Lifeboats & survivors could this happen again

Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Don't forget the Harald of Free Enterprise. The only difference was that on the Harald, the doors were accidentally left open whereas with the Estonia, the beast appears to have fallen off.

a)Enter water stage right,
b)Enter free surface effect rendering ship unstable stage left,
c)Add several thousand tons more water befor anybody had any idea what was happening.
d)Ship rolls over.
e)Goodbye cruel world!
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Jan 28, 2003
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I saw the Herald when I sailed from Zebrugge a week after she sank (shallow water, only half submerged on her side). Everyone went very quiet as we passed her. For those who hope they would help others (above) there was a very brave young man who, finding himself above the rising waterline with others below, in the diningroom, managed to make himself into a sort of bridge/ladder so that others could heave themselves up and crawl across him. Mind you, seeing that wasn't as bad as what you saw on the Patras-Brindisi crossing in the 1970s - burt-out ferries rusting, masts poking above the waterline further out, your ship weaving its way through - made you wonder what on earth had been going on. And Greek inter-island boats were quite stimulating then too. One ancient hulk I sailed on just loaded up until there were no more people, goats, chickens etc. on the quayside and then wallowed off into the stormy night with the Captain singing 'Che sera, sera, whatever will be will be' from the bridge.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,587
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Easley South Carolina
Overloaded ferries! Now there's a common problem for you...and it's one of the big reasons why ferry accidents frequently result in a high loss of life. Put too many people on a craft until it's way overloaded and then sail out into the teeth of a storm.

The consequences are all too predictable, and it haapens all the time!
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Yes. I have it in mind that the Philipines are particularly bad at over-loading ferries. Didn't they have the worst peacetime death toll a few years ago when a ferry collided and caught fire. It had an official limit of 2000 and when all the missing able-bodied young had been reported, it was estimated that 4000+ had died? Re my Greek ferry, well - obviously - we got there although I remember one woman lost a few chickens over the side. I remember it had a plimsoll line which I watched in alarm as it disappeared beneath the water in harbour during loading. Most of the Greeks went below, but the tourists stayed put grimly on deck, soaked, but feeling slightly safer.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,587
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Easley South Carolina
I don't know offhand about the Phillipines. They've had some real doozies though. The Far East seems to love to overload ferries. Bangladesh also has some ferry losses that are particularly nasty. It's very rare that some sort of ferry accident isn't mentioned on the CargoLaw Website in any given month.