Accident to the Crown Princess


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Mark Baber

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Various news media are circulating stories, like this one from the WESH in Orlando, that the Crown Princess has had some sort of steering malfunction, that she's listing, and that passengers have been injured.
 
Jul 9, 2004
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I live in Brevard County and have been past Port Canaveral many times - but I wish I could have seen this one come in.

I have a serious suspicion that the captain made a navigation error that caused this to happen. Port Canaveral is located just south of Cape Canaveral - a point that was formed by tidal deposits and building up of sand bars. Just off the cape there are dozens of large sand bars called the Chester Shoals - and one of them is just off the tip of the cape and no more than five feet underwater.

I bet the captain - in his haste to get to New York or in error, turned the ship too early out of the port and the ship caught briefly on one of the shoals off Cape Canaveral and that's what caused the ship do its sudden 180.

Just a theory.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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According to an article posted at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/07/18/national/main1817001.shtml?source=RSS&attr=HOME_1817001 what happened was some sort of steering casualty. I don't know whether or not it's true, but it's at least superficially plausible. Extreme rudder angles can cause some pretty substantial lists.

I'm sure the NTSB or the Coast Gaurd will be looking into this so we may see if the results of the investigation show if the story has anything to do with reality.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>The Captain does not come off sounding too great- "terrified" as one passenger reports. <<

I noticed that. My bet is the line is going to have some words with him about this. When you have over 3000 souls aboard plus the crew, one of the most important things in a crisis is to avoid causing a panic. Fear is infectious and there's nothing quite like the skipper being percieved as having "lost it" to provoke a panic.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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The thing about this, however, is that panic was inevitable, regardless of the Captain's perception (although his fear would have made the situation seem worse). When you're on deck and the ship suddenly topples with increasing speed, with other people and objects flying around you, you're going to freak, understandably. The captain's fear won't alleviate any of that, nor, in my opinion, should it. Those on board had a right to freak--that was a scary situation! How can any crew person credibly explain that "everything's [going to be] all right" as the ship is falling over?

By the way, I got the point about the the Titanic movie, but I think that Poseidon would have been more appropriate. Situations such as these remind us that scenarios illustrated in movies like The Poseidon Adventure and Poseidon are more possible than many people realize.

Hey, Mike, How are you? When I read this story this morning, I was curious about what your initial reaction would be. We can't blame the crew for this, since there is yet no evidence to substantiate it, and we know that passengers (in all likelihood) didn't cause it. Even though the Captain is held accountable, "stuff" does, in fact, happen, and s/he can't always prevent it. That's life!

Take care

Mark
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Hey, Mike, How are you?<<

Still getting along.

>>We can't blame the crew for this, since there is yet no evidence to substantiate it, and we know that passengers (in all likelihood) didn't cause it.<<

Well not yet anyway. I'm sure whoever the investigating authority is will be taking a very close look at the maintainance and repair records so I hope Princess Cruises has their ducks in a row on this one. It won't be very pleasant if they don't, and if somebody screwed up any repairs or any of the routine maintainance on the steering gear or the Azipods (If that's what they're using) somebody is going to be looking for a new job!

On the other hand, it could very well be that the Crown Princess was bitten by some sort of defect that can be traced to the construction of the ship. She's a new vessel after all, and teething problems come with the territory. Still, if this is a teething problem, it's an extreme one. The sort that's going to have the builder facing some hard questions.
 

Joe Russo

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So it rolled 30 degrees once. How does this compare to some of the stories about the Queen Mary getting hit by large waves? In the famous stories about her rolling and almost capsizing, how many degrees was that?
I don't think that I would ever want to cross the Atlantic on the Crown Princess
happy.gif
 
Mar 22, 2003
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July 18, 2006, the Crown Princess has a steering problem that caused the ship to list abruptly critically injuring an adult and a child, and seriously injuring another 10.


March 23, 2006, the Star Princess broke out in fire while it was on its way to the Caribbean killing one passenger, injuring 11 other people and damaging some 150 cabins before the crew extinguished the flames.

I think Princess Cruise Line has a big PR problem now.
 

Grant Carman

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Jun 19, 2006
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Samuel

Hmmmm. Here's an idea. Have Carnival shut down the Princess name. Take the newest and nicest ships (not neccessarily the same ones), and convert to Cunard.
They've got 3 Queens, why not 3 Princesses (Princess Royal, Princess of Wales, and Princess Margaret Rose), or re-launch the Mauretania, Berengaria, Aquitainia names. Or if there's enough, do BOTH!
happy.gif
It might end up making Carnival even more money, since Cunard is a premium priced line.

But then I happen to prefer Cunard over Princess.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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"It won't be very pleasant if they don't, and if somebody screwed up any repairs or any of the routine maintenance on the steering gear or the Azipods (If that's what they're using) somebody is going to be looking for a new job!"

First, what are Azipods? Going by the context in which you mentioned this, I would presume they are some form of modern-day steering mechanism, possibly automatic and probably computerized.

Second, after this, whoever is responsible won't have to worry about looking for a job--no one's likely to hire him/her. Would you? Mistakes happen, but still. Look at what happened with Hitchens: It's a well-known theory that the reason he "disappeared" was that the White Star Line had a problem reassigning the man who steered the then-largest ship in the world into an iceberg, whether it was due to obeying orders or not.

As for defects, if that is the case, that would have to be some defect! Someone at design and construction would be out of a job. Any defect influential enough to cause this to happen shouldn't reasonably go unnoticed.
 
Aug 29, 2000
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AOL news has some interviews with a line spokesperson and some footage of people being taken off in wheelchairs and stretchers. You can bet this will launch one big investigation. I wonder how Martha Stewart feels? She christened this ship, thereby becoming the "godmother" and she seldom has any kind of failure!
 
Dec 3, 2005
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I think Azipods are those new kind of propellers. They work like outboard engines suspended under the ship and they rotate to turn the ship, instead of having a rudder.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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From the builder's website http://www.fincantieri.com/article.asp?M=39|6|116&id=295:

Gross tonnage : 109,000 tonnes
Length overall : 290.0 m
Length between perpendiculars : 242.0 m
Moulded breadth : 36.0 m
Max air draught : 54.0 m
Design draught : 8.0 m
Depth (Lido deck) : 41.30 m
Corresponding deadweight : 6,750 tonnes
Max speed : 24 knots
Electrical propulsion motors : 2x21 MW
No. of propellers : 2 fpp
No. of rudders : 2 semi-balanced

Classification societies : Lloyd's Register - R.I.Na.

Looks like rudder steering if I read this correctly.
 

Erik Wood

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Aug 24, 2000
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Before we all jump to conclusions let us let the NTSB take a look at this. There are some other issues at play here, which...in time will be made public.

The Coast Guard has the regulatory and federal jursidiction in this matter, with the NTSB doing it's own independent report for DOT.

I have not yet heard the tape of Captain Proctor's announcement to the passengers so I can not comment on it. However if he did sound a little "worried" that is something he should have weeded it out before getting on the MC. But we also don't know what information had recieved on the bridge, and any fright in his voice could have been percieved rather then actual. But again, I haven't heard the tape.

There is also a lot of discussion regarding him not immediately contacting the Coast Guard after the incident and his lack of presence on the bridge when the accident occured.

First to the comms or lack there of to the Coast Guard: It is standard procedure on board ANY ship to include those of a passneger classification to wait until you (the master) can properly identify the problem, what has occured, what you need to do and what assistance you need.

By Federal and State law (in Florida) that master was duty bound to call the Coast Guard regardless of whether injuries had occured or not. If the ship suffered some sort of mechanical failure that either permantly or temporarily put the ship in a "not under command" situation that is a no sail violation and the ship must return to port upon completetion of a Coast Guard inspection of the effected item. This to my knowledge was done in accordance with the law and in accordance with company policy.

As to his presence....I have no idea of the exact location of the incident and there for don't know why he should or should not have been on the bridge.

15 degrees isn't much. I have had my feet on bulkheads before.

As to azipods....we will see.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>First, what are Azipods? Going by the context in which you mentioned this, I would presume they are some form of modern-day steering mechanism, possibly automatic and probably computerized.<<

Those are the new style propellor pods which can be also beused to steer the ship. You can read about them at http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCP/is_6_23/ai_86040172 and see a nice photo of a set at http://www.ship-technology.com/projects/elation/elation7.html

Since the Crown Princess has a conventional propellor/rudder arrangement as per the information that Samuel posted, I think question is now rendered moot. As to what Erik said about waiting for what the NTSB has to say, it sounds like a good idea to me. All we have to go on are the things being put out by the media, which may not be consistant with reality.
 
Aug 29, 2000
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The news today is the list was 30 degrees-and the film from home videos show furniture thrown all over, broken glass, the water from the pools flooding out, and utter chaos in the corridors and on deck.
 
Oct 28, 2000
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Don't believe everything in the news. If the typical reporter had physical evidence of 15 degrees, but a wild-eyed passenger claiming 30 degrees, you can bet that emotion would rule over science.

Think of your own living room being lifted by 15 degrees while at the same time centrifugal forces are causing everything to slide to the outside wall. Nothing in the photos from the ship that I've seen indicates the list had to have been any more than 15 degrees.

I deal more directly with passengers than Erik as my bridge is my boat. From first-hand experience I know that anything more than 10 degrees will be described as "we almost capsized." And, to anyone not familiar with walking on walls (bulkheads as Erik described) in everyday life, I suppose 10 to 15 degrees of heel is both astounding and profoundly frightening.

Don't forget the motto of the media: "Never let the truth interfere with a good story."

--David G. Brown
 
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