Last update: 18-Dec-2013 7:04 am
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Captain, is the ship sinking?
On Sunday afternoon, the Harbour Master party cruise ship ran into a submerged vessel 500 feet offshore and remained stranded there until high tides finally lifted it free after midnight. There were no injuries, and the Harbour Master was described as undamaged. The incident raises several questions, however, about the burgeoning practice of floating parties which have taken off locally with the arrival of the Harbour Master from Barbados, the Treasure Queen and Iwer George’s Coral Vision.
The popularity of these events is driven by several factors. The limited space on the ship makes for an intimate atmosphere, there are no stormers, or problems with noise pollution, and Facebook galleries notwithstanding, what happens at sea stays at sea. It’s a big win all around, but as they say about fun, it’s all giggles until someone loses an eye. Or a propeller. Or puts a hole in the hull.
Sunday’s incident, which was handled efficiently by the Coast Guard and ended well, sends a clear signal that these cruise events need official review and some serious pre-emptive safety measures. What would the captain of the Harbour Master have done if things had gone differently? There were 540 passengers on board, many of them on their way to being tipsy.
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