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Thread: Timing Couldn't Be Worse

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  1. #1

    Default Timing Couldn't Be Worse

    Down here in Florida a 57', wooden hulled, boat that ferries people from shore to an anchored casino boat caught fire and burned several months ago. One person died and 15 were hospitalized. Most all the passengers were over 65 yrs old. The NTSB investigated and issued their report. The report were quite critical of the Coast Guard for lax inspection and follow-up. One thing the CG can't stand is criticism. I'm sure that the NTSB report will filter throughout all CG's inspection offices. What does this mean? I imagine it means the CG inspectors will make sure all T's are crossed and all I's are dotted, in other words they won't be giving any breaks.
    I don't know what this will mean to the DQ as she undergoes her inspection and rebuild, but the timing of the NTSB report couldn't have been worse because the CG will still be stinging from the report.

  2. #2


    I hope everyone of this site will not take offense. But here we go. Please, PLEASE, get off the United States Coast Guardís back. There are several people who continue to beat the drum that the Coast Guard is petty, and dictatorial when it comes to marine inspection. You better hope so. I grew up in Illinois and I am a huge fan of the JBS, and I have been a passenger on the Delta Queen. I lobbied for her return to service. However, I want it in tip top shape, and as safe as humanly possible. Some on this site regard the Coast Guard as a roadblock to the DQís return. The perspective is all wrong, they are not preventing, they are insuring a safe standard is achieved before she can return to service. I spend 25 years in the Coast Guard, I was not a marine inspector, but I did rescue work. Nothing is more frustrating than recovering a dead fisherman from the waters of Alaska, only to say. ďIf they would have had the proper equipment, if they would have had working pumps, if they only maintained the boat properly.Ē Then the politicians go to work. ďHow could the Coast Guard have allowed this to happen, WHERE WERE THE MARINE INSPECTORS! I hear this one a lot, loads of rear view mirror marine inspection. The fact is there are thousands of commercial vessels that carry passengers need inspection, and many in odd and remote places. Who inspects the Chautauqua Belle in New York? How about the fleets of tourist boat on Lake Coeur díAlene, Idaho, how about boats under construction, boats in dry-dock, and letís not forget everyone wants it RIGHT NOW, time is money after all. I am sorry, if you ask me every time there is a marine tragedy that results in the loss of life, it is time to double efforts for safer vessels and more stringent inspection. Imagine any passenger carrying vessel, nose first in a bank on the Mississippi River, burning out of control, with a loss of life. Let me give you the headline in the news, it will go just like. ďThe Coast Guard is under fire this evening; members of Congress want to know how such a tragedy could have happened, hearings are being scheduled.Ē Long live the Delta Queen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Paragould, AR or on m/v MAGNOLIA


    Iím not sure anyone is bashing the Coast Guard here. Yes, dealing with the USCG can be a pain sometimes. Part of that is their broad mission of being enforcers as well as inspectors, rescuers, licensers, on and on. The majority of Coasties are diligent, competent people who want to see everything run smoothly and within the law. Many in the CG (who know about her) want the DQ to be back running just as much as the rest of us. And letís face it, if not for the CG, many owners would skirt safety (Iím not talking the DQ here, nor am I pointing fingers at any particular company or their equipment). The USCG is there to ensure everyoneís safety, and rightly so. Yes, there may be some in the CG who donít quite know what they are doing. Yes, there may be some who are over-zealous. We all want to see the DELTA QUEEN return to service and be as safe as she can be. Iím sure the CG has and will take into account the boatís safety record as well as improvements and anything else affecting safety. The CG is the enforcer of the laws; Congress makes the laws.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.


    *Perception of U.S. Coast Guard*
    Steamboating colleagues,
    Interesting exchange of information, sentiments above and there's nothing wrong with that. Mark, I for one have ALWAYS supported the mission of the U.S. Coast Guard and for good reason. I don't think Jim Reising is slamming the Coast Guard as, if you didn't know, he has worked with them for most of his career on the Ohio River. Jim only related what was, in fact, published. How the scenario plays out in time a good question. I'm certain this site has NOT been the platform for Coast Guard criticism. I do know that certain 2nd and 3rd hand parties overly enthusiastic with the Str. DELTA QUEEN have related stories on what they think the Coast Guard will and won't do with the findings, recommendations with the DELTA QUEEN with many of their statements being not only wrong but totally embarrassing. And again there are those who don't like to hear the word "No" in any form from anybody be it the Coast Guard or not. At this point I suggest people step back, take a deep breath and give now on-going, mounting hysteria over the DELTA QUEEN a rest. The issues about her have turned into a near monomania, fixation. There are those directly involved in the boat who should be the ones stepping forward with information from their end and not relying on other parties to do their work. The DQ, as much as we all love her, is "a private for profit corporate venture outside of the public domain." I for one have had the experience of being aboard a major ocean liner in the middle of the Indian Ocean when a fire broke out. I was in a position then to render in some way help to the crew fighting the fire that began in the ship's electrical system. It was harrowing for a time seeing them ready to swing out the rescue craft. I have always supported the mission of the Coast Guard as they are one of the branches of our military establishment. Mark, you wrote well, gave us food for thought. Jim only related above what appeared. Sure the media is bound to slam many of their sources. If anybody ever comes under criticism it could well be our own congressional representatives. Nothing more or less from me. Again, what do I know?

    R. Dale Flick
    Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

  5. #5


    I was in no way criticizing the Coast Guard. I was only reporting what was reported in the local newspaper. Perhaps my saying the inspectors will be crossing their T's and dotting their I's was a little editorializing on my part. As Dale noted I dealt with the Coast Guard for much of my working career. In that time I found them, for the most part, fair, reasonable and willing to work with the marine industry to get the job done. But, I also know how government agencies react to criticism, especially from a higher government agency.

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