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Old 19-04-2012, 11:41   #1
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Cruise Ship Ignores Distress Call

I came across a very disturbing news story this morning of a Princess cruise ship, whose captain was alerted to a distressed fishing boat and failed to respond. This resulted in two deaths which could have been avoided. In my opinion the captain should be criminally charged with negligence!

Here is a link to the story.
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Old 19-04-2012, 12:16   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astral Blue
I came across a very disturbing news story this morning of a Princess cruise ship, whose captain was alerted to a distressed fishing boat and failed to respond. This resulted in two deaths which could have been avoided. In my opinion the captain should be criminally charged with negligence!

Here is a link to the story.
I thought under IMO rules one was legally obliged to respond to distress calls while at sea: of not directly then at least through relay - or is this a country specific requirement (I.e. VHF watch)?
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Old 19-04-2012, 12:30   #3
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Re: Cruise ship ignores distress call

Rule 33 of the SOLAS covention states:

Quote:
The master of a ship at sea which is in a position to be able to provide assistance on receiving a signal from any source that persons are in distress at sea, is bound to proceed with all speed to their assistance, if possible informing them or the search and rescue service that the ship is doing so. If the ship receiving the distress alert is unable or, in the special circumstances of the case, considers it unreasonable or unnecessary to proceed to their assistance, the master must enter in the log-book the reason for failing to proceed to the assistance of the persons in distress, taking into account the recommendation of the Organization, to inform the appropriate search and rescue service accordingly.
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Old 19-04-2012, 12:54   #4
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Re: Cruise ship ignores distress call

Internal investigation?
Whats the bet nothing comes of it.
And why not a proper investigation done by the proper authorities?

If what is reported here is true, I do hope the captain (and I use this term loosely) gets to rot in a small hole somewhere for his negligence.
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Old 19-04-2012, 13:00   #5
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Re: Cruise ship ignores distress call

Cruise Ship Didn't Aid Drifting Boat, Passengers Say : NPR


Some new light and damming testament about the Capt.
NPR-- hear what the Capt Said
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Old 19-04-2012, 13:49   #6
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Re: Cruise ship ignores distress call

Dauuumm........
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Old 19-04-2012, 17:22   #7
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Re: Cruise ship ignores distress call

The cruise ship industry's image isn't the best right now, they need to rescue and help a few people out to get some good news about them...

You would think that there would be some jetskis or small dingy boat that could be launched from the cruise ship and assist with food, fuel, and water.
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Old 19-04-2012, 17:27   #8
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Re: Cruise ship ignores distress call

It is a bit of a worry.
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Old 19-04-2012, 17:55   #9
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I think the bigger question is how would we react to a similar situation? A small cruising vessel with 2 aboard. Certainly in our home country we would render any assistance required. But what if we are in an area of safety and security concerns? Panama is generally not considered a bad area, but what about off the coast of Venezuela?

I'm doing this route in the next year, and this was an interesting discussion this evening with no clear answer.....what do you think?
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Old 19-04-2012, 18:30   #10
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Re: Cruise ship ignores distress call

ebaugh -- do have an ssb on board?? are you traveling the venezuela coast"?
we came down from mexico to panama and had a great time -
but if we had a decision to make on a vessel out there 1st would call the mmsn on 14.300 and advise them of the situtation
2nd - try and contact the coast guard - not a lot of good that would do (i am not a big coast guard fan all they want to do is talk on the radio and fill out forms except for the helo rescue service) but i would try - third if i could slow down and wait for the ssb nets in the am -
fourth email the cg via winlink or sailmail with the issue

i have often thought of these issues as we have sailed the carib - but the closer in shore you get the more problems with pirates you get - they don't want to wander a lot of miles off shore - one cruising of trindad put it nicely saying they are lousy navagators and if you stay far enough off shore you are safer than inshore

as for this capt - he and princess killed them - time and schedule were more important i guess

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Old 19-04-2012, 18:37   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebaugh
I think the bigger question is how would we react to a similar situation? A small cruising vessel with 2 aboard. Certainly in our home country we would render any assistance required. But what if we are in an area of safety and security concerns? Panama is generally not considered a bad area, but what about off the coast of Venezuela?

I'm doing this route in the next year, and this was an interesting discussion this evening with no clear answer.....what do you think?
Back to SOLAS:
"If the ship receiving the distress alert is unable or, in the special circumstances of the case, considers it unreasonable or unnecessary to proceed to their assistance, the master must enter in the log-book the reason for failing to proceed to the assistance of the persons in distress,"

If it was me on a boat with my wife and I was off the coast of Venezuela and there was a vessel in "distress" with 2 or more guys on it - I would relay the distress to the coastguard and nearby ships citing that to approach would be unsafe for our vessel due to the lack of manpower on our boat, so "rendering assistance may have imperiled or endangered our vessel and/or crew"

A cruise ship with 2000 people on board, a brig and a contingent of 20 or so security staff and officers has no excuse to avoid a 3 man rowing boat for fear of piracy!
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Old 19-04-2012, 18:49   #12
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Re: Cruise ship ignores distress call

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavalier View Post
Back to SOLAS:
"If the ship receiving the distress alert is unable or, in the special circumstances of the case, considers it unreasonable or unnecessary to proceed to their assistance, the master must enter in the log-book the reason for failing to proceed to the assistance of the persons in distress,"

If it was me on a boat with my wife and I was off the coast of Venezuela and there was a vessel in "distress" with 2 or more guys on it - I would relay the distress to the coastguard and nearby ships citing that to approach would be unsafe for our vessel due to the lack of manpower on our boat, so "rendering assistance may have imperiled or endangered our vessel and/or crew"

A cruise ship with 2000 people on board, a brig and a contingent of 20 or so security staff and officers has no excuse to avoid a 3 man rowing boat for fear of piracy!
Good call - as the only thing a small craft with 2 people on board can do (in the absence of security personnel/equipment) is to relay the message to the local Coast Guard.

But a cruise ship is well equipped to perform rescue operations of this nature. For them to claim "inability due to lack of resources" would not hold any muster.
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Old 19-04-2012, 18:53   #13
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We have a sat phone, but no SSB. But who do you call? This is a long way from US waters. Guess I need to do a better job finding the local contact numbers for areas we pass through.

We expect to go nonstop from Grenada to Bonaire, and well offshore, but that seems the scenario described.

But if you continue on, are you not potentially making the same decision as the Princess capt?

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Originally Posted by chuckr
ebaugh -- do have an ssb on board?? are you traveling the venezuela coast"?
we came down from mexico to panama and had a great time -
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Old 19-04-2012, 18:56   #14
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Re: Cruise ship ignores distress call

ebaugh - you may want to look into an ssb - a lot of the cruiser nets are on the ssb and vhf -
we love ours - we keep in contact with other cruisers that we have met along the way and who we are trying to catch up with or vise versa - and of course we get our wx from it including chris parker

just our opinion
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Old 19-04-2012, 20:15   #15
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Re: Cruise ship ignores distress call

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebaugh View Post
I think the bigger question is how would we react to a similar situation? A small cruising vessel with 2 aboard. Certainly in our home country we would render any assistance required. But what if we are in an area of safety and security concerns? Panama is generally not considered a bad area, but what about off the coast of Venezuela?

I'm doing this route in the next year, and this was an interesting discussion this evening with no clear answer.....what do you think?
One could relay a MAYDAY or even pass close, but not too close, to ascertain it wasn't some sort of piratish ploy. But guys who've spent week adrift are, I think it's fair to say, going to have a certain look on them, and you could chuck them water (or tie bottles to a spare foam PFD and float it to them if you still have suspicions, and then alert the authorities.

There are several ways to save these guys without necessarily getting particularly close to them. There is a moral obligation to aid the shipwrecked, in my book, and with reasonable prudence in play, I would not hesitate to do so. It's nautical karma, after all.
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