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Overboard The Stories Cruise Lines Don't Want Told

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  #1  
Old 17th January 2007, 23:34
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Overboard The Stories Cruise Lines Don't Want Told

Have just read this book & found it to say the least quite alarming.In the preface the author states "You can read about the good times in any travel supplement.For now,here are the stories that cruise lines don't want told".Author Gwyn Topham,publisher Random House Australia,www.randomhouse.com.au A must read. Kiwi
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  #2  
Old 18th January 2007, 14:21
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Hi Kiwi
I have been reading on today's Guardian (not my normal paper I might add, it came with the stores) about passengers disappearing while on cruises.

Regards
Karl
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  #3  
Old 18th January 2007, 16:03
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Passenger safety

The author is a Guardian journalist and seems to belong to "lets try to knock anything that is successful" school. Over 15 million people embarked on a cruise last year. Of course there will be some incidents with that number of people, but a cruise is far safer than any shore based holiday.

Fred
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  #4  
Old 18th January 2007, 17:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
Hi Kiwi
I have been reading on today's Guardian (not my normal paper I might add, it came with the stores) about passengers disappearing while on cruises.

Regards
Karl
Wot ? other than in the Bermuda triangle ? Or a CIA conspiracy ?
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  #5  
Old 23rd February 2007, 17:14
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Originally Posted by fred henderson View Post
but a cruise is far safer than any shore based holiday.

Fred
Sorry Fred, having spent 45 years at sea I do not accept your inaccurate claim. This is a typical cruise line spokesperson inaccuracy. When the Norwegian Dream ? was nearly cut in two in the southern North Sea, the spokesperson alleged "there was no danger to passengers." Intending cruise line passenmgers should be fully aware of the hazards of the sea.
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  #6  
Old 23rd February 2007, 18:41
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I agree they should be told of pending danger but the stats that Fred quote is what matters.
John.
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  #7  
Old 23rd February 2007, 22:08
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Thumbs up Cruise Ship Safety

We are all dependent upon the information supplied by the media and we all know it is provided by journalists who are only interested in having their story published. Nevertheless the same Guardian newspaper reports that about 500 tourists a year are killed in Australia. The usual causes are involved - road accidents, getting lost in the outback, natural Australian nasties such as sharks, crocks, snakes and spiders, plus the odd murder. Australia attracts 5 million tourists a year. That produces a mortality rate of 0.01%.
The American cruise industry reports that in the past three years 24 people were killed or went missing on cruises. During the same time 31 million people went on a cruise with the associations members. That produces a mortality rate of 0.0001%.
The safest holiday in the world is a cruise.

Fred
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  #8  
Old 24th February 2007, 10:07
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I stumbled across this site by accident, it makes interesting reading.

http://www.lipcon.com/area_assault_facts.shtml

Gerry
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  #9  
Old 24th February 2007, 11:43
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Freds statistics are what statistics are, mathematical estimates.
In order for the statistic on Australia to be compared to the passenger ship statistic we need to look at the length of period they spend in the respective environment. A tourist that spends three months in Oz is not statistically the same as the tourist who spends ten days in a cruise ship.
In order to get a better analysis we would need to look at tourist days, not tourist numbers.
A lot of the holidays in Oz are high risk and are publicised as such where the cruise ship has a different profile.
I think it is just numbers.
I am more to the direction Binnacle puts forward and having been on a lot of passenger ships I think they are far more dangerous than the punters are being told.

best regards
jimmys
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  #10  
Old 24th February 2007, 15:56
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Statistics

Come on Jimmys. It is one hundred times more dangerous to go to Australia than to go on a cruise. Your highly unlikely proposition that the average length of visit to Australia is three months makes Australia 6 times more dangerous per day. As you say these are merely statistics, but some sections of the media seem determined to knock cruising, probably because it is successful.
Life is dangerous, despite the health and safety mafia. I have no problems with the risks involved in visiting Australia or taking a cruise.

Fred
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  #11  
Old 24th February 2007, 16:20
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Well... according to a post in another thread on SN a US Citizen is 6 times more likely to suffer a violent death in Washington DC than in Baghdad.
We do however invite folks to visit Washington DC and discourage them from visiting Baghdad.
IMO the press has found something to make headlines with for folks that like to worry about nothing....
Statistics are tricky at best .... and gory head lines sell copy
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  #12  
Old 24th February 2007, 16:55
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Hi Fred

After I left Arab interests I took three ships from Clyde Marine Recruitment
all as Chief Engineer,they were Martindyke,Christian and Amerikanis, the first was a bulker the second a tanker and the third I suggest you look up.
I did not at any time say the average length of visit to Oz was three months all it said is you must compare like with like in statistics.
That third ship is why I doubt your statistics, along with long periods of inspections of passenger vessels in the MCA which do not add up to what you are saying about the cruise ship industry.
I never sailed on another passenger ship, one was enough.

best regards
jimmys
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  #13  
Old 24th February 2007, 19:18
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Amerikanis

Hello Jimmys

You did not say that your experience was based on the old Chandris, out of work, emigrant ships. Floating hell-holes for the crews and very little better for the passengers. There may be still a few ships like these around that stay well away from areas where maritime inspectors are not easy to bribe.
During the past twenty years the authorities in the US have made huge strides in banning ships like Amerikanis and most of the world has reacted against the arrival of these displaced deathtraps.
My comments on passenger ship safety are confined to any ship operating out of USA, Northern Europe, Western Mediterranean and Australia.

Fred
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  #14  
Old 24th February 2007, 20:07
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I did not say my experience was based on the old Chandris emigrant ships. I said I had sailed on the old Chandris emigrant ship. I joined her in America the USA . How many passenger ships have you sailed on ??? How many ships have you sailed on ??? I think you know nothing about passenger ships or passenger ship safety I think you only know what you read in a book.
You know as much about passenger ships as you know about statistics and that is nothing.
I have inspected in excess of 200 passenger ships and sailed at least 16 voyages on them. I cant remember how many I have surveyed.
I have issued at least 50 passenger certificates on my signature for major units.
I only retired a few years ago passenger ships were my job.

best regards
jimmys
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  #15  
Old 24th February 2007, 20:29
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Norwegian Dream, Sun Vista, Ecstasy, Prinsesse Ragnald, Dashun, Monarch of the Seas, Romantica, Hanseatic, Royal Viking Sun, Albatross, Saga Fjord, Achile Lauro. These are all the names of passenger ships which were involved in accidents at sea during the last six years. In some cases the ship concerned sank and in others we can see it was to some extent a matter of luck - good weather - calm seas and other ship in the vicinity. Shipping is perhaps the most international of all the world's great industries - and one of the world's most dangerous.
The above is a quotation from an International Maritime Organization paper.
This body of highly qualified members are solely concerned about maritime matters. This is the real world of shipping..
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  #16  
Old 24th February 2007, 23:54
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Passenger ship safety

Jimmys

I have no desire to start a war with you. My direct involvent in the world of passenger ships ended with Vistafjord, when Britain stopped building liners. I have however continued to be associated with the industry.
The modern cruise industry is a US creation. As a result the US regulations have been way ahead of the rest of the world. This resulted in the sub-standard ships (usually ex-liners or ex-ferries) moving to Europe. I am sure that you have inspected them and seen their deficiencies. As a result the safety of UK based passenger ships has greatly increased.
The point of this thread is that a Guardian writer is trying to rubbish the safety of modern cruise ships. My response is that it is true that people can fall overboard but they are in far greater danger anywhere else in the world.

Regards

Fred
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  #17  
Old 25th February 2007, 08:41
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I know exactly what was created. I was there. The sixteen voyages were on modern ships as a qualified safety auditor looking at the safety systems on the ships. I think they all still sail in Euro /Caribbean waters. I am not going to look. When I sailed on the Amerikanis I only had Class one combined and a first class honours degree. Now retired I am properly qualified.
All shipping safety is based on SOLAS and it was not an American only idea.
They follow SOLAS like everyone else.
As well as inspecting the ships and building them I was examiner of engineers at Glasgow with a direct conduit via the candidates to these ships. They told me exacly what was going on. Any class one candidate will tell you what the examiner asks and why.
The problems are still there, not much has changed, problems are covered up by money.
Read what Binnacle says above about the accidents, and to quote death calculations to support the fact something is safe is nonsense. Its only politicians that do that. If I may suggest in the future as an moderator you do not rubbish members experience when you have none yourself.
Statistics are a science and as Professor Roy Meadows found out in the Childrens cot deaths enquiries not a matter of arithmetic.

best regards
jimmys
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  #18  
Old 25th February 2007, 12:10
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Calm down boys, the discussion should not be about size. There are two issues in this thread I would like to raise. One is the statistic of 500 tourists a year killed in Australia. This seems a bit far fetched to me. Unless a reliable source is quoted I would dismiss it as a distractor to the more general proposition about death, injuries and safety of passengers at sea.The other is when is a death, injury or accident attributed to a vessel? My son recently returned from a cruise where two passengers were injured (broken bones) in a water based activity occuring in a port precinct of a foreign country but supervised by the cruise ship crew. Is this a statistic that would be reported by shipping companies and attributable to that ship? As a retired Chief Inspector of OHS I would be interested in the reporting regime of tourist injuries associated with passenger ships. My experience tells me that commercial enterprises of any sort will attempt to under report these things where possible. jeffM
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  #19  
Old 25th February 2007, 13:06
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All human endeavours have risks. The hospitality industry as a whole is known to "under report" problems, be that bus lines, rail roads, hotels, air lines or what have you. Hotels and resort towns hardly trumpet burglaries, robberies, rapes, fires, accidents and bad weather out into the public if they can help it.
But these things happen. There is no big awareness campaign concerning the danger of hotels....

I won't book a cruise because I don't like the enviroment, not because of a safety concern. I'd rather go putt putt on an old fishing boat for a day or a few. Which I am sure is statistically highly unsafe...
Reading things like a 2nd mate pulling hard over at full speed and almost tipping the ship over doesn't help it...
But then I was never a good "target" customer for mass touristic enterprises, since I tend to visit countries and people, not "destinations" and hang out in small towns and small local hotels.
That all being said it is clear of course that the traveling (and paying) public has a right to as much comfort and safety as can be had for the money.
I am far from being an expert on any part of the (mass) hospitality industry, ships included. But I think that some of the reporting on cruise ship safety is a bit sensational.
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  #20  
Old 25th February 2007, 14:13
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Thumbs up Cruise Ship Safety

Binnacle

The International Maritime Organization is concerned with all aspects of maritime affairs. As you know the sentence “Shipping is perhaps the most international of all the world's great industries - and one of the world's most dangerous” appears on their website. It is a general statement and is not in any way addressed specifically toward passenger shipping.
There are a very large number of papers on the site and I was unable to find the one you refer to in your post. Many of the papers are quite old, indicating perhaps that things are not really as bad as they claim. The list of ships that you quote from must have been made about 1999 and in no way reflects events that took place during the past six years.
This is my knowledge about the ships in your list:-

Norwegian Dream: August 1999, was involved in a collision with a container ship near Dover. Mistakes by an officer on the Norwegian Dream were determined to be the primary factor in the accident. No casualties.

Sun Vista: Built 1963 for Italy – Australia service, bought by Chandris in 1983, sold to Malaysian operator in 1997. Caught fire and sank off the Malaysian coast in 1999 when she was 36 years old. No casualties.

Ecstacy: 20 July 1998. Fire started by welder working in laundry. Spread by burning lint passing through air conditioning to mooring rope store. Localised damage, no casualties.

Prinsesse Ragnald: A ferry, not a cruise ship.

Dashun: I have no knowledge of this ship. What was she?

Monarch of the Seas: 1998. Grounded on a reef off St Maarten after an unscheduled call to land a critically ill passenger. Passengers evacuated without incident. Ship repaired and returned to service.

Romantica: Another Chandris old-timer. She was built in 1939 and dropped out of the registers 1998 when she was 60 years old! I cannot remember what happened to her.

Hanseatic: Which Hanseatic? Could be the 1969 ship that became Maxim Gorky and has been in trouble in the Arctic (without casualties) or the small 1991 built HAPAG – Lloyd ship that is still going strong

Royal Viking Sun: Still in service as Prinsendam. I do not know of any career problems.

Albatross: There are many ships with this name. Could it be the ferry Sally Albatros that was severely damaged by fire during a refit in 1990?

Saga Fjord: Could this be Sagafjord? An ex – Norwegian America, ex Cunard ship, still going strong as Saga Rose. I do not know of any career problems.

Achile Lauro: Ex Willem Ruys of 1947. After an eventful career, was 100 miles off Somalia in November 1994, when she suffered a piston explosion that started an uncontrollable fire. Passengers and crew abandoned ship, during which two passengers died. One from a fall into a lifeboat and one from a heart attack. She was taken in tow, but sank after a further on-board explosion. She was 47 years old.

From the ships that you list, I have been able to confirm two deaths caused by a safety problem, 13 years ago. I repeat my statement that cruises are an extremely safe holiday.

Fred
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  #21  
Old 25th February 2007, 14:29
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Except for the new issue-Norwalk.

To be surrounded by vomiting tourists, I think not.
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  #22  
Old 25th February 2007, 16:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
Hi Kiwi
I have been reading on today's Guardian (not my normal paper I might add, it came with the stores) about passengers disappearing while on cruises.

Regards
Karl
Hi Hawkeye!

I remember the old Cunarder "Franconia" turning around, on the Atlantic, and steaming back up the wake (as it were) to seek a missing person.

After quite a while the said person turned up in somebody's else's bed.

I think DNR Maclean, the Captain, might have been a bit concerned about this but fellow Officers told me it wasn't unusual.

Apparently it got really interesting if it came up just before docking somewhere so that you may never know if the person had gone ashore or disappeared.
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  #23  
Old 25th February 2007, 16:18
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Cruise Ship Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffM View Post
There are two issues in this thread I would like to raise. One is the statistic of 500 tourists a year killed in Australia. This seems a bit far fetched to me. Unless a reliable source is quoted I would dismiss it as a distractor to the more general proposition about death, injuries and safety of passengers at sea. jeffM
Jeff

I made the point that the Australian death statistics were from the same doubtful source as the cruise ship dangers report.

The US Cruise industry body is subject to intense scrutiny from Congress, largely because the ships are not built in USA and they do not employ US crews. Any inaccurate statistic would be pounced on by Congress. I am therefore, reasonably confident in 24 deaths or disappearances for 31 million passengers.

The Southern Australia Department for Transport website states that on average 40 out of 4.4 million overseas visitors to Australia each year are killed in motor accidents.

In other words one, out of many causes of death to visitors, clocks up nine times more deaths than ALL deaths or disappearances from cruise ships.

Fred
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  #24  
Old 25th February 2007, 18:29
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[QUOTE=fred henderson;111124]Binnacle

From the ships that you list, I have been able to confirm two deaths caused by a safety problem, 13 years ago. I repeat my statement that cruises are an extremely safe holiday.

Fred
try www.imo.org/
Look through speeches, one dated 15th. May 2000 is Conference on Safety of Large Passenger Ships, speech given by Mr W. O'Neil, Secretary General IMO. You would be well advised to read this through, including some of the concerns expressed recently regarding evacuation of passengers and crew.
Do not adopt a false belief that a 7 year old document is outdated by modern advances in ship design. It is no consolation to over a thousand plus survivors of a sinking to know that the wreck 500 fathoms below them was a new ship. Accidents will always happens, seas are reported to be getting higher, storms more frequent. I note however you have modified your claim "the safest holiday in the world is a cruise" and " a cruise is far safer than any shore based holiday" to " cruises are an extremely safe holiday" I presumed that you had some pecuniary interest in the cruise industry to make such a ridiculous allegation, particularly in your status as a Super Moderator, one would expect a higher level of knowledge.
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  #25  
Old 25th February 2007, 19:48
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Cruise Ship Safety

Binnacle

Thank you for the link. I eventually found the May 2000 IMO speech. I notice that your earlier post is a cut and paste from the speech, which is why your dates are incorrect. I still stand by the statement that only two people seem to have died from cruise ship safety accidents during the 1990s. The record since then is pretty much the same.
You do not mention the considerable amount of work that IMO has done since 2000 and the extensive new regulations that are being introduced up to 2010. The basic IMO position is: -
“The MSC has agreed that future large passenger ships should be designed for improved survivability based on the time-honoured principle that "a ship is its own best lifeboat".
This approach envisages that passengers and crew should normally be able to evacuate to a safe haven on board and stay there. In addition, this envisages that a ship should always be able to proceed to port at a minimum safe speed.”
The crazy thing is that this thread is not about ship safety, it concerns a Guardian author’s allegations of violence and criminal activities on cruise ships. I have merely stated the obvious, that holidaymakers have a far higher risk of suffering from violent behavior shore-side. You are of course far safer in a cruise ship than in a car, bus or train. I have not used the same words in each post because I do not usually cut and paste other people’s words. For this I have been outrageously vilified and even accused of reading a book! Now you accuse me of having a pecuniary interest because I set out facts you do not want to hear. What is wrong with you guys? Why do you want to bad mouth a successful maritime industry? Are you in the pay of package tour operators?
We are all equal here and entitled to voice our opinions, whether they are based on facts, emotion or blind prejudice. The only requirement is that views should be expressed in a polite and constructive manner. It is regrettable that you and more particularly jimmys, are falling well short of the normal standards of this site.

Fred
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