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Old 06-10-2015, 14:27   #91
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

Waterman, sorry for your loss.

I want to thank all you guys for writing in to help us all understand (a) about the life boats, and (b) the multitudinous circumstances surrounding the loss of the El Faro.


Ann
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Old 06-10-2015, 16:09   #92
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

I'll add my thanks to all who responded to this thread, especially you guys with big ship experience. To us who look up at them as we sail by in our little cockleshells, well, they just look invincible . Yet, things like this seem to happen with some regularity. It is a sobering thought for me... and a sad end to a once proud ship and her crew.

Jim
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Old 06-10-2015, 16:16   #93
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

The video in the CBS Balitimore report shows the heavily damaged lifeboat that was found.
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Old 06-10-2015, 16:29   #94
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

This is a clip from a CNN article I just found. I am posting the clip here to add to the discussion.

What I find most interesting is the timing. Notice the ship left port after the forecast for the storm changed to a hurricane. According to this CNN article.

---------------

Company: El Faro skipper had 'sound' plan to deal with storm - CNN.com

(CNN)The owners of a cargo ship presumed to have sunk insist that the captain of El Faro had a "sound plan" to avoid Hurricane Joaquin, but that the ship's main propulsion failed, stranding the crew in the path of the storm.

The unidentified captain had real-time weather information when he left the port in Jacksonville and reported favorable conditions at the outset, Tote Services President Phil Greene told reporters.

Given the weather system, the captain's "plan was a sound plan that would have enabled him to clearly pass around the storm with a margin of comfort that was adequate in his professional opinion," Greene said on Monday night.

Still, the question that came up over and over again at the news conference at which Tote Incorporated President and CEO Anthony Chiarello, Tote Maritime Puerto Rico President Tim Nolan and Greene attended was a version of this: Knowing that a potential hurricane was brewing, why was El Faro allowed to go ahead with its scheduled route?

The U.S. Coast Guard has concluded that the ship, which was carrying 28 Americans and five Polish nationals, sank last week. It was headed from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico, when it disappeared near the Bahamas.

The trio of managers said they put their trust in the company's captains to be the decision-makers, and that up until El Faro lost its propulsion, the reports were not alarming.

"When the ship sailed on Tuesday evening, the storm was nowhere near what it was at the time that the vessel became disabled," Chiarello said.

The captain sent an email to headquarters last Wednesday morning saying he was aware of the "weather condition" -- the increasingly powerful Hurricane Joaquin -- and that he was monitoring it's track, though conditions where the ship was "looked very favorable," Greene said.

The concern that the captain had about the weather was about the return trip from Puerto Rico to Florida, he said.

But the next day, El Faro lost propulsion right in the path of the hurricane, Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor told CNN's "New Day."

"They were disabled right by the eye of Hurricane Joaquin," Fedor said Tuesday. "If they were able to abandon ship and put on their survival suits, they would have been abandoning ship into that Category 4 hurricane. So you're talking about 140-mile-an-hour winds, 50-foot seas, zero visibility. It's a very dire situation, a very challenging situation even for the most experienced mariner."

What happened to ship's propulsion?
The captain informed his company that El Faro was disabled, but the cause remains unclear.

"The captain did not explain in his communication why he had lost propulsion," Greene said. "He indicated that he had had a navigational incident."

The captain had said the ship was listing, or leaning, 15 degrees, but it was unclear whether that was due to the wind or environmental conditions, and what impact this may have had on the propulsion system.

"So, he did not say why the vessel became disabled in terms of the engineering problem of the propulsion system," Greene said.

It was also unknown how much time lapsed between the time the propulsion failed and the time the captain reported the problem to his bosses.

"Based on the evaluating the position of the ship when the captain reported (the propulsion failure), he was in the path of the storm," Greene said.

He said: "I think what is regrettable on this is the fact that the vessel did become disabled in the path of the storm, and that is what (ultimately) led to the tragedy."

Lots of debris, but no survivors so far
The massive search in the Caribbean Sea has yielded a 225-square-mile debris field, but no ship and no survivors.

Coast Guard: El Faro ship likely sank, 1 body found

Coast Guard: El Faro ship likely sank, 1 body found 01:52
CNN's Eliott C. McLaughlin accompanied a Coast Guard team on a daylong search flight Monday. The Coast Guard HC-130 covered more than 1,000 square miles of ocean without spotting anything related to the ship, McLaughlin said.

Family members told CNN affiliate WFOX they questioned why the ship sailed into what was then a tropical storm.

The forecast changed significantly the day El Faro left port, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.

That morning, Joaquin was forecast to be a tropical storm with possible paths that would not interfere with El Faro's route. Near midday, the forecast was still for a tropical storm, but moving closer to the ship's path.

At 5 p.m., the forecast showed that Joaquin would reach hurricane strength and that the ship's path would take it straight into the track of the storm.

El Faro left the port of Jacksonville about 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to Marinetraffic.com.


Fedor said the disappearance of a 790-foot ship is unusual.

But "no matter how big the ship is, when you are disabled, and you're at sea, and you're in the middle of a storm ... the size and strength of that storm is just enough to overcome just about anything."
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Old 06-10-2015, 17:07   #95
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

Another report says the ship may have sunk in an area where the water is 15,000 feet deep.

Here is a photo of the one damaged lifeboat that was found, with some containers, oil sheen.

It is shown floating, capsized, with just the bow area shown, above surface.
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Old 06-10-2015, 17:14   #96
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

Steady, respectfully, I think why is a matter for the NTSB to determine.

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Old 06-10-2015, 18:09   #97
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

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Steady, respectfully, I think why is a matter for the NTSB to determine.

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Yes, of course it is.

I am sharing the info here as we are all interested in what happened.

Another member, Jim If I recall correctly, earlier related how a Russian sea captain responded to tropical storm warning with "we go!"
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Old 06-10-2015, 18:35   #98
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

Okay Steady, you always show good taste, so its probably me that's being prickly. I'm going to step out of the conversation and find some neato pics for another thread I'm following about cooking.

Cheers

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Old 06-10-2015, 21:16   #99
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
If a government with the mandate is elected, then they drive up the cost of their shipping (as in the case of US and Canada), next thing you know, American ships are sitting at dock while Chinese ships carry the cargo, until a government is mandated by the voting public to enforce safety standards globally by pressuring the IMO, which requires a strong UN...
Currently the Jones act actually makes it illegal for non US ships to carry US trade... And this actually already increases shipping cost (Jones Act compliant ships are a lot more expensive).
A repeal of the Jones Act is long overdue...
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Old 06-10-2015, 21:34   #100
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

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Originally Posted by K_V_B View Post
Currently the Jones act actually makes it illegal for non US ships to carry US trade... And this actually already increases shipping cost (Jones Act compliant ships are a lot more expensive).
A repeal of the Jones Act is long overdue...
What??
The Jones act requires ships to be US flagged when conducting trade between 2 US ports. It means the Merchant Mariners are working for a real wage. Three years ago I was in Odessa Ukraine and made a friend who was working locally as a 3rd asst' engineer, his overtime rate was the equivalent of $3/hr. That is how foreign flagged ships operate more economically; practically slave labor in the 21st century.
Now back to El Faro...

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Old 06-10-2015, 21:39   #101
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Waterman, sorry for your loss.

I want to thank all you guys for writing in to help us all understand (a) about the life boats, and (b) the multitudinous circumstances surrounding the loss of the El Faro.


Ann
Thank you Ann.

So far, the only connection I have is that a fellow alum was the chief mate, albeit quite a few classes ahead of me.

But one of my best friend's brother knows the two younger MMA grads, one of which was his sea partner when they cadet shipped together on a tanker. He's understandably quite shaken up by it all.

The U.S.maritime industry, especially at the deep sea/unlimited level is smaller than most people think. Lots of connections though sometimes two or three times removed. I have also sailed with quite a few SIU crew and wouldn't be surprised to recognize a name or two when the complete list is released.

I should also add that I have met TOTE Services President & CEO Phil Greene a couple times when he was the superintendent of my (and his) alma mater for a short period. He's a stand up guy and I'm sure he'll do what he can to make this right both for the families and future mariners, though even he still has his own bosses to deal with. He's also a retired Navy Admiral and holds a Master AGT license.
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Old 06-10-2015, 21:43   #102
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

Maybe parts of the Jones act need repealing.... such as the bits that lead to 40 year old ships still operating....
El Faro isn't the first .... Poet and Marine Electric both come to mind... both rising 40 when they disappeared. edited....Marine Electric didn't disappear... the report on her loss makes interesting reading.
The 20 year survey kills off most foreign ships...
Old is Old.....
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Old 06-10-2015, 21:58   #103
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

Joaquin was moving at about 13 mph after it increased in strength and accelerated. Typical container ships today can move at 21 knots to 25 knots, and 21 is simply a fuel conserving choice for many.


So it is very easy to believe that with the ability to run at nearly TWICE the speed of the advancing storm, the captain wasn't worried about it. Apparently he was relying on his engine to work and forgot "Always have a Plan B".
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Old 06-10-2015, 22:23   #104
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

Engine problem could have been caused by flexibility - damage of the ship under wave action. Who knows ??
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Old 06-10-2015, 23:18   #105
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Re: Safety of Ships' Lifeboats in Major Storms

Wow, really? Repeal the Jones Act and send MORE work over seas? Hell no! There was a study done, Jones Act vessels cost $0.01 per mile more. ONE penny per mile. But no, let's send more American jobs away...
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