New Regulations?

In the wake of the El Faro, do you think there will be any new regulations created? Do you think this will cause the bean counters to rethink their “go now at all cost” attitude? Maybe not so much to protect the mariners, but maybe to protect their cargo?

I know lifeboats have come under fire, do you think now, much like single skin tank vessels, there will be a drop dead date 10 years out that will require them to be off a vessel?

As for me, other than possible lifeboat regulations that could go in affect many years from now, I don’t see anything changing. Office personal may relax on the go-go-go while a named storm is around for a bit, but time will pass and the attitudes of old will return.

I read the gCaptain article but what say you?

I am absolutely certain new regulations will come. Unfortunately, they will probably address opinions more than facts, because nobody knows exactly what caused this incident.

One thing I have learned over the years, is a knee-jerk response to an incident often doesn’t solve the problem.

I don’t know about possible changes in regulations. I do think that the SMS should be changed to make shore-side professional weather routing mandatory when tropical hurricanes / storms might be a factor.

I know a lot of captains don’t like this but it puts in place another layer of safeguards and better takes into account workload, human behavior, incentives etc.

I think the big changes from this tragedy will be driven by the insurance companies. Lawyers and law suits will have a big effect especially on US boats.

It’s amazing that yacht owners will gladly pay for a weather routing service (it’s not very expensive), but tugboat owners will not.

I once had a tugboat owner tell me that we did not need a weather fax or weather reports running between the coast and Hawaii because once we are out there we just have to deal with whatever comes.

Just about every tugboat in Alaska has a decent working skiff with launching arrangements that can be used as a rescue boat, but most tugs elsewhere don’t have a skiff.

Most tugs have only one life raft, even though failure to inflate is not uncommon.

There is a need for more meaningful safety regulations, and a requirement for qualified shoreside managers who will be held accountable.

p.s. We need much better survival suits— and I don’t care if they cost $2,000 each.

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;171209]I don’t know about possible changes in regulations. I do think that the SMS should be changed to make shore-side professional weather routing mandatory when tropical hurricanes / storms might be a factor. R

I know a lot of captains don’t like this but it puts in place another layer of safeguards and better takes into account workload, human behavior, incentives etc.[/QUOTE]

I’m right there with you on this one. Most Masters would likely consider it another encroachment on their authority, but they might warm up to the idea if they consider it from a different vantage point: approval from an outside party might take some of the heat off of the Master if someone ashore had to go on record as having approved a passage plan that puts a vessel in peril. It would make it just a little bit harder for the office to invoke the threadbare, “It was the Master’s decision to…” defense.

What was the nature of the loss of power? Did they think they could regain power? Was there equipment that was not working? Was anybody in the decision making processes sick or unavailable? Did the cargo remain secured? Was there an identifiable point up to which the crew could have abandoned ship by helicopter? And if so what was the decision process? Did they know where they were in the hurricane? Was there was a point where the ship was still viewed as being stable and it was deemed too dangerous to attempt to disembark? What were the communications with the company? What was the communication with the Coast Guard? Was there a pan pan? Was there a mayday? What GMDSS equipment was activated? Was the AIS status ever changed? Did they ever formally attempt to abandon ship? Was the lifeboat released from the falls or ripped off of the falls? Where were the immersion suits? How many were there? How many people put them on? Were they ordered to put them on? When were the last cell phone calls and what did the crew say? Why was an EPIRB not manually activated? What methods of communication were available and when were they lost? Did the GMDSS equipment work? What were the specifics of the SEMM as to the various phases of this emergency? Was bridge management a reality or an abstract concept? What were the alternate plans and their critical points? Was there a point that they ran out of options and had not realized the gravity of the situation? Were there communication options available that were deemed too expensive to implement? Was the captain able to adequately assess the risks, and if not, why? Was there anything else they should have or could have done before they were past the point of no return. And if so how did it not happen. What else could have been attempted or done differently. At some point or points substantial critical mistakes were made. What, when and how were those errors made?

Obviously, critical and avoidable mistakes were made. Hopefully all of these processes will be identified and evaluated before conclusions are drawn - even though some already have. At that point regulations, preventative measures and training can be evaluated. One thing is likely - this discovery and evaluation process will take much longer than it should.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;171242]It’s amazing that yacht owners will gladly pay for a weather routing service (it’s not very expensive), but tugboat owners will not…[/QUOTE]

Sounds a bit like this from over 80 years ago.

[QUOTE=PMC;171317]What was …? Did they think …? Was there …? Was anybody …? Did …? Was there …? And if so …? Did they know …? Was there was a point …? What were the communications with the company? What was the communication with the Coast Guard? Was there …? Was there a .? What …? Was the…? Did they …? Was the lifeboat …? Where were…? How many …? How many people …? Were they ordered …? When were the last …? Why was …? What methods …? Did the …? What were …? Was bridge…? What were .? Was there …? Were there …? Was the captain …? Was there anything …? What else … What, when and how …?[/QUOTE]

Geez, man … stop asking so many questions, there are country club dues payments at risk here.

[QUOTE=jdcavo;171371]Sounds a bit like this from over 80 years ago.[/QUOTE]

Excellent. I am a great admirer of Learned Hand. I highly recommend Gerrold Gunther’s biography.

The T.J. Hooper is the seminal case that basically holds that owners must adopt the best available
proven technology for safe navigation without waiting for regulations to catch up to technological advances.

I have heard tugboat owners and port captains say a thousand times, “we don’t have to supply . . . whatever. . . because it’s not USCG required.” Of course as unispected vessels, the USCG does not require much of anything for tugboats. Talk about a regulatory agency that has been captured by the industry that it is supposed to be regulating!

Todays tugboat owners have never heard about the T.J. Hooper, they don’t want to hear about it, and they don’t like anyone who has.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;171392]Excellent. I am a great admirer of Learned Hand, and highly recommend Gerrold Gunther’s biography of him.

The T.J. Hooper is the seminal case that basically holds that owners must adopt the best available
proven technology for safe navigation without waiting for regulations to catch up to technological advances.

I have heard tugboat owners and port captains say a thousand times, “we don’t have to supply . . . whatever. . . because it’s not USCG required.” They have never heard about the T.J. Hooper, they don’t want to hear about it, and they don’t like anyone who has.[/QUOTE]

but more than eight decades later that standard of care established by legal precedent is NOT codified, is NOT enforced and is NOT practiced! Why? Because the USCG takes the side of the owners EVERY TIME!

[QUOTE=PMC;171317]What was the nature of the loss of power? [/QUOTE]

we don’t know because the owners won’t tell us and what us to believe that they do not know which is pure BS

Did they think they could regain power?

yes, or a distress call would have been made

Was there equipment that was not working?

we do not know because again the owners will not tell us that

Was anybody in the decision making processes sick or unavailable?

I doubt that would have even played a role even if the case…lots of experience and ability aboard the EL FARO

Did the cargo remain secured?

I believe the ship was knocked down and at a tremendous angle of heels the cargo began a cascading to the low side of the ship

Was there an identifiable point up to which the crew could have abandoned ship by helicopter?

certainly not after sunset on the 30th

And if so what was the decision process?

the master did not feel fear at sunset on the 30th or would have stopped to await Joachim to pass

Did they know where they were in the hurricane?

of course

Was there was a point where the ship was still viewed as being stable and it was deemed too dangerous to attempt to disembark?

I do not believe there was any point to go to abandonship stations before whatever catastrophe befell the ship

What were the communications with the company?

the BIGGEST single question I have raised

What was the communication with the Coast Guard?

no communication from the master directly with the USCG

Was there a pan pan? Was there a mayday?

no and no

What GMDSS equipment was activated?

the EPIRB was briefly but those are not part of the GMDSS station

Was the AIS status ever changed?

I doubt that

Did they ever formally attempt to abandon ship?

I do not believe they survived long enough to try

Was the lifeboat released from the falls or ripped off of the falls?

I believe it is the latter

Where were the immersion suits?

that so many were found floating with zippers closed tell me they were in boxes on deck and floated out after the ship submerged

How many were there?

enough for all aboard

How many people put them on?

only one or more bodies would have been found

Were they ordered to put them on?

I do not believe they reached that point or more bodies would have been found

When were the last cell phone calls and what did the crew say?

we only know about the final email send by the second mate to her mother

Why was an EPIRB not manually activated?

I believe automatically activated as the ship was submerging but it was taken down with the hull

What methods of communication were available and when were they lost?

satcomm and GMDSS…all lost then the ship rolled onto her side and submerged

Did the GMDSS equipment work?

yes up until the time the ship submerged

What were the specifics of the SEMM as to the various phases of this emergency?

I am not familiar with SEMM…is this management of a major emergency? Merchant vessels do not plan for this like a drillship would

Was bridge management a reality or an abstract concept?

only the VDR voice recordings can tell us

What were the alternate plans and their critical points?

too many to list but we will never know the one’s the master was considering to use since those plans vanished forever with his death

Was there a point that they ran out of options and had not realized the gravity of the situation?

every mariner with a brain that works can pick out each point in the known chain of events and vessel’s track however I believe the master was blind to the gravity of the situation as evidenced that he did not stop the ship before clearing Rum Cay

Were there communication options available that were deemed too expensive to implement?

only VDR data which might be transmitted in real time to be recorded ashore

Was the captain able to adequately assess the risks, and if not, why?

the evidence say he was not able to but there is no clue why he couldn’t see the danger or if he did, why he proceeded? All we can do it speculate without getting cooperation from the owners

Was there anything else they should have or could have done before they were past the point of no return.

I do not believe there was anything to do except get propulsion back and to heave to but time ran out for them all

And if so how did it not happen.

the propulsion casualty could not be overcome in the time they had

What else could have been attempted or done differently.

a different route or to stop the ship before it reached the point of criticality

At some point or points substantial critical mistakes were made. What, when and how were those errors made?

this will be theorized and discuss in the industry for years to come

Obviously, critical and avoidable mistakes were made. Hopefully all of these processes will be identified and evaluated before conclusions are drawn - even though some already have. At that point regulations, preventative measures and training can be evaluated. One thing is likely - this discovery and evaluation process will take much longer than it should.

no question about each and every conclusion you make

I know the questions are rhetorical at this point. But given that one person has already written an article entitled “We Won’t Learn Anything”, I thought maybe some of the basic questions should at least be put out there.

The long-standing and vicious circular reasoning of the tugboat status quo:

Q. Why are you allowed to do/have that?

A. Because we’re on a tugboat!

Q. Why is that allowed on a tugboat?

A. Because tugboats are uninspected vessels!

Q. Why are they uninspected vessels?

A. Because they’re tugboats!

Awesome, isn’t it?

And the beat goes on.

why can’t you do it, you’re a tugboat aren’t you? Well the other tug went.

I assume we just turn off phones so it all goes through email. Devices conveniently don’t work if you don’t want them to. The main problem is we all have “masters overriding authority” so ultimately it’s our fault for not saying no. Jeaux has us by the balls.

If new regulations do not come, making ships safer for future crews, the deaths of the El Faro crew were in vain. It would be the ultimate sign of disrespect.

[QUOTE=QuabbinHiker;171424]If new regulations do not come, making ships safer for future crews, the deaths of the El Faro crew were in vain. It would be the ultimate sign of disrespect.[/QUOTE]

What regulations do you think should come from this?

he has no idea because he has no experience in the industry and is just a troll.

Wow! A lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here. Is someone interviewing or soliciting for potential “expert witness” work?

perhaps, But someone is trying to be an expert on all things nautical in the process. They’re just throwing out bait with bullshit ideas attempting to get responses by real Mariners they will probably use themselves on whatever nonsense magazine or website they write for.

So, to be clear: none of what happens on a sailboat, yacht, or especially anywhere in aviation counts here. My workboat experience is even if limited relevance to what goes on when weather routing a 800’ ship, and we don’t have steam plants (I’m also not an engineer) so I’m staying out of that topic as well. Regardless of my legitimate commercial marine experience and formal education in the nautical sciences which includes fellow alumni who were lost in this tragedy, there are many of these yachtsmen or aviators who know better and feel qualified to chime in.