Ferry sinks off of BC's Queen Charlotte Islands


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Feb 24, 2004
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Bowland's resignation was reported on the local news as not being "coincidental" with the ferry's sinking. BTW, underwater exploration of the wreck has already begun, complete with video.

Jason, are you familiar with the saga of Ripple Rock up in the Seymour Narrows? The day they blasted it into gravel, I was watching a live TV feed. It strikes me that, if the ferry had come to grief on something like Old Rip, they'd have had a ready-made excuse. But not by traveling at high speed on automatic pilot.

Roy
 
Feb 24, 2004
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Nasty place, Seymour Narrows. There are several good websites re: Old Rip. I'll see if I can locate the one I particularly like. The *awesome* video of the blast also still surfaces from time to time.

Roy
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Hi Roy,

Thank you very much for the website, it looks very interesting; I'll have to bookmark it for future reference. No problem about the other one, I can wait.

Cheers mate,

Jason
happy.gif
 

Jason D. Tiller

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The latest on the Queen of the North sinking:

quote:

VANCOUVER – A preliminary report on the sinking of a B.C. ferry suggests human error was to blame, not mechanical failure.

The report by the Transportation Safety Board says crew members were unfamiliar with the Queen of the North's new steering and navigation system.

For the rest of the story, click here.

Also:

Ferry's crew unsure of steering
 
Feb 24, 2004
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Thanks for the update, Jason. Our local news media have offered no follow-up, which is usual for them once a story's lost its shock value. Nighttime unfamiliarity with the bridge equipment, eh? Raises more questions than it answers.
 

Dave Gittins

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I can understand them wanting to have complete darkness on the bridge. Even a small amount of light can play hell with the night vision. But they turned off the monitor for the GPS!

Surely the monitor could be installed where somebody could watch it in a closed area. Or didn't they have enough crew for that?

Even without the monitor, surely they should have been steering a safe course to the next way point, perhaps on auto pilot.

Enlighten us, Captain Wood!
 

rob scott

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I wonder if I must say .... horsehockey.
would you approve helm staff, or even someone to take a watch, without being fully trained on systems including (and especially) newly upgraded ones? staffs with far less costly or important, or passenger carrying, systems and machines must be up, and demonstrated, and tested on such things.
I myself think someone suggested that, with 'corroboration', for covering up some negligence; someone missed the timing to start that turn and let her get way too far; and they know it. That's my own private feel and opinion on this. No way could I touch command consoles on corporate computer systems with important info onboard without full training and updating quals, and prove it; how on earth could I without it touch the conn of a ferry with how much public onboard? - but the later report will have more to say on't.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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The TSB site doesn't have the preliminary report on line so I'm afraid we're stuck with taking the news report's word for it until it becomes available.

Personally, I find the whole thing very disturbing but in this case, I don't think much of anything is being covered up. The TSB has no reason to cooperate with such an effort, and even if it did, the preliminary findings aren't doing the ferry's owners any favours. As bizaar as it may seem, this would hardly be the first time a vessel went to sea with a poorly trained crew and paid the price for that in very short order.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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From the first article: "The Vancouver Province obtained copies of internal documents that record a long list of safety, security and environmental problems aboard some ferries."

Okay, I have to wonder about the context of this. Environmental and security issues have nothing to do with why the Queen of the North sank. Bad navigation practice did. (Sound familier?)

Looks to me like the dogpiling has begun in earnest. Maybe with good reason too as the second article indicates to me that the operators were already going into full damage/spin control mode.
 

Jason D. Tiller

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quote:

Environmental and security issues have nothing to do with why the Queen of the North sank. Bad navigation practice did.

I was wondering about that one as well. Agreed, those issues are totally irrelevant and it does appear that they are trying to bury the actual cause.

Still waiting for the TSB report to show up on their site.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>and it does appear that they are trying to bury the actual cause.<<

An old and highly respected practice I'm afraid. When things like this happen, everybody circles the wagons and tries to put their own spin on things. Lord Mersey and White Star weren't the first to do that and they aren't the last.

The casualty?

Objective truth which a rational person just might take for something that approaches reality.
 

Bill West

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As a local I have to jump in here and say that if you want material that’s been out the other end of the dog then the “Province” is your paper. It must be ratings time because they have been glorifying themselves this past week. I think all of Canada.com’s media outlets are under common ownership.

The photo in the first link involved one contractor’s mechanic missing one cotter pin and no one catching it, first time in 45 years across more than 30 ships -tsk tsk.

With the lawsuit going on over the departure of the corporate safety officer the press are suckers for any baloney the lawyers want to leak. As far as the flights go, if I had been repeatedly abused by the press I’d get used to trying to preemptively fend off their overreactions to an accident too. At the time the press praised the handling of the accident, now they’ve done a 180, clearly they don’t know the wheat from the chaff.

Remember that BC Ferries is owned by the Provincial Government so political abuse rules apply, both by the politicians and against them by the press. This sinking was a bad deal but the popular press is not the source of info about it, stick to the maritime press. Caveat emptor and watch where you step.

Bill
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Caveat emptor and watch where you step. <<

Sound advice with just about anything you hear these days. Since this vessel was government owned, that's going to make for some interesting spinmeistering in the investigation.
 
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