Radical idea…why not separate the inspection from the CG and go back to the :Steamboat Inspection Service" model? Experienced senior officers are offered a position and they have no one to answer to but the Chief in DC? No one knows ships better than experienced mariners. Why did the Marine Electric investigation lead to chages? Dom Calicchio, a man who KNEW the job and had actually done it. Was he also a strong willed individual? Absolutely, and he had the long term best interests of mariners in mind. When you dig into that sad tale you will see alarming parallels with the El Faro…hand washing of who was responsible, soft peddling the governments role…the difference is that CAPT Calicchio refused to knuckle under to political pressure from his superiors.
More random thoughts and my apologies for tossing bits and pieces out as these ideas pop into my head but this whole affair makes me sick. "…finding corrosion is ‘really difficult’ " COME ON! A mariner who has served on a ship knows where the problems are likely to occur and will not let a bit of rust, dirt, and scuzz on their pretty blue coveralls stop them from checking. There is always pressure to get through a survey or inspection but when you are done what is nice to hear is “So, is there anything ELSE we should check?” What that means to me is “Hey, Cap…I am done with my checklist but is there anything else you have submitted for repair that the office hasn’t arranged for? What can I do to help?”
Let’s be honest, most of us have submitted repairs that are delayed or pushed back. We KNOW they need to be done but unless the hammer of ABS of USCG comes down, they will not be done when we would prefer. We should always avail ourselves of open ended questions by inspectors and surveyors. The issue is too few of them ask that type of question anymore.
I am fortunate to work for a decent company that, on the whole, is very responsive to the Masters and Chiefs. The problem is that I feel I am in the minority of the current US fleet. If I am wrong, please correct me.