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Old 05-18-2016, 05:46 PM   #41
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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....this was an antiquated, virtually one (maybe two) of a kind, known pile of junk.

This is about assigning blame and second guessing...not advancing safety.
That is exactly the need. It was the crews choice to go to sea in this sled. That's a poor choice to go to work.


But it was managements decision ( choice, maintenance schedule, discretion, option ) to not make an intelligent informed decision to turn it into razor blades years ago.

Also, Looking into the inspection, certification system that allowed, authorized and approved such certifications should be called into question.

But first the 'blame game' has to play out which would be handy to hear the activity on the bridge to eliminate the crew as an issue.

This is quite similar to the Bounty incident.

Two people died as a result of an u licensed, unregulated industry. Ntsb hearings were held and nothing has changed in that industry as a result.

Time will tell if this incident makes for more rigorous hull inspections. (Or not).
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:07 PM   #42
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In the past, there have been significant changes in the rules for the shipping industry as a result of accident investigations. There are a lot of things in this accident to be looked at, including USCG inspection, the company's practices, the work being done on the ship at the time of the problems. I can't say whether anything will come of this, but if you don't investigate you'll never know the rest of the story.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:22 PM   #43
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anyone know the parameters recorded on The El Faro's recorder?


including length of recorded data and more than just voices?
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:20 PM   #44
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The changing of regulations is not the only useful result of accident investigations. Investigations and the resulting reports are paid great attention by the industry professionals involved. They often have instant effect within an industry even though changing the laws are years away. Industry practices change so rapidly today that laws can never keep up. But if an investigation finds fault with some particular practice or piece of equipment, that can be changed by the people involved without regulation driving one to to it.

As an example, I write a lot of Stability Booklets for small passenger vessels which are submitted to Transport Canada for approval. Currently Canadian regulations set day passengers weight at 165 pounds. After the capsize of a small US flagged passenger vessel a number of years ago the USCG raised average passenger weights to 185 pounds. I've been using that weight since the recommendation was made public, even though it's not required here in Canada.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:08 AM   #45
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That is exactly the need. It was the crews choice to go to sea in this sled. That's a poor choice to go to work.


But it was managements decision ( choice, maintenance schedule, discretion, option ) to not make an intelligent informed decision to turn it into razor blades years ago.

Also, Looking into the inspection, certification system that allowed, authorized and approved such certifications should be called into question.

But first the 'blame game' has to play out which would be handy to hear the activity on the bridge to eliminate the crew as an issue.
I never said the investigation should be terminated. I said the recovery of the black box is a hugely expensive endeavor that will have no substantive payoff in terms of safety for the fleet at large.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:42 AM   #46
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I never said the investigation should be terminated. I said the recovery of the black box is a hugely expensive endeavor that will have no substantive payoff in terms of safety for the fleet at large.
I fully understand and respect your opinion, just don't share it. I don't think we'll know the payoff until it's recovered and seen. "Safety for the fleet at large," I'm not even sure what that means. Most boats don't sink. But if it leads to saving 30 lives in the future, then I see that as valuable.

I would also say the recovery this time is a bit of a learning exercise to see capabilities so carries a value in that respect that may come into play sometime in the future.

You may be right and nothing useful found, but that doesn't mean to me that it's not worth the effort.

As to the investigation of the Bounty, I also think there were and are benefits. While the actions of the captain were assumed, I think the investigation certainly revealed the reckless disregard of life on the part of the owners and it also revealed a significant weakness in laws regarding the "transport" of a vessel used for show. Whether meaningful changes have taken place, I don't know. I know they should have from the information in the report.

And again I do know that previous NTSB investigations have led to life saving changes in the shipping industry. There are a lot of small companies like TOTE pushing the envelope and until stopped they just push further and further and lives are lost.

I'll give an analogy to explain my opinion on the investigation. Autopsies. Most uncover nothing, reveal nothing not apparent or known without it. However, to assume they won't be beneficial would be unwise. One only knows whether it was of value after it's completed. Black boxes in many cases reveal nothing not already known. However, one can't assume they'll reveal nothing of value because sometimes they do.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:09 AM   #47
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I would agree that the 'promise' of vdr data is minimal. BUT if there is anything there that can confirm that the crew did everything possible to save a rustbucket, then the problem lies elsewhere.

The issue of companies pushing the envelope is the issue. However until management is held accountable........... Nah. Probably won't happen. Who has the better lawyers? Yeah. That's the way the system works. I'm jaded.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:19 AM   #48
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I would agree that the 'promise' of vdr data is minimal. BUT if there is anything there that can confirm that the crew did everything possible to save a rustbucket, then the problem lies elsewhere.

The issue of companies pushing the envelope is the issue. However until management is held accountable........... Nah. Probably won't happen. Who has the better lawyers? Yeah. That's the way the system works. I'm jaded.
Ultimately, civil losses do little to deter non-public companies it seems. However, criminal charges can do more and if the company showed reckless disregard for the safety of their employees then criminal charges are possible. They've tried mounting their defense from day one by saying it was all up to the captain. That doesn't fly with me. It's a typical attempt at escaping corporate responsibility. They're also pressured settlements through pointing to arcane laws. Then, of course, you toss in ownership of the ships as other avoidance tasks.

I have little tolerance of an employee who falls back on "I was told (or ordered) to do it" and little tolerance of an employer who says "I didn't know" or "he had full responsibility." It goes both ways and we all have responsibility for our actions and as business owners and managers we have responsibility for the practices of our business.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:41 AM   #49
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Ultimately, civil losses do little to deter non-public companies it seems. However, criminal charges can do more and if the company showed reckless disregard for the safety of their employees then criminal charges are possible. They've tried mounting their defense from day one by saying it was all up to the captain. That doesn't fly with me. It's a typical attempt at escaping corporate responsibility. They're also pressured settlements through pointing to arcane laws. Then, of course, you toss in ownership of the ships as other avoidance tasks.

I have little tolerance of an employee who falls back on "I was told (or ordered) to do it" and little tolerance of an employer who says "I didn't know" or "he had full responsibility." It goes both ways and we all have responsibility for our actions and as business owners and managers we have responsibility for the practices of our business.
Criminal charges is probably the only thing that will get peoples attention. The loss of the deep water horizon rig has ended up with several bp officials facing 11 counts of manslaughter as well as some other charges.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:58 AM   #50
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I would agree that the 'promise' of vdr data is minimal. BUT if there is anything there that can confirm that the crew did everything possible to save a rustbucket, then the problem lies elsewhere.

The issue of companies pushing the envelope is the issue. However until management is held accountable........... Nah. Probably won't happen. Who has the better lawyers? Yeah. That's the way the system works. I'm jaded.
The event leading to the loss of the ship was loss of power. While the specifics of why it lost power is of cursory interest to arm chair analysts and movie script writers, by definition they will be unique to the one (possibly two) of a kind design. No lessons learned to apply across a fleet of ships with the same power plant...unlike commercial aircraft. By the way, the sister ship should be removed from service, if not already done.

Unquestionably plenty to be changed as a result of actions/decisions that led up to the power plant shut down.

So, the ship is in the middle of a hurricane with no power and folks want to question whether the crew was doing everything humanly possible to save the ship? Under the circumstances it defies belief that the blame for the accident would or could be placed on crew actions once the emergency began. They were between a rock and a hard place and fighting for their lives, folks. Keep in mind the company would like nothing better than to start shifting blame to crew actions during the emergency. That would be an abomination.

There's nothing of value to be gained from retrieving the black box. Let these souls rest in peace.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:30 AM   #51
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So, the ship is in the middle of a hurricane with no power and folks want to question whether the crew was doing everything humanly possible to save the ship? Under the circumstances it defies belief that the blame for the accident would or could be placed on crew actions once the emergency began. They were between a rock and a hard place and fighting for their lives, folks. Keep in mind the company would like nothing better than to start shifting blame to crew actions during the emergency. That would be an abomination.
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No, I want to question:

Why the h were they there to start with?

Why did they lose power?

Why did the ship fall apart as it did?

What was the response or lack thereof from the emergency line?

Should that ship have even been in service and, if not, why was it?
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:57 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by semi-planing;
The event leading to the loss of the ship was loss of power.
Pretty simplistic. How far back do you follow those dots?

From testimony yesterday, we learn Joaquin information given to the El Faro on the morning before sailing, could have been up to 21 hours behind because of a reporting "anomaly."

Let's just go shoot some pool and let this thing unfold.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:39 AM   #53
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No, I want to question:

Why the h were they there to start with?

The answer is not on the black box.

Why did they lose power?

Interesting, but not essential to know in order to draw the necessary safety conclusions in regard to current design regulations. Of no value for application to existing ships in operation (except possibly the sister ship, which should be turned into razor blades). Design regulations have unquestionably moved far beyond what was allowed to remain in operation on that tub. An analysis of what was cited in previous inspections, and assessment of the inherent flaws in the ancient design (versus current design regulations) would tell you what's important from a safety perspective. Again, nothing will be learned in terms of update requirements for design regulations. It failed because it was junk and possibly because they were messing around with that junk. If you want to learn that X switch failed causing Y valve not to open, what do you do with the information? I'll tell you what the company's lawyers do with it....they go after the crew for improperly handling the emergency. When the attorneys get done boilerman Jones (and the Captain, of course) will be the blamed for loss of the ship. The cost benefits analysis of this don't favor retrieving the box. Someone is charged with making that decision...same as when the Coast Guard calls off a search. But this is emotional and political, so kiss tens of millions goodbye. By the way, government safety geeks get bigger budgets, promotions, TV face time and job security from dragging these investigations out as long as possible. Job security. I experienced the process in action for many years on the aviation side. Nothing better than when politics gets dragged into the safety equation. (National Transportation SAFETY Board). If you've ever complained about government waste....you're lookin' at it.

Why did the ship fall apart as it did?

See above. Take this far enough, they'll be raising the wreckage to inspect welds. I want to know precisely why two pleasure boats were lost on Lake Erie last week. Every bloody detail. You think the authorities will raise both boats at taxpayer expense to analyze precisely what happened to the power plants and hulls?

What was the response or lack thereof from the emergency line?

That should be learned through the sworn testimony of the people on the land line...if it's not recorded. In any case, I can't imagine what bearing it would have on events unfolding aboard the ship at that point.

Should that ship have even been in service and, if not, why was it?

The fact that it's sitting on the bottom answers the first question. The black box won't answer the second.

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Old 05-19-2016, 11:48 AM   #54
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Pretty simplistic. How far back do you follow those dots?

From testimony yesterday, we learn Joaquin information given to the El Faro on the morning before sailing, could have been up to 21 hours behind because of a reporting "anomaly."

Let's just go shoot some pool and let this thing unfold.
Follow the dots preceding the power plant failure as far back as possible. Nail everyone who screwed up along the way. Fix the process related issues. Just don't waste my tax money raising a black box that will add zip to the conclusions and give the company lawyers ammunition to shift blame to the crew.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:02 PM   #55
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No, I want to question:
What was the response or lack thereof from the emergency line?

That should be learned through the sworn testimony of the people on the land line...if it's not recorded. In any case, I can't imagine what bearing it would have on events unfolding aboard the ship at that point.

Just don't waste my tax money raising a black box that will add zip to the conclusions and give the company lawyers ammunition to shift blame to the crew.

Do you think they'd tell the truth... and preserve whatever recordings there might have been... without the black box recording hanging over their heads?

Haven't the company people attempted to shift blame to the crew already... since not having the black box better allows them to do that?

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Old 05-19-2016, 01:07 PM   #56
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Follow the dots preceding the power plant failure as far back as possible. Nail everyone who screwed up along the way. Fix the process related issues. Just don't waste my tax money raising a black box that will add zip to the conclusions and give the company lawyers ammunition to shift blame to the crew.
Then I guess you know all the parameters recorded if there are any past voice on the bridge?

Voice alone can reveal a lot if certain things are discussed....even answer many of the questions you asked if it records all voices on the bridge.

If they can be heard over the hurricane..........but again...anyone know when the voice recorder starts recording over itself?
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:29 PM   #57
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Do you think they'd tell the truth... and preserve whatever recordings there might have been... without the black box recording hanging over their heads?

Haven't the company people attempted to shift blame to the crew already... since not having the black box better allows them to do that?

-Chris
What is most interesting is to compare the comments of current TOTE employees to those of past employees. Current have jobs to protect, past may have an ax to grind. Two very opposite impressions of the company.

Nothing the NTSB isn't experienced in dealing with though.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:47 PM   #58
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Big Cat - yeah, BP Macondo, 11 dead and the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. Here's the results of that:

BP Exploration and Production Inc. - 11 counts felony manslaughter, 1 count felony obstruction of Congress, violations of the Clean Water and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts - $4 billion fine - no BP officers even charged.

The little fish:

Anthony Badalamenti - Halliburton Manger – destroying evidence – 100 hours community service, $1,000 fine, 1 year probation

David Rainey - BP VP - obstruction of Congress and making false statements – acquitted

Kurt Mix - BP Engineer - obstruction of justice for deleted text messages and voicemails – 6 months’ probation

Donald Vidrine - BP Well Site Leader - ignored pressure tests that allowed the blowout to occur - violating the federal Clean Water Act – 10 months’ probation

Robert Kaluza – BP Well Site Leader - ignored pressure tests that allowed the blowout to occur - set up by Vidrine as part of his plea deal, actually wasn't there when decisions made - violating the federal Clean Water Act – rightfully acquitted by jury in 2 hours

Sure showed them, huh?
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:36 PM   #59
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Then I guess you know all the parameters recorded if there are any past voice on the bridge?
Simplified Voyage Data Recorder

http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/D...ut_26Apr16.pdf


Doesn't appear that the power plant was instrumented and limited data on the hull. 12 hours.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:48 PM   #60
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Simplified Voyage Data Recorder

http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/D...ut_26Apr16.pdf


Doesn't appear that the power plant was instrumented and limited data on the hull. 12 hours.
Maybe that could be a change, to require a full VDR, not a simplified one.

It will be interesting when the NTSB completes their review, which will probably be this fall.
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