is not a fair judgement and even more so when it is very likely that we will not know anything about the part of the story that actually happened on the water.

So, if it is a cruising and sailing forum, I am in. But if it is hang the Norwegian forum, then I will stand at the side of the Norwegian at least till he has a fair jury. Because I am not a homebrew lawyer, while he is a sailor and a cruiser.

Regards to all the community,
barnie
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Old 07-03-2011, 17:00   #101
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
...

To put things in some perspective, I would also like posters and readers to give a quick look at these two pictures:

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikiped...le:McMurdo.jpg
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikiped...Mcmurdo118.jpg

...
I like the content and tone of your post and from what little I know, I think I agree with you.

However, as to the photos, are those places facilities where the treaty members all agreed together to build them? Maybe they thought about the location and how to build them to reduce impact, weighing the damage vs. scientific benefit? I don't know, just posing the question.

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Old 07-03-2011, 17:12   #102
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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However, as to the photos, are those places facilities where the treaty members all agreed together to build them? Maybe they thought about the location and how to build them to reduce impact, weighing the damage vs. scientific benefit? I don't know, just posing the question.

-dan
It may be as you guess. But with this, we are again back to the issue when a Treaty is arbitrary made and then some entities are allowed to breach it (in whatever name).

For the Treaty was not made to maximize scientific (or any other) gain while minimizing the impact on nature. I believe it was made to maximize protection for the nature. If not, then why should we feel bound by it? A rich company/state can drill, build, noise and pollute while a single individual cannot?

If we were not talking about Antarctic, one would see a clean parallel to Orwell's observations.

b.
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Old 07-03-2011, 17:13   #103
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

I agree that is perfectly fair Barnie.

As background, I have had 2 full days of official training and discussion on proper conduct in the Antarctic, and at the end of that we elected to go to S Georgia but not to the antarctic peninsula, because we were convinced it was important to protect that environment as pristine as possible and our casual visit could cause significant harm if things went wrong. So, I clearly stand somewhere far on the 'green' and 'responsibility' side of this debate vs the 'freedom of adventure' side. I understand that's a point of philosophy and intelligent people can disagree on it.

Mistakes have clearly been made in the region, as you point out. But I believe most involved are (now) trying seriously to do the best the can. That's part of the reason the rules and recommendations have been developed.

I am strongly against lynching, and would like to find a way to discuss and learn from this without appearing to be lynching, but I am not that good or subtle a writer. The only way I know to learn from apparent mistakes is to point them out and discuss them. I am just as (or probably even more so) blunt and pointed in identifying my own mistakes - I once wrote a series of 12 magazine columns in a british magazine publicly pointing out my 12 most egregious mistakes. After a year the readers came a way thinking I was the most completely stupid and poor seamen ever! But I hope they did learn something from my hindsight.
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Old 07-03-2011, 17:31   #104
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

Hindsight is 50/50 but if i had of had the choice i would have went!!! and i think alot of you would have too.....
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Old 07-03-2011, 17:33   #105
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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My hope from this discussion is that we can save some lessons to make such a tragedy less likely in the future, that would provide proper respect for the lost crew members. And IMHO, the correct lesson is NOT more regulations and rules, but more respect for and attention to fundamental seamanship
That says as much about Cruisers Forum as can be said by anyone. What happened is and we don't know much more than reported here and the speculation is not important or on topic, but we can become better. It's why CF is here and that is what we hope is the very best anyone can say about Cruisers Forum.

The issues of blame and fault are not within this forum or even close to it. It's a long process that no one here will be involved in and you won't be asked. CF does not convey that right to you.
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