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Old 02-16-2016, 10:38 AM   #21
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All those things may be contributing factors, but still not the cause of the accident.

Probably why they are conducting an investigation vesus just doing a poll on TF.
Absolutely

And if they in fact did cause the accident, there may be something on the VDR that indicates that. They, at this point, feel it's worth more effort to locate the VDR. The NTSB is in the best position to know. They do not do smoke screen's.

This incident is probably not simple in that there are likely multiple contributing factors.

I trust NTSB to do the best job possible in examining this accident without undue influence by others such as TOTE. They are quite experienced in cutting through everything and getting to the facts or where clear facts are not all available reaching well founded conclusions.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:57 PM   #22
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The condition of the vessel at the time of the sinking will certainly be a primary factor in the sinking. Having six Polish fitters on board making structural/piping repairs while underway is indicative of a cause of the sinking (possible compromised ballast/bilge piping, a structural member temporarily removed eg) and also provides a clue as to owners modus operandi (no delay for repair/must stay on schedule).

I am of the opinion (probably a minority opinion on this site) that a well found, properly maintained ship of this size and horsepower had little to fear from the storm as forecast or even as encountered. The only reason to divert should have been comfort of the crew and/or care of the cargo. The reason I say this is that ships are designed for the real world and cannot always divert from unexpected storms so the design has huge safety factors built in.

I have sailed on ships in storms with 90' (measured) waves crashing over the bow. The ship had no issue. Although more than half the crew was puking. Gotta stay on schedule.

I think we are looking at condition of the ship and dangerously inept management practices as the true causes of the sinking.

But the Captain will be crucified posthumously as the cause.
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:40 AM   #23
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The condition of the vessel at the time of the sinking will certainly be a primary factor in the sinking. Having six Polish fitters on board making structural/piping repairs while underway is indicative of a cause of the sinking (possible compromised ballast/bilge piping, a structural member temporarily removed eg) and also provides a clue as to owners modus operandi (no delay for repair/must stay on schedule).

I am of the opinion (probably a minority opinion on this site) that a well found, properly maintained ship of this size and horsepower had little to fear from the storm as forecast or even as encountered. The only reason to divert should have been comfort of the crew and/or care of the cargo. The reason I say this is that ships are designed for the real world and cannot always divert from unexpected storms so the design has huge safety factors built in.

I have sailed on ships in storms with 90' (measured) waves crashing over the bow. The ship had no issue. Although more than half the crew was puking. Gotta stay on schedule.

I think we are looking at condition of the ship and dangerously inept management practices as the true causes of the sinking.

But the Captain will be crucified posthumously as the cause.
Maybe the minority...but not alone...
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:05 AM   #24
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The condition of the vessel at the time of the sinking will certainly be a primary factor in the sinking.
And now, after the fact, we learn from the hearings El Faro was about to be placed on a watch list for more frequent and thorough inspections.

Also, and this is speculation on my part, reading between the lines of the hearing; CG seems to be raising one eyebrow at the lack of ship to shore emails during the event. Perhaps the motivation for a second VDR recovery mission?
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Old 02-26-2016, 02:11 PM   #25
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And now, after the fact, we learn from the hearings El Faro was about to be placed on a watch list for more frequent and thorough inspections.

Also, and this is speculation on my part, reading between the lines of the hearing; CG seems to be raising one eyebrow at the lack of ship to shore emails during the event. Perhaps the motivation for a second VDR recovery mission?
The CG made it clear that they'd looked at previous TOTE communications with boats headed into hurricanes and there was a huge volume of emails versus them being given very few in this case. TOTE has done nothing through this to help their credibility. When they state they weren't following the storm or the vessel, it sounds like either dishonesty or incompetence. Notice that since the sinking they've acquired a storm tracking system, had none before.

It's one more instance of a company trying to place all the blame on persons lower in their hierarchy. In this case, they've attempted to say they are blameless and it all falls to the Captain. Well, no one involved can be blameless. They all shared some part of the culpability. This is like Jimmy Haslem disavowing any knowledge of what was going on in Pilot J. He wants us to believe as CEO he really knew of nothing going on around him, even though every other executive did.

I think TOTE may underestimate the investigative skills of the NTSB and USCG. Either than or I overestimate those skills.
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Old 02-26-2016, 02:28 PM   #26
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(among other things said)TOTE has done nothing through this to help their credibility. I think TOTE may underestimate the investigative skills of the NTSB and USCG. Either than or I overestimate those skills.
You say what I was hesitant to and I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion. There was some telling, powerful and emotional testimony. I really do hope they find an intact VDR.
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Old 02-26-2016, 05:52 PM   #27
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El Faro inquiry hears crew emergency call to shore | IHS Fairplay
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:03 PM   #28
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The calls to the emergency center were a nightmare too. Captain said the clock was ticking as the person answering was more concerned with the names and spelling. Obviously, in spite of the earlier contact, TOTE did not have their people alerted at all to the situation.
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Old 04-26-2016, 04:54 PM   #29
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The VDR has been found. Getting it to the surface and reading the data is another story, but it's amazing that it was found.

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Old 04-26-2016, 05:11 PM   #30
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Finding something about the size of a basketball three miles under the surface...It will be interesting.
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:25 PM   #31
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The VDR has been found.
I think that is great news on so many levels.

Thanks Larry.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:46 AM   #32
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Does anyone know if a VDR has it's own power?
I think the most critical information on El Faro will come from the audios; ship to shore and wheelhouse conversations. If the ship was completely without power during the final minutes, would that audio be lost?


psneeld?
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:07 AM   #33
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Man I sure hope they can get the data out of that thing. Kudos on the find!!
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:28 AM   #34
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Man I sure hope they can get the data out of that thing. Kudos on the find!!
Completely with you on that. The degree of expertise to find that, where it lies, is amazing.

The information they might gain, even if never resolving much, will be so helpful in the education process.

I get POed at people who call this kind of exercise a waste of money.
F35s and jazz playing robots are a waste of money.
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:19 PM   #35
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Not necessarily illiminating, but more info:

U.S. captain of doomed El Faro aimed to avoid storm: testimony | Reuters
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:19 PM   #36
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That would be "illuminating"
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:06 PM   #37
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Does anyone know if a VDR has it's own power?
I think the most critical information on El Faro will come from the audios; ship to shore and wheelhouse conversations. If the ship was completely without power during the final minutes, would that audio be lost?


psneeld?
They would more than likely still have emergency gen. power but no main propulsion.
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:52 PM   #38
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The VDR is part of the battery powered wheelhouse emergency circuit. Usually one VHF, One Radar, one SSB, one sat phone, the VDR and one or two GPS.

In this case it likely had power until the house was ripped off the deck. I don't recall how long the back up batteries are required to last. IIRC it's 1 hour for vessels equipped with emergency gens. And 6 hours without.
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:41 PM   #39
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Completely with you on that. The degree of expertise to find that, where it lies, is amazing.

The information they might gain, even if never resolving much, will be so helpful in the education process.

I get POed at people who call this kind of exercise a waste of money.
F35s and jazz playing robots are a waste of money.
I am perplexed as to what the proponents of this boondoggle believe will be discovered in the black box that will advance the cause of safety in the fleet. Think about what's on those tapes and then make a case that overall fleet safety will be degraded without that information. Be specific. Keep in mind that this was an antiquated, virtually one (maybe two) of a kind, known pile of junk. Now, there are known oversight and decision making errors from top to bottom...but the black box isn't needed to fix them.

This is about assigning blame and second guessing...not advancing safety.


Finding the exact cause of these two accident would do more for the boating public: WATCH | 4 rescued from Lake Erie in separate incidents | WKYC.com
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:25 PM   #40
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I am perplexed as to what the proponents of this boondoggle believe will be discovered in the black box that will advance the cause of safety in the fleet. Think about what's on those tapes and then make a case that overall fleet safety will be degraded without that information. Be specific. Keep in mind that this was an antiquated, virtually one (maybe two) of a kind, known pile of junk. Now, there are known oversight and decision making errors from top to bottom...but the black box isn't needed to fix them.

This is about assigning blame and second guessing...not advancing safety.
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