Yesterday one of our household staff had been listening to NPR on the way to work and came to me with a story about a Cruise ship ignoring fishermen who later turned up dead. As NAUTICAL LOG was not aware that there had been two incidents in the last couple of months we did not pay very much attention. Then this morning in OLD SALT BLOG there was a Post which explained the two incidents as reported by NPR.
NAUTICAL LOG does not listen to NPR and for those of you who do not know what NPR is we should perhaps explain. It stands for National Public Radio (NPR) and from that title one could reasonably think it reflects the viewpoint of all Americans - it does not - over the years it has drifted further and further to the socialist left thinking. It supports the current "class warfare" attitude of the left and far left thinkers with complete disregard for the Constitution on which this country was founded. They prefer a Europe West nation rather than the United States of America of course under our Bill of Rights of our U.S. Constitution they are entitled to express this viewpoint - which is quite remarkable because in the socialist world they want this would be the first Right removed!!
Recently they discharged several reporters which in turn led to a NPR internal upheaval and the departure of some principal NPR executives. This was really a cosmetic effort to avoid losing various funding, the reports coming from NPR usually have an "axe to grind" and take a preconceived viewpoint, thus one could well conclude they are biased.
Since there is an internal investigation by the Cruise Line in the matter of the fishermen which occurred off Panama NAUTICAL LOG will not mention the names of those involved, for that read NPR. Suffice it to say that passengers on deck equipped with "powerful binoculars and spotting telescopes" were seabird watching. During this they spotted a small fishing boat with one of the crew waving an object. From this they concluded that the fishermen were in distress and decided quite reasonably to report this to the ship staff. They say they could only find a member of the "sale's staff" on that deck and told that person.
One wonders why they did not go to the Pursers Office and have them contact the Bridge on what they believed was occurring. The result was that the ship did not turn to investigate and carried on its course and speed. Still not going to the Pursers Office one of these passengers attempted to contact, without success, the United States Coast Guard. Remember they are off Panama so of course the passenger was likely to be more successful in contacting the Panama Maritime Authorities.
As it turns out the fishing boat drifted from Panama to the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador with three young men and sadly only one survived to be eventually rescued by the Ecuador Maritime Authorities.
Now the point of all this is that Cruise Lines must finally realise that every passenger on board is today a nautical expert. They know far more than the professional seafarers on the Bridge and have the support as such of NPR et all to show how unqualified persons in authority are - right!! These same passengers are equipped with cellphones which do every conceivable thing possible far beyond the wildest dreams of Dick Tracy - you do know who he was? No, Google® it!!
Therefore there must be a standard protocol aboard Cruise ships that in the case of all reports made to crewmembers from passengers, the passengers must be directed to the Pursers Office. In turn the Pursers Office must take those verbal reports on a simple standard form for a written record signed by the passenger. The Pursers Office of course informs the Bridge immediately which can be done while that form is being filled out. The Bridge Watch will make the required operational decisions.
Later, when NPR et al put out the very possibly biased report, there will be a signed written record from the passenger to the ship at the time of the incident, not weeks later when they get home and embellish the story as we humans tend to do, particularly when told over a nice lunch treated by a Media reporter.
In conclusion NAUTICAL LOG would like to point out that comments published in Google® are some of the the most ridiculous we have seen about these incidents. It seems that the level of knowledge by those who write is decreasing rapidly. However what is most disturbing is the absolute lying of a quote attributed to a maritime lawyer based in Miami about the legal responsibility under SOLAS Regulation 33 of the Master of the vessel involved or indeed any vessel. This is extremely disturbing as that lawyer may well be representing a seafarer in need of sound and truthful legal advice.
There continue to be several hundred of our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia. As such they are subject to mutilation or death each day of each month of each year. Some are now in their third year of captivity.