We Wonder: Why Couldn't Disabled Cruise Ship Be Evacuated? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

We Wonder: Why Couldn't Disabled Cruise Ship Be Evacuated?

As the Carnival Triumph drifted for days in the Gulf of Mexico, we wondered: Instead of undertaking a slow, arduous tow to Mobile, Ala., wouldn't it have been easier — and more comfortable for passengers — to send an empty cruise ship to the area and evacuate the 3,143 passengers?

David Peikin, of the trade organization Cruise Lines International Association, said they could not comment on the specifics of the Triumph, but a lot of times these decisions have to do with safety.

"The evacuation or transfer at sea itself can pose some significant risks that must be balanced, based upon the specific circumstances," Peikin told us in an email. "A variety of factors such as: weather, sea state, present state of safety, health of the persons involved, and specifics of the available transfer mechanisms and equipment must all be carefully taken into account. A safe, but uncomfortable or sub-optimal, situation may under some circumstances certainly be preferable to undertaking a transfer of persons at sea."

Ross Klein, a professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland and a cruise ship expert who runs the site cruisejunkie.com, said the decision usually comes to down to one thing: money.

He told us:

"The issue of bringing another ship aside is both an economic decision as well as logistics. There needs to be a ship nearby first off. Then the question is whether passengers can be transferred from one ship to the other (which can be done). But the overarching issue is always going to be cost — mainly the cost of losing revenue from the second ship and customer relations issues that come with disrupting another shipload of passengers' vacation."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Making A Change To Keep A Constant Consonant

Given two words, change the first consonant sound in each word to the same new consonant sound and you'll phonetically name two things in the same category.
NPR

Need A New Sweet Potato Recipe For Your Thanksgiving Table? Try Gnocchi

Because some cooks like to mix it up for Thanksgiving, we offer a Found Recipe from our archives: Julia Della Croce's purple sweet potato gnocchi.
WAMU 88.5

Marion Barry, Legend Of D.C. Politics, Dies At 78

The former mayor and current Ward 8 Council member had visited a hospital earler on Saturday and died around midnight at United Medical Center.

NPR

Car Ride Service Puts Gender In The Driver's Seat

Car share programs are extremely popular, but so are concerns for safety. NPR's Tess Vigeland talks to Stella Mateo, founder of SheRides, which allows passengers to choose the gender of their driver.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.