[QUOTE=c.captain;60923]One of the most surprising things is this kind of idiocy is not unheard of …
Costa is owned by Carnivore Cruises so it couldn’t have happened to a nicer company but we do need to pray for those who died and people need to go to prison if gross negligence was the cause![/QUOTE]
It is kind of refreshing to see that Italy at least has a Coast Guard with some balls and apparently hasn’t been bought by the cruise industry. Here is an article I wrote 15 years ago.
This is an article I wrote 15 years ago.
"Just after sunrise on February 10, 1994, the Bahamian flagged Starward with 680 passengers onboard called the Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, to report a spill of hydraulic oil into the sea. A mate reported by cellular-phone that the the ship, some five miles offshore, also suffered damage to her propellers.
The Starward’s captain told Coast Guard officers that his ship had struck a submerged object while drifting offshore awaiting a daylight arrival in St. Thomas. After several interviews by Coast Guard accident investigators, and even then only after passengers and shoreside witnesses came forward, did the captain admit to running his ship aground several hours before calling to report the oil spill.
While the attempt to conceal the grounding demonstrates, at the very least, a complete lack of professionalism on the part of the ship’s officers, the circumstances leading to the event, and its subsequent handling by United States Coast Guard authorities speak to a much larger issue.
Coast Guard accident investigators found the ship’s bridge to be very well equipped. Like most modern cruise ships, no expense was spared in fitting the latest electronic navigation and radar equipment including multiple digital radars, satellite global positioning systems (GPS), and fathometers. The only component missing on the Starward’s bridge that morning was discipline and professionalism.
The Starward ran aground at the base of a 150 foot cliff at the end of a half-mile long peninsula. That feat was somewhat akin to accidentally driving a car into the side of a barn in the middle of a wheat field. Vertical rock walls usually provide a distinct radar picture but, evidently, no one was watching. The last position plotted on the Starward’s chart was made some 30 minutes before the grounding. No calculations were made to determine where the ship was going or how fast it was moving. No one looked at the radar or, apparently, even spared a glance out the bridge windows.
The Starward’s bridge crew relied entirely on GPS for positioning. They ignored all other information available to them. A Coast Guard investigator said of the Starward grounding in Professional Mariner magazine, " Looks like pure human error; there were no equipment malfunctions or exceptional circumstances. They (cruise ships) all navigate with just GPS these days."
The Starward is not an isolated case, last year the Panamanian registered Royal Majesty ran aground 10 miles off Nantucket Island because the bridge watch relied entirely on an autopilot guided by a GPS receiver that failed some hours earlier."
What makes it all the more interesting, since this grounding occurred on a reef on a National Park in US waters, the USCG had oversight.
Even though the ship operated routinely from American ports, and carried, almost exclusively, American passengers and grounded on American coral, the United States Coast Guard reported they would do nothing more than forward results of their investigation to Nassau."
The CG eventually fined the ship’s operator $7000 for the oil spill.
As much as I detest the “criminalization of seafarers” I am glad to see one of the truly deserving clowns finally nailed and I hope this puts Carnival into bankruptcy court.