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Old 22-04-2012, 09:54   #46
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Re: Princess Cruise Ignores Distressed Fishermen.

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Originally Posted by ViribusUnitis View Post
Am I the only one that is ever surprised that a cruise or merchant ship stops for small boaters ever?

These are multi-billion dollar vessels, with budgets that likely measure in millions per hour to operate. Just one hour of their operation costs more than I'll likely make in my life time. Why should ANYONE spend that kind of money to rescue me when there is no chance that I'll ever be able to repay them or society is beyond me.
It's different than on land where large corporations forbid their employees and vehicles from rendering assistance. There are actually laws at sea that put the onus on anyone within the area to respond.
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Old 22-04-2012, 10:01   #47
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Even if the captain was not informed at the time, he is still responsible, in my view. It is the captain's responsibility to ensure that crew members are trained to make good decisions and to NOT make the decisions that are above their pay grade. Any well-trained crew member (from the most lowly seaman or housekeeper to the First Officer) who received information of a possible vessel in distress would have recognized that they were being confronted by a command-level decision that should be passed up the chain. As others have already responded here, this is not about "charity" - it's about maritime law and civilization. Also, I would suggest, it's about THE BUCK STOPS HERE.
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Old 22-04-2012, 10:45   #48
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Re: Princess Cruise Ignores Distressed Fishermen.

There is a good article on this at Welkom bij Maasmond Maritime its todays newsletter, tomorrow and thereafter you will have to search the archives. Dang good newsletter though...
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Old 22-04-2012, 10:54   #49
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Re: Princess Cruise Ignores Distressed Fishermen.

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Originally Posted by xymotic
Yes, you are the only one. That is a severely distorted and warped pov.

Why should a fisherman in a small boat respond to a ship disaster? Just because it's the right thing to do. Letting kids die is just flat wrong, and I'm sorry but the laws and traditions in this regard are from the earliest beginnings of civilization. C-I-V-I-L-I-Z-A-T-I-O-N


+1 ... Glad someone said it!

I'll have to agree. I once had a simular situation when my car died on the highway. A trucker pulled over to see if I was alright. Even though no law requires him to do so, and the stop cost him money, and required him to drive longer to make up time.

I asked him why? He said, "it was the right thing to do."

One of the sailing books I read the author was running low on supplies, (especially cigarettes), called a passing freighter for help. They stated they couldn't stop unless it was an emergency, and offered to radio for help, he said no it wasn't an emergency; but they lowered a watertight bag full of food, water, ... and cigarettes.

If this cruise liner had done the same, the people on the small boat would likely still be alive. Just dropping a 5 gal jug of water duct taped to a lifevest would have been better than nothing.
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Old 22-04-2012, 11:06   #50
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Re: Princess Cruise Ignores Distressed Fishermen.

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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
Yes, you are the only one. That is a severely distorted and warped pov.

Why should a fisherman in a small boat respond to a ship disaster? Just because it's the right thing to do. Letting kids die is just flat wrong, and I'm sorry but the laws and traditions in this regard are from the earliest beginnings of civilization. C-I-V-I-L-I-Z-A-T-I-O-N
Fair enough. I'll be the first to admit that my point of view of the world is often unusual.

What my short life has taught me so far is that everyone has a price, and there is a price for everyone. The only question ever seems to be what is it, and how high it is. I didn't always believe such, but I've been disillusioned.

As a side note, if your going to do it on a cost basis, rescuing the thousands of passengers on a liner in trouble is likely be a cost that the passengers can pay. If there are one thousand passengers and crew on the ship, and they might be willing to pay up to $100,000 per person to have their lives saved. After all, how much do you think you could get your hands on to save your life? Most people and their families in the developed world could probably pull together that much. That's a potential $100,000,000 that might be available for a rescue. That will easily pay the operating budget of aircraft and ships for a pretty decent sized rescue. In addition, a cruise ship will likely have insurance. In this case, the cost of the rescue would be split between possibly millions of clients over years of operation. With something like that, it's fairly easy to split a billion dollars apart into a pieces that individual people are willing to pay. In addition, the cruise ship itself is very valuable. If it can be salvaged, then it can be used to pay the rescuers for their services.

If it's just me on the other hand, I don't have anywhere near that level of resources. And the costs of a rescue don't scale down to my level well. For example, if a ship is missing or a boat is missing, it cost the same to put an aircraft up to find the ship. If they have to send a ship out to rescue me, it costs the same for just me, all the way up to how ever many people the ship can pick up. If they have to send out a helicopters, it costs the same for one person, or all the people the craft can pick up.

The only way I can come up with small boaters having that kind of distribution of costs is through insurance. The odds of finding insurance for small boats with unlicensed captains of uncertified yachts in open water seems slight. And even if it was available, the premium would likely be higher than people could pay. The odds of 3rd world fishermen buying it seem even smaller.
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Old 22-04-2012, 11:23   #51
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Re: Princess Cruise Ignores Distressed Fishermen.

I guess I'll speak up from the other side of the fence. First and foremost, all vessels are required to respond to a vessel in distress, period. Doesn't matter if your schlepping LPG, crude, containers or paying passengers.

There is and always will be a lot of pressure put on the captain from the front office to,
1) Stay on schedule
2) Insure of no stowaways upon leaving a port
3) Turn in good fuel burn numbers

To stay on schedule there are choices, run faster to put hours in the bank, but this effects #3. In busy, deep inland ports in Japan I sailed with a young SeaLand Captain that insisted the bridge's stereo needs to be blasting rock & roll, so that when we were the give way vessel, just from comm with the other, hearing the music in the background, most would give way rather than arrange passing distances. And for number 2, the very sad reality is some stowaways have been thrown overboard rather than deal with the consequences. I know this doesn't paint a pretty picture, but with what a person has to do to get a regular captain's gig, and the power the shipping corporate owners wield, some heartless decisions are sometime made. I started too late in my career to ever have a crack at being the "old man", and I've seen my share of them giving in to front office pressures. It really is the case of damned if you do, and damned if you don't. I would draw the line though, for the safety of individuals, hoping that I wouldn't be canned.
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Old 22-04-2012, 11:26   #52
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Re: Princess Cruise Ignores Distressed Fishermen.

The reason the cruise ship did not stop does not matter. That it did not stop does. The Captain is responsible for his crews actions. maritime law is clear. Company policy can not over ride Maritime Law.

I think that this is, and some of the comments on here are, a sad reflection on how we have come to accept the selfishness of human kind.
We often read about people ate ing over dieting people on the streets or not stopping at accident scenes, sad that it seems that some people seem to think that this callous side of human kind is acceptable.
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Old 22-04-2012, 11:57   #53
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Re: Princess Cruise Ignores Distressed Fishermen.

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Originally Posted by ViribusUnitis View Post
Fair enough. I'll be the first to admit that my point of view of the world is often unusual.

What my short life has taught me so far is that everyone has a price, and there is a price for everyone. The only question ever seems to be what is it, and how high it is. I didn't always believe such, but I've been disillusioned.
You poor thing..
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Old 22-04-2012, 13:36   #54
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Re: Princess Cruise Ignores Distressed Fishermen.

If the cruise ship played it right they could have gotten LOTS of good publicity but in this case they get BAD publicity. There own fault. It is the law that a captain has to give any and all assistance to a vessel or person in distress. They could yank his license if the proper authorities want to
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Old 22-04-2012, 14:07   #55
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Re: Princess Cruise ignores distressed fishermen.

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Hard to say if it was the captain's fault.
It's ALWAYS the captain's fault.

It's probably true that the corporate culture holds money-making to be more important than life-saving. But the fact remains: if you are the commanding officer of a vessel, you are responsible for every decision that is made or not made and any communication that happens or fails to happen.
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Old 22-04-2012, 14:31   #56
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Re: Princess Cruise ignores distressed fishermen.

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Originally Posted by Jane.Joy View Post
It's ALWAYS the captain's fault.

It's probably true that the corporate culture holds money-making to be more important than life-saving. But the fact remains: if you are the commanding officer of a vessel, you are responsible for every decision that is made or not made and any communication that happens or fails to happen.
The above by Jane.Joy is a tough pill, but true.

Here is the mind set, from the beginning at the maritime academies, respect of rank is drilled into each midshipmen. Then you join your union, MM&P and find out the little secrets that the union doesn't admit to, such as the ship owner can choose their captain and sometimes the captain is allowed to choose the 1st officer (chief mate). I don't think I've met any chief mates that serve on the same ship as per the captain's request, that doesn't have their captain's license. Same applies to most being assigned out of the union hall, most all 2nd mates have their 1st or captain's license. Chances are very good if a deck officer is sailing, assigned to a ship as a 2nd and has his captain's license, he was once a "picked" captain that somehow came at odds with a shipping company.

If our union, Masters, Mates, & Pilots would show some backbone when dealing with the shipping companies and insist all manning is done from the hall, normal rank progression would be assured and doing the "right thing" in all circumstances would become SOP.

Just my 0.02 worth, and it isn't even worth that much.
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Old 22-04-2012, 14:33   #57
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Re: Princess Cruise Ignores Distressed Fishermen.

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Originally Posted by ViribusUnitis View Post
I don't question that they do. It just always surprises me when they do. That level of charity is not something to take lightly, and something to be grateful for when it happens.
It's not charity, it's responsibility. Anyone not willing to take on that responsibility has no business going to sea. The size of your boat has no bearing on that.

Cheers,
Colin
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Old 22-04-2012, 16:01   #58
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Re: Princess Cruise Ignores Distressed Fishermen.

It's also the law in both the US and Canada and the obligation to render assistance at sea is part of the UN SOLAS convention. Both the Canadian Shipping Act of 2001 and its USA equivalent provide for penalties for failure to render assistance to those in distress at sea.
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Old 22-04-2012, 16:28   #59
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Re: Princess Cruise Ignores Distressed Fishermen.

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It's also the law in both the US and Canada and the obligation to render assistance at sea is part of the UN SOLAS convention. Both the Canadian Shipping Act of 2001 and its USA equivalent provide for penalties for failure to render assistance to those in distress at sea.
Astrid,

I'm not defending the actions, but setting forth the mind set. We are all in agreement on both the law and what is morally right. The bosun and his crew are assigned the task of pre-departure vessel searches for stowaways. If found after departure, some cold hearted bosuns have taken it upon themselves not to cause problems for their captain and removed at sea the stowaway. Captains are always treading a fine line for keeping their jobs. Just so you know, I do not fall into that category, I have a heart and care about the welfare of others, even pirates. I know of a captain that after having the bridge windows shot out by pirates, performed a Williamson turn in the dark, heavy fog, logged a MOB drill, and proceeded to use ARPA on the radar to insure, instead of avoid collision, surely all aboard the attacking vessel perished.
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Old 22-04-2012, 16:42   #60
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Re: Princess Cruise Ignores Distressed Fishermen.

Adding to deckofficers valid observations about commercial command:

They discuss with you in maritime college that company pressure to increase profits will often put you at odds with the safe and right thing to do, but at the end of the day you need to satisfy both.

Maintaining your ethics and hopefully your job is not something they can teach you.

What I find interesting about all this righteous indignation is that it comes with a certain amount of hypocrisy::

1 Many complain that taxpayer’s money is being wasted on rescuing ill-equipped or badly trained boaters.

2 Others feel we are being over-regulated at sea and they take the bold position that self rescue is preferred and they won’t carry an EPIRB

3 This story makes the news, but we ignore the thousands dying daily from hunger or other atrocities.

I feel sorry for the fisherman who died, but the ship’s crew involved will need to live with themselves over what part they actually played. They are the only real judges
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