Not so fast Carnival

Carnival Cruises have moved very quickly to blame the Captain for “serious mistakes” that appear to have caused the accident to their Costa Line vessel.

A Captain who sails far too close to the shore, does not look where he is going and then gets off before some passengers have been rescued. I wonder how many people when they read the story shrugged their shoulders and thought “typical Italian”. .

Just as Italy was beginning to recover from Berlusconi, another Italian wades in to reinforce the national image of Italians as being charming and fun-loving but not very safety-conscious. Alitalia’s international bookings probably took a dip on Sunday.

But if it is stereotypical behaviour you are looking for, the response of Carnival is straight out of some American Business School’s Damage Limitation Course. 

First, blame a “rogue individual”. If that doesn’t work, blame management at the local operating unit (Costa Cruises) but ensure that the overall brand, Carnival, remains unsullied.

Sorry, but that will not work.

There have long been concerns that all cruise companies have taken cost-cutting too far and that there have been too heavy reductions in both the number and quality of officers. If – and it is a big if – we accept the line that the accident was down to a rogue captain, Carnvial have to explain why he was employed in the first place, what supervision and testing he had had and, most importantly, what were the other officers doing on the vessel? On an aircraft, one of the roles of the First Officer is to stop the Captain doing anything unwise.

The cruise industry operates with remarkably little international supervision. It is time for a serious look at safety standards. And, as for Carnival and all their brands (Cunard, P&O, Princess, and many others), maybe they should remember the buck stops with the Board of Directors.

One thought on “Not so fast Carnival

  1. Fox News from USA reported last night in most graphic terms rgar local police in Italy arrested the ship’s captain, when he had abandoned ship BEFORE many of the passengers, and arrested him when he REFUSED to return to the ship.

    They earlier reported he had done a close ‘sail by’ for on the x-ship mates who lives on the island.

    There was also a photographic report of same ship sailing VERY CLOSE to the island last August.

    It was certainly NOT the 5 miles from land that was mentioned by a recently retired ships captain.

    It has been reported the captain under arrest was the safety officer inn 2002. A very quick promotion?
    ?Experience? ?Saving money??

    Having done what is now thought to be a ‘sail by’ which is way beyond and outside regulations/protocols, why was the ‘sail by’ last August never noted and acted upon?

    Regulation and procedures not checked upon.

    Your comments on Italians are certainly relavent, but so is the complacency of the owners and regulatory authorities.

    Finally, this accident occurred within the first few hours of sailing from 1st.port. DRILL IS WITHIN FIRST 24 HOURS, so only crew and previous passengers would know where muster points are, and most would never have had a change to practice putting on a life jacket. No wonder there was panic.

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