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Old 02-27-2020, 11:59 PM   #1
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Sinking Disney tour boat

https://us.cnn.com/2020/02/27/us/dis...rnd/index.html

Are those inspected vessels? They are carrying passengers for hire and have more than six passengers. Is the operator required to be a licensed mariner and have safety training? Curious minds want to know.
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:15 AM   #2
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Good questions! Fortunately no serious harm done.
By contrast, here`s a boat ride which ended badly. At the time the owners had just sold their marina chain and kept their amusement parks. A mistake? I believe the bodies were retrieved in small pieces. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-...dings/11993742
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:36 AM   #3
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It wasn't a tour boat, it was a theme park ride on a shallow man made channel that appeared to be all of 3' deep. It may not even have been self-propelled, but one of a fleet continuously pulled through the trip on a cable, "skippered" by narrators.


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Old 02-28-2020, 07:13 AM   #4
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I've always wanted to be a skipper of one of those boats.
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:15 AM   #5
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It wasn't a tour boat, it was a theme park ride on a shallow man made channel that appeared to be all of 3' deep. It may not even have been self-propelled, but one of a fleet continuously pulled through the trip on a cable, "skippered" by narrators.
I do believe you're right about that particular ride. Disney does, however, have self-propelled boats actually driven by a skipper that crosses lagoons and such to move people from one park to another. Those crew are part of their transportation department and are trained in-house. Since the boats are operating on private property, they do not have to be inspected and the crew are not USCG certified, though some of the Disney in-house training covers similar topics.

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Old 02-28-2020, 08:23 AM   #6
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I've always wanted to be a skipper of one of those boats.

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Old 02-28-2020, 09:53 AM   #7
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I guess I don't see much danger there. My brother boats on Lake Winnebago, a very shallow lake in central Wisconsin. It's a big lake that can generate furious waves. In most cases if a bout were to flounder the occupants could simply walk to shore, even if they were a mile or more out. I also have a sister who is afraid of big water. I have taken her out on my boat but I need to assure her that we are in less than 20 or so feet of water. If my boat were to sink she could just sit on the flybridge and wait for a pickup.

Both examples seem to me to be similar to the Disney sinking. I'm sure there will be an investigation, probably fines and new rules, and probably a few lawsuits because passengers got their shoes wet. People, when are we going to take some responsibility for ourselves.

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Old 02-28-2020, 11:25 AM   #8
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It wasn't a tour boat, it was a theme park ride on a shallow man made channel that appeared to be all of 3' deep. It may not even have been self-propelled, but one of a fleet continuously pulled through the trip on a cable, "skippered" by narrators.


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Peggie, when one is 2ft tall, 3ft of water is deep.
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Old 02-28-2020, 02:12 PM   #9
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Peggie, when one is 2ft tall, 3ft of water is deep.
I believe the water is 5' deep there and the boats are self propelled running on a track guide.
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Old 02-28-2020, 02:18 PM   #10
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I believe the water is 5' deep there and the boats are self propelled running on a track guide.

I would hope so. That was the major attraction to me.
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Old 02-28-2020, 02:40 PM   #11
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I am at DW and had an afternoon pass for that ride! Got on later after repairs.... yes, the water is shallow and “boats” follow a track.

There are actual free-floating boats between resorts and various parts of the park. They have skippers who appear to be pretty competent ��
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Old 02-28-2020, 03:35 PM   #12
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There are actual free-floating boats between resorts and various parts of the park. They have skippers who appear to be pretty competent ��
The bigger passenger boats that move between the resorts are kind of cool. They have a helm station and large rubber bumpers at each end. The docks have large metal guards that act like a funnel (or a defile, for those of you up on map terms). The skipper goes to the outbound bridge, engages the engines in "forward" for that direction of travel, travels to the next dock, and the metal guards force the "bow" up against the platform. They leave the transmissions engaged to keep the bow against the dock during passenger exchange then the skipper moves to the other helm station and that end becomes the new "bow". Rinse and repeat. They don't really have to practice docking and undocking.
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Old 02-28-2020, 04:11 PM   #13
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I had a friend in college who ran one of those boats in his summers. I guess he was good at that doing particular run over and over, but he knew absolutely nothing about boats or boating. He was a cool kid but was the least outdoorsy person I think I've ever met.



he had no sort of formal training or licensing of any kind. I was working on getting my hours so I could get my OUPV at the time, it really surprised me. Seems like Disney is setting themselves up for a big lawsuit. I know the odds of something happening are pretty low, but you never know.
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Old 02-28-2020, 05:10 PM   #14
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My wife started working for Disney in CA when she was in college and then transitioned into an office job after that for a total of 10 years. She left 20 years ago. A great place to start off as young person, especially back in the 80’s. Yes, the ride operator jobs are coveted and some people never leave. There was a really bad accident years ago when “docking” the pirate ship that is on rails. If I remember correctly a cleat blew out, killed one person and badly injured another.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:31 PM   #15
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Seems like Disney is setting themselves up for a big lawsuit.
I suspect that the very sizable WDW INC legal department is well versed in dealing with litigation in a variety of formats on an ongoing basis.

My bet is that many settlements, large and small happen as public litigation is, well, not good for Mickeys image.

I also suspect that their assorted risk underwriters with their own also very sizable legal departments have independently evaluated the myriad of exposures, and continue to do so.

But, maybe you should call them and point out your observation, you never know they may have missed something.
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Old 03-02-2020, 11:34 PM   #16
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At the 1st Disneyland the boats/ships ran on railroad tracks and couldn't sink.
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:13 PM   #17
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Admittedly I haven't been there in quite some time, but every boat ride I took when I was there, including this one, was on tracks like a train and towed by a cable like a Frisco cable car.
No captain's license or inspection required by the USCG. Perhaps they are inspected and certified by the same folks who do carnival rides?
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Old 03-06-2020, 08:50 PM   #18
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Yes they are cert. by USCG. Always .

Unfortunately there are boat owners with no real licensing. Not even a 6 pack.

The rule that helps, is the boating company must have licensed USCG Captains, or they cannot get insurance.

Where I worked we had 27 Captains , 80 mates. I have 100 ton.

Some Captains you just can’t teach common sense.
Boats/ ships have to be inspected every shift. I started a Pretrip one day and smelled fuel / oil. Ran below and put out a small overheating fire.The owners caught the Captain leaving and fired him. So, we are trained just but you have to be on the ball. We shut the boat down. We have 5 ships.

I would bet there was no pre-trip inspection.
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:55 PM   #19
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Yes they are cert. by USCG. Always .

Unfortunately there are boat owners with no real licensing. Not even a 6 pack.

The rule that helps, is the boating company must have licensed USCG Captains, or they cannot get insurance.

Where I worked we had 27 Captains , 80 mates. I have 100 ton.

Some Captains you just canít teach common sense.
Boats/ ships have to be inspected every shift. I started a Pretrip one day and smelled fuel / oil. Ran below and put out a small overheating fire.The owners caught the Captain leaving and fired him. So, we are trained just but you have to be on the ball. We shut the boat down. We have 5 ships.

I would bet there was no pre-trip inspection.
They are not boats, only rides like at a fair!
"As a former WDW Boat Captain I can answer this question for you. No special license is needed. Disney will train you and if you pass the assessment your good and they will certify you, now this are some serious training. Watercraft is the division of Disney Transportation that you want to look into and this include Launches, Cruisers, Ferry Boats, Grand One and Water Light Show, pretty much anything on the Bay Lake/Seven Seas Lagoon area (Friendships run separate from this division)

Once you get hire, you will be phase-trained:
1- Deck Hand
2- Cruise/Launch
3- Launch/Cruise
4- Ferry Boat
5- Light Show (with enough seniority and if you bid for it)
6- Grand One (with a LOT of seniority and after some serious bidding)"
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Old 03-07-2020, 02:31 PM   #20
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7. It’s NOT on Rails

There is a very simple distinction between boats that are inside the Magic Kingdom and boats that are outside of it. The boats inside the park are on rails. The boats outside the park are not. As such the ferries are free-floating and require a pilot not only for acceleration and deceleration, but for steering as well. In moderate to high winds there can be some bumping as the ferry docks, so guests should be aware.

6. There are Always Two Captains Aboard

The ferry boats are crewed by three people, and at least two of them are captains. Since the ferry boat has pilothouses, propellers, and rudders at both ends of the ship, it doesn’t normally ever have to turn around. One captain pilots the boat in one direction and the other captain pilots in the other direction on the return trip. When not piloting the boat the other captain serves as the deckhand on the upper deck. Sometimes there are even three captains aboard, and when this happens the three rotate through the captain and deckhand positions on each successive trip across the water.


4. We Are Well Trained

When Cast Members join the Watercraft Department, they begin as deckhands and learn how to properly cast off and secure the boats, along with safety training. From there, they work with a Disney Trainer to learn how to pilot either the resort launches or the resort cruisers. After proving themselves proficient on one boat, they then learn the other. Only after showing proficiency on both boats are they invited to train to pilot the ferry boats. Ferry boat training is comprehensive and involves a number of exercises, including being able to hold the boat’s position one foot off of a dock and then maneuver the ferry side to side along the dock while maintaining that one foot distance. There also tends to be a number of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard retirees among the captains in the Watercraft Department.

https://www.disneyfanatic.com/10-thi...t-you-to-know/
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