3rd May 2006, 17:38
Just a quick post to say that Brittany Ferries Normandie left Caen yesterday when it suddenly rolled 15 degrees. Some of the 1,400 passengers feared the vessel was about to capsize. They screamed that the ship was about to go over as the horizen disappeared from view. Plates and glasses slid off tables and smashed on the deck as passengers and crew hung on to avoid falling over. Britanny issued a statement saying it was due to a failure in the automatic steering system which momentarily over-compensated for a change in course. The ship has duplicate steering systems and the back-up activated almost immediately. David
3rd May 2006, 18:59
Sound like there has been a bit of "Smelling of Bottom" to me.
4th May 2006, 06:57
Hope the Captain was wearing his brown trousers.
Sounds like a storm in a teacup to me! A couple of passengers screamed, setting off everyone else! 15 degrees isn't exactly a huge roll after all
4th May 2006, 10:14
I suppose it was not knowing what was going on that scared people. According the the Portsmouth News, an hour after the ship rolled, the French captain announed in broken English to the passengers that there had been a small technical fault, but had been corrected. The crew just wouldn't say what happened. Nobody was injured, but two motorbikes were damage when they fell over. It may have been a storm in a tea cup, but one is always wise after the event. It must have been frightening for passengers some possibly with no seafaring experience, and not being told for so long what happened. It is such incidents which could cause some people to go into heart failure.
I myself nearly caused the old Arcadia to turn over. I started my steering ticket two days before Honolulu. So I had plenty of sea to practice in without running her aground. While watching the compass and trying to keep her on the course I was told to. This was not easy. Anybody who has steered the Arcadia would know that she had an old fashioned wheel which seemed to have a mind of its own. When I could see we were going off course, I frantically tried to bring the course back into the lubber line but it kept going the others way. In a matter of seconds I was doing a full turn as speed causing the ship to list like mad. One of the Coxswains quickly took over and put her back on course. We were in whites, so I went back to my cabin to remove the brown marks!!. I finished my ticket on Canberra. What a difference she was to handle. I was on the bridge of Oriana las year, and would have loved to have steered her. The captain said she handles like a dream compared to the old ships. Far removed from the old days of huge wheels. These modern day monsters are handled by a joy stick no bigger than the controls of my great grandsons latest remote contol robot?!. David
4th May 2006, 11:56
David I hope you wer,nt having a pint at the time, That would have been a sacrilege