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Arkansas Democrat-Gazette story

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Old 08-15-2008, 08:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Burlington, Iowa
Posts: 32
Default Arkansas Democrat-Gazette story

Interesting story today in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Delta Queen overnighters hit a shoal in U.S. House by Alex Daniels of their Washington Bureau.

Much of it is the standard Oberstar v. DQ story. But note the 2 new items. Quotes from Eric Christensen, chief of the Office of Vessel Activity at the U.S. Coast Guard and a supposed day trip/50 overnight passenger plan.

""Before this year’s cruise season started, the company added sprinklers to the Delta Queen, replaced much of the structure with flame-retardant or flame-resistant wood and trained its crew members in how to evacuate in case of an emergency.
Commander Eric Christensen, chief of the Office of Vessel Activity at the U.S. Coast Guard, inspected the boat this winter in New Orleans after the safety features were added.
He said the company was making an effort to mitigate the boat’s “fire load.”
But much of the boat’s structure, including its passenger cabins, is made of wood.
The company has presented the Coast Guard with a proposal to combine day trips at full capacity with overnight cruises with fewer than 50 passengers, keeping it within the rules.
That might work, Christensen said, but he stressed that the exemption that the boat has operated under for years presents too much of a danger to passengers.
“It’s an unacceptable risk,” he said.""
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