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Old 10-07-2015, 05:27 PM   #41
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One thing I don't know if has been mentioned or not. This ship was scheduled to be retired, then refit, then sent to the PNW.
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Old 10-07-2015, 05:57 PM   #42
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Still baffled by there being zero survivors... Usually someone gets lucky.
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:37 PM   #43
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Lucky in a cat 3 hurricane? With no enclosed lifeboats? Sadly not likely.
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:49 PM   #44
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Here's a quote I hadn't read before. It's speculation but by someone who prior to retirement made that run, so should know how the company works. I don't dismiss the possibility however that he has an ax to grind with them. This is from AP.
"F. John Nicoll, a retired captain who spent years piloting the run to Puerto Rico, said he doubts the age of the El Faro was a factor, noting that there are many older ships plying U.S. waters without incident.

He predicted the NTSB will look into whether company pressure to deliver the cargo on time despite the menacing weather played a role in the tragedy something Tote executives have denied.

"Time and money are an important thing" in the shipping industry, Nicoll said. He said there should be emails and other messages between the captain and the company to help answer the question."
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:53 PM   #45
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And, from CNN

One crew member wrote her mother an email saying the crew was heading directly into Hurricane Joaquin. "Winds are super bad," she said. "Love to everyone."
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:30 PM   #46
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"Winds are super bad," she said. "Love to everyone."
My head keeps going to places I don't like, when thinking about those poor souls and what they may have gone through. Perhaps for hours.

If power was lost due to boiler failure for whatever reason, propulsion may not have been the only shutdown. Steam driven turbines for electrical power, pumps, steerage, lighting, ship to shore and onboard communication.

33 people in various places, feeling their way around in the dark, sensing cargo movement above, knowing, wondering...
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:11 PM   #47
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And, from CNN

One crew member wrote her mother an email saying the crew was heading directly into Hurricane Joaquin. "Winds are super bad," she said. "Love to everyone."
That email can be interpreted in several ways. My guess is she did not mean they were literally heading directly in to a hurricane. But heading into the area where the storm might be.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:39 PM   #48
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That email can be interpreted in several ways. My guess is she did not mean they were literally heading directly in to a hurricane. But heading into the area where the storm might be.
Well, we don't know the rest of the email. The writer says she said they were headed directly into Joaquin, but we don't know what she actually said or meant.

The investigations are generally very thorough and informative. They take a long time but this one will be interesting reading when available. We know now that it was very tragic. However, we don't know if it was a situation where everything just transpired against the boat in spite of good planning and preparation or if it was one of those where people made horrible decisions for unacceptable reasons that put lives in danger.

Like Hawgwash, I think of what those 33 went through, I think of what those in South Carolina went through this week and it takes the life out of me a bit.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:54 PM   #49
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If it was a yacht, there would be many more. A 280' yacht for charter has a crew of 29.

Perhaps it's recreational thinking, but I think of 33 for a ship that size and type, if anything, to be a small crew. Just thinking of all the cargo being carried that they must keep an eye on. Everything being done 24/7 so that means at any time you only have 11 crew working. A lot of ship and a lot of area for 11 people to handle.

Edit...with only 29 crew then only 10 on duty at a time.
I'm on a 730' freighter. We have a total of 13 regular crew. Four of them are the deck crew, who are generally day workers, or only working while we're in port conducting cargo operations. When we're underway, there are only two people on watch. Just a mate or captain in the pilothouse, and an engineer below. Many ships will also have a deck watch AB, but mine does not. Increasing levels of automation are reducing crew sizes all the time. There are many vessels out there with unmanned engine rooms. Our ballast system was recently automated, and is now my job to manage, instead of the pumpman, who has been made redundant. A big part of the reason that many older Lakers are being turned into tug/barge units, is due to the fact that since this is technically just a tugboat, we're only required to carry the crew needed to man the tug. Companies are always looking to cut crew where they can.

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There is talk on CNN of "black-box" voyage recorder(s). Is this the norm for ships like this, especially old repurposed ones?

I see no reports of EPIRB signals. Am I wrong to expect at least one of these to self-deploy when the ship went down?
The hydrostatic release could have failed. I'm not sure how likely that is, but its possible. The Epirb could have been released, then snagged on something and taken down with the ship. This seems especially likely if she capsized suddenly. Someone could have taken the Epirb off station on their way to a lifeboat, and were then themselves taken down with the ship. Lots of things could have happened.

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Yes I believe all ships must have VDR's.
No VDR here.
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:31 AM   #50
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As far as the email goes, to me, something seems off. That email was sent on Thursday, yet Thursday morning it was reported the ship lost power. Yes, she could have been on the 00-04 watch and sent that email right after, and that could give us a better time line of the events that happened. One would think if the ship had already lost power or the Marine Incident had already happened, she would have wrote about it.

As far as the ship falling under the USCG control, it's because it's a US flagged ship, not because it's a Jones Act vessel. You can be a non-Jones Act, US flagged ship.

I believe they do have a VDR. I hope the do and it's found, it would really help us put things together.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:13 AM   #51
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...I believe they do have a VDR. I hope the do and it's found, it would really help us put things together.
Data recorder
An important part of the salvage operation will be the recovery of the voyage data recorder, according to Bella Dinh-Zarr, vice chairwoman with the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency leading the investigation.
The recorder, which captures on board audio from the bridge as well as the ship's course and speed, would've begun pinging once it was submerged in water. It has a battery life of 30 days, Dinh-Zarr said.
Remotely operated underwater vehicles will be able to retrieve the recorder once it's located, she said
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:52 AM   #52
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Data recorder
Remotely operated underwater vehicles will be able to retrieve the recorder once it's located, she said
She makes it sound easy but how do you locate and recover a small item, 3 miles down, on a 790 foot ship with "391 shipping containers and about 294 trailers of cars."?

Another question, are there no US boiler makers on the east coast?
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:53 PM   #53
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She makes it sound easy but how do you locate and recover a small item, 3 miles down, on a 790 foot ship with "391 shipping containers and about 294 trailers...
Oh but she's got a PhD in public health, I'm sure that makes her an expert on deep sea recovery. (I'm frequently dumbfounded by high level fed gov't appointments, or even worse, officials holding forth at a podium to the media when they're actually clueless.)
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:16 PM   #54
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She makes it sound easy but how do you locate and recover a small item, 3 miles down, on a 790 foot ship with "391 shipping containers and about 294 trailers of cars."?
The US Navy found the missing Russian Golf class submarine in 18000 ft back in 1972. It can be done with unmanned submersibles.
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:29 PM   #55
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The US Navy found the missing Russian Golf class submarine in 18000 ft back in 1972. It can be done with unmanned submersibles.
Yep.
Depending upon the position of the vessel on the bottom, debris/cargo, etc., the problem may not be "locating" the VDR, but rather gaining access to it.
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:03 PM   #56
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Where would a VDR typically be located on a ship?
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:12 PM   #57
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Where would a VDR typically be located on a ship?
Some place like this.
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:13 PM   #58
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The US Navy found the missing Russian Golf class submarine in 18000 ft back in 1972. It can be done with unmanned submersibles.
It's not finding the ship that is the issue. It's finding the VDR.
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:25 PM   #59
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It's not finding the ship that is the issue. It's finding the VDR.
Agreed, or maybe just gaining access to it when they do.

Here's a Wikipedia link to the VDR if that helps:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyage_data_recorder
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:43 PM   #60
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Some place like this.
Thanks!
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