Why the gcaptain forum sometimes gets it wrong


Was he?

I met Capt. Hazelwood for the first time just a few weeks ago. He reads this site, might possibly have an account and post to this thread (IDK, I haven’t checked) but I will say that the majority of what the media said was BS. He post here or pick up the phone and call any media company today and fight back.

But he doesn’t. He’s a standip guy and smart as a tack.

Did he screw up? Yes, and he was the first to admit it… but there was another side of the story.

Question: What’s the story with VTS that night?

And that’s what I like mist about gCaptain. We look at the story from as many sides as possible and work very hard to avoid tunnel vision.


I agree with that, cut training, increase the tempo, cut training, keep doing that till something breaks. Presumably the weak ships will break first but it’s somewhat a roll of the dice.


I assume you know. Are you going to share?


I recall hearing a very salacious rumor about why the Third Mate was distracted, but there probably isn’t a lot of credence to it.


Really? No takers??


“By his own admission, Hazelwood drank “two or three vodkas” between 4:30 and 6:30 that same night, (16:30 and 18:30 unless I am mistaken) his blood alcohol content was found to be .061. However, the defense argued that the blood samples were taken nearly ten hours after the incident and were mishandled.”

The incident happened March 24, 1989, 12:04 am (00:04 in the rest of the world). The blood samples were then taken at 10:04 and came out at 0.061 but mishandled. Well that was incompetent.

Now all my medical associates tell me that when asked a question of alcohol consumption by a patient, they multiply it by three for a normal drinker, six for an alcohol abuser. This is the the first time in history that they have been proved them wrong. They are devastated.

Consider also:
“Hazelwood’s driver’s license had been suspended or revoked three times by the state of New York for alcohol violations since 1984. At the time of the Exxon Valdez incident, his New York state driving privileges were suspended as a result of a driving under the influence arrest on September 13, 1988. He entered a rehabilitation program in 1985 at South Oaks Hospital in Amityville, New York. Following rehabilitation he received 90 days of leave to attend Alcoholics Anonymous.”

The success of this course and the horrors of Amityville cannot be underestimated, for three years, he found the way and I can only admire him for that until his third conviction. His 90 days leave must also have been beneficial. And of course we know that he was unlucky to be caught on the rare occasions that he was in violation of the law. On March 24, 1989, 12:04 am he was absolutely sober, in his cabin and at peace with his bridge management.

In my local bar I talk to many similar that I would not let have charge of a wheelbarrow let alone a supertanker. Billy Joel sings it right.

I have pulled too many out of the sea, some living, some dead on account of alcohol. The two do not mix and when lawyers disrupt Darwin they do us, the true mariners, a great disservice.

I am certain that Captain Hazelwood is a lovely guy and great to have a beer with but, personally, I would not want to sail under him.


I didn’t see him go near the bar all night. And I didn’t say he was “lovely”. I said he was a “stand up” guy.

I’d sail with him anyday and here’s why:
I value intellegence
I value experience
I value masters who acept reaponsiblity for the actions on their crew
I really value honesty

(I’d would ask if he planned to lay off alcohol before setting sail… the I would trust his answer and verify during the trip).

How many of those where sailing on Masters Unlimited Oceans tickets??

Bottom line is I’m not defending Hazlewood’s history with Alchohol, I’m debating it’s relevance to this case.

And I’m asking what MAJOR factors have been overlooked by everyone here? (e.g. what the hell was VTS smoking that night?)


Somewhere around ‘98 there was a presentation by Hazelwood’s attorney at Fort Schuyler. Did you attend this? I did and it was very enlightening, albeit a bit one sided. He had tons of diagrams and information that was never really discussed in the press.

The details of that case are still fascinating to me and typically set me off when anyone from the general public try to spout off that he was ‘drunk at the wheel’.


I was there. That was my junior year.


I guess you guys just found your 6 degrees of seperation


6 rows in the science and engineering lecture hall :smirk:


Weren’t they stoned and not paying any attention?



Wait so you mean while Hazlewood was in hus cabin the men watching the radar were high on drugs!?

But, considering it was all Hazlewood’s fault, you would you let USCG men in uniform smoke weed in your local bar right before duty? …because it wasn’t there fault right? It was Hazlwwoods?


People who have heard the lawyers lecture know that in the case of the Exxon Valdez a persons view will change depending on what information or which narrative they’ve heard. That is, under the surface there is another narrative, another point of view.

Yet some of the same people are sure their view Costa Concordia is correct.

Look at this thread;

Costa Concordia: the truth is rarely pure and never simple

Member @Antonio_Di_Lieto argued those who are willing to go beyond media coverage and judicial examinations will have a different view.

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

Why is he seen as making excuses for Captain Schettino and this lawyer’s case for Hazelwood is not? In each case the argument is there’s more to the story.


Indeed that is what I mean. I did a lot of reading on this back in school. VTS was stoned and not paying attention and Cousins was the one who ran it aground. Yes, Hazelwood is to blame, but he isn’t the one who directly ran the ship aground.


If your information had come from a different source, not SUNY, not lawyers for Hazzelwood but, say from the 3/m point of view, do you think you’d have a different opinion?


Thank you, but none of my information came from SUNY or Hazelwood’s lawyers. What I meant was that it was the time period of my life when I was IN school and read a lot about this.

And no, my opinion wouldn’t change. As a young 3/M, I nearly ran my ship aground - the circumstances don’t really matter, but it was a lovely day in the Philippine islands and the sun was shining and there was no reason for my incompetence. Luckily the Captain appeared on the bridge and corrected my ways. However, if I had indeed run the ship around, it would have been MY fault. Yes, the Captain would have taken the blame, (and I certainly would have been fired if not worse), but he certainly wasn’t the one who was driving into the sandbar.


Yes and he was the first to tell the world that fact… and would tell you the same thing today.
That counts for something.

Back up a moment. FIRST we need to ask why Hazlewood’s lawyer - who BTW is Michael Chalos, a man whos built great influence in this industry for work unrelated to EV - in 2018 still feels compelled to educate cadets on this case?

This is an important question because his motivation for doing so will dictate what information - from the vast archive of facts he collected - he chooses to present to students.


Is he? I was at Schuyler from 03-08 and I don’t believe that Hazelwood or any of his lawyers appeared on campus to talk about it.


…and I believe Chalos gave a lecture recently.