Control system failed ahead of BC Ferry crash, Andrew MacLeod, The Tyee, Dec. 21, 2011
A problem with the Coastal Inspiration’s control system may have led to yesterday’s crash at Duke Point, a British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. spokesperson said.
“Initial indication is an electronic failure of a control system was [the] root cause, however we are still doing a full investigation which will take some time,” spokesperson Deborah Marshall said in an email.The vessel had a “hard landing” at the terminal near Nanaimo, injuring at least two people, neither of them seriously, according to initial reports. Duke Point has been closed indefinitely while the damage is assessed, with traffic routed to the Departure Bay terminal instead…
Murphy’s Law, the fundamental:
“If anything can go wrong, it will.”
Murphy’s Law, the extreme:
“If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the FIRST to go wrong.”
The Coastal Inspiration is a state-of-the-art vessel, sailed with highly trained crews in sheltered waters by a publicly owned company that faces no financial constraints. The ship operates mostly in daylight hours and never in extreme weather. It is subject to regular examinations by qualified marine inspectors supervised by Transport Canada.
Despite assiduous precautions against mishap, BC Ferry’s Coastal Inspiration is out of service after crashing because the ship’s highly sophisticated ‘state-of-the-art’ control systems failed.
When tankers ply the waters of British Columbia’s mid-coast, Canada exercises almost no control over operations of minimally crewed ships registered in Panama, Liberia, Singapore, China, Russia, Marshall Islands or Bahamas. Vast areas of pristine wilderness will be put at risk.
Disaster is not merely a possibility; it is a certainty.