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 Post subject: 7.29.14: Kendall Carver
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:07 am 
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http://binnallofamerica.com/boaa072914.html

Kendall Carver
International Cruise Victims
2 Hours, 6 Minutes

One of the most compelling and informative guests in recent BoA:Audio history, as chairman of International Cruise Victims, Kendall Carver, returns to BoA:Audio for an update on the latest happenings in the nefarious cruise ship industry, specifically last week's Congressional hearing on cruise ship safety.

Over the course of this jam-packed conversation, we go in-depth on the legislative showdown over cruise ship safety that is unfolding as well as all the 'dirty tricks' being employed by the cruise ship industry to avoid providing proper safety measure for passengers. Sex crimes, disappearances, gross lack of medical assistance, dubious ticket agreements, life boat shortages, unlimited drinking, and a 'breakaway civilization' of cruise ship staff are amongst the many frightening areas we cover during this knock-down, drag-out episode of BoA:Audio that must be heard to be believed.

Another 'instant classic' edition of the program that is absolutely riveting, shocking, and unsettling as Kendall Carver takes us to the front lines in the battle for cruise ship safety.

Highlights: We start by getting an update from Ken Carver on the events of the last two years, since he last appeared on the program, and he recounts how Senator Rockefeller of West Virginia has become a champion for cruise victims and spearheaded the hearing as well a hearing last year and legislature aimed at protecting cruise ship passengers. Ken also explains some of political machinations at work surrounding this new law, Cruise Passenger Protection Act, and how it connects to Coast Guard funding and partisan politics.

Ken then details how this week's Congressional hearing came about and why it featured only victims of cruise ship negligence. This leads to some talk about one witness, Amanda Butler, who saw her mother have a medical emergency, receive improper care and fall into a coma, resulting in the cruise ship abandoning the family on an island. Following that, Ken dismantles some of the cruise industry claims that they are 'highly regulated' and this leads to some talk about how the proposed laws are not necessarily regulations but are simply basic safety expectations for passengers.

Next, he revisits a March cruise ship hearing that was put together by the National Transportation Board which leads to some stunning revelations about the major players involved in that hearing as well as chicanery involved in putting the whole hearing together. We also learn about some troublesome cruise ship crime statistics that Ken uncovered via FOIA requests and he contrasts that to how many the industry actually reported to the public.

We then revisit the issue surrounding ship registration and how cruise ships are only responsible to the laws of the nations they are registered and not the United States, from where they leave port. We also get the story of why the cruise ship industry was not invited to the most recent Congressional hearing. Ken also enlightens us to some of the suspicious financial antics surrounding the cruise ship industry such as how they use U.S. government services and pay almost nothing in taxes.

Learning more about the dangers of the cruise ship industry, we address the 'ticket problem' and how getting a ticket to a cruise includes an insane contract with fine print that absolves the cruise line of pretty much all responsibility for the passenger. In keeping with BoA's paranormal roots, Ken talks about some of the eerie synchronicities which have surrounded the ICV cause and his life, in general, since he began raising awareness about the issue as well as information about his daughter's death which was imparted to him by a pair of psychics.

Following that, we talk about cruise ship incidents which happened since the last time Ken was on the show, notably the Triumph cruise which was stuck at sea for days and forced passengers into horrifying conditions. Ken also talks about the Costa Concordia and Japanese ferry disasters. We return to the Amanda Butler case and stress the shocking lack of medical care that her mother received onboard the ship. Looking for an answer to these cruise ship crimes, we talk about the need for independent sea marshalls who will be police onboard ships.

Leaving no stone unturned, Ken dispels any thoughts that Disney cruise lines would be safer or more responsible than other companies. We also cover the 'unlimited drinks' policy with many cruises as well as the flimsy 'Bill of Rights' that the cruise industry introduced for its passengers. For prospective cruise ship passengers, we find out what type of on-board saftey instructions are given to boarding passengers which leads to some stunning insights about life boats on cruise ships.

Since Ken was at the hearing last week, we get insights from him on how the other senators reacted to the witness testimony at the hearing. This leads to some talk about the politics surrounding the Cruise Passenger Protection Act and, going down a different path, how cruise ship crimes seem to often be fodder for primetime crime programs like Dateline and 48 Hours. In light of last week's hearing and the power wielded by Rockefeller, we discuss what's next for the Cruise Passenger Protection Act and what to watch for in the news and in Congress.

Heading towards the end of the conversation, Ken discusses the challenges facing the ICV in getting the word out about cruise ship crime. Closing out the show, we touch on the role of the Coast Guard in all of this as things unfold, media coverage of the hearings, the troubling amount of sexual crimes that happen aboard cruise ships as well as the lack of licensing or background checks for people who work with children aboard cruise ships.

Wrapping things up, we briefly revisit the 'breakaway civilization' consisting of staff who live and work, nearly year-round, aboard cruise ships. Ken also marvels at the bizarre chain of command aboard a ship and how there is simply no oversight or regulation over that aspect of the industry. And, finally, we end the show by urging folks to check out the video of last week's Congressional hearing on Cruise Ship Safety and to keep an eye on the the International Cruise Victims website.

This interview was recorded LIVE on 7/29/2014

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:10 am 
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Although most of what your guest said is indeed true of cruise ship regulations, I would like to offer the following brief explanation, though not related to the awful abuse that your guest highlights, I believe at least for the regulation side of thing some clarification is in order.

Most of the Safety regulations that the marine industry is required to follow, is regulated and enforced by "class societies".

-almost all vessels are built to class, such as ABS,Lloyds, B.V, DNV,GL, RINA etc, these are rules on how to build and equip the vessels, with regard almost every aspect of construction (scantlings, frame spacing,port lights, openings etc) and equipment (electrical, coms, generators, life rafts etc)

-All the above must be submitted and approved by class, typically before construction

-Class inspectors, which depending on the class society number in the tens of thousands, inspect the build process, and perform regular inspections after, these inspections range from annual inspections of the fire systems, life saving , back up generator operation etc, to 5 and 10 years surveys where the vessel is hauled out and shafting is removed, sea valves are removed etc.

-often any vessel of size there are some items, that are out of compliance ("outstanding items"), where the vessel must fix it in a given time frame

-If the "outstanding" items are certain things such as fire fighting systems, bilge, or emergency generation items- the vessel is given a "no sail" order and cannot depart before the the issues are fixed

-Most of the enforcement carried out by the class inspectors, however for the owners of the vessels the main "stick" is the insurance companies, who will not insure a non classed vessel, also if an owner files a claim the insurance company looks at the class inspections for any "outstanding items" in order to contest the claim


Vessel flag

As your guest accurately pointed out there are only a handful of flag inspectors, depending on your country of flag

-Flag is what country your vessel is registered in, like your car being registered in Utha, but the car must be built to US safety standards, in the case of a vessel "class"

-Flag states usually just accept "class" with regard to inspections and approvals etc, and very rarely have the resources to do inspections,

-Flag usually requires a vessel to be built to an acceptable class

-Some flag states have very lax rules when it come to class, and to employment rules, that is why there are only a handful of US flagged vessels

-Ultimately flag usually has the final say over class, for example if you wanted to do something "class" does not approve of, you can appeal to the flag state-although this is done rarely

Your guest is correct that certain aspects of the cruise industry are pretty much "the wild west", with regard to crew, and international law enforcement on the high seas, as it is very difficult to enforce-his suggestions of making the US authorities responsible for voyages origination from the US is a great idea.
The rest of the aspects of the cruise industry, even with the high profile grounding, fires, and near sinking's, is generally well regulated and inspected.

Great Show!


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