|MS Pinar del Rio still a static cruiser|
It seems in South Florida that if you need News of the famous ferry Bahamas Express operated by Balearia Lines of Catalan Spain do not go to that Company's website. The South Florida papers announced today that there will be at least another week's delay due to "government paperwork" according to the Company spokesperson. Now as NAUTICAL LOG has said before the only "government paperwork" involved, since the United States is the Port State, is the USCG Passenger Certificate. So what has most likely happened, it is waterfront gossip, is that the MS Pinar del Rio could not qualify with the USCG as to crew STCW training which principally covers the practical firefighting and emergency evacuation equipment and its correct operation by the crewmembers during USCG supervised drills.
It as happened quite a few times in the past that vessels arrive here from Europe and find that the United States Coast Guard does not let them get away with situations they got away with in Europe. In fact, thankfully, the USCG casts a stringent eye on these vessels because of so much experience in finding sloppy procedures and poor or even total lack of training. A wise Vessel Operator would first of all contact the USCG and arrange with them for a team to go overseas to examine the vessel and make sure they were up to speed in STCW and the requirements of the USCG Passenger Certificate. The management of this operation seems inexperienced and slack, the result is they now have the embarrassment of not being allowed to operate from a United States Port namely Port Everglades, FL.
Well there it is they would not listen to guidance from experienced local seafarers and that stubborn Catalan Spanish nature therefore has to learn the hard way.
Now that Christmas is coming you might be persuaded to remember the over 300 seafarers held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia. They will NOT be going home this month like the United States Armed Forces are from Iraq whom NAUTICAL LOG welcomes and wishes well.