Marconi versus Lightoller

  • Thread starter Patricia Bowman Rogers Winship
  • Start date

Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>I am impressed and surprised at how the instructions seem to stress safety.<<

Of course they do. That much makes good sense and it also covers the company's tail end. However, there's always that unsaid "Do whatever it takes to keep to the schedule" attitude which is always there. Captains who made it reaped the rewards. Those who didn't invariably found themselves being replaced by somebody who could. We shouldn't really blame any particular shipping company for that because this attitude didn't come about in isolation. Customers who ship cargo and book passage demanded it and these days, they still do.

Anyone who questions that need only see what happens at the airport these days when raging storms cause delays. The concerns expressed aren't safety, it's getting to Chicago on time for the meeting or grandma's house for the Thanksgiving holiday.
 
Feb 9, 2006
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That's very true, Michael. The last time I was on a plane, I was very confused at people grumbling about the delay...The delay having to do with a mechanical problem. I was just feeling quite relieved that the problem had been noticed, which seems like the only logical feeling in that situation. I would commend airport people for noticing the issue, as opposed to complaining.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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A certain author, in a certain book, takes a dim view of White Star and its instructions.

"Franklin did his best to restore the shattered reputation of White Star. The line had taken immediate steps to equip its ships with sufficient lifeboats to carry all their passengers and crew. He produced its instructions to its captains, a suitably righteous document, having much the same relation to reality as the ‘mission statements’ of those modern companies whose devotion to customer service extends only to trite slogans and tacky music on their telephones.

The company desires to maintain for its vessels a reputation for safety and only looks for such speed on the various voyages as is consistent with safe and prudent navigation. Commanders are reminded that the steamers are to a great extent uninsured and that their only livelihood, as well as the company's, depends upon immunity from accident. No precaution which insures safe navigation is to be considered excessive.

White Star could hardly be expected to put in print the message that any captain arriving too late, too often, would find himself ‘on the beach’."
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>I was just feeling quite relieved that the problem had been noticed, which seems like the only logical feeling in that situation.<<

Unfortunately, people in a hurry rarely think logically. Then as now, speed was the key. That and reliability, with the selling point being that you will arrive at a certain point at a specific date and time, perhaps earlier, but not later. Kind of like the "We're the on-time airline" slogan that you may recall from the last decade. Passengers and shippers of frieght not only came to expect it, they demanded it, and the faster the better.

When it doesn't happen that way, people get annoyed.

>>I would commend airport people for noticing the issue, as opposed to complaining.<<

So would I, but as somebody who's had some flight experience and training thanks to a base's flying club, I have a good understanding of what happens when aircraft run afoul of Sir Issac Newton's pesky law of gravitation, and it's not pretty.

Late is irritating, but it beats getting dead!
 

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