Maritime Flags of Convenience Visualized

  We recently decided to get to work on some maritime visualizations. Above is a bubble graph I created representing the number of ships registered to each flag state.   This graph is even more interesting, it shows the number of ships registered to each country by foreign owners. Notice the Flags of Convenience? Some will also be … [Read more...]

Ship Incident Rate Steady Despite New Technology – Why?

“Of all the systems on board a vessel, a human being is the most complex, and perhaps the most difficult one to integrate into a system of safer transportation.” -Tracy Murrell, Director, Office of Marine Safety, National Transportation Safety Board. For the last few decades, the maritime industry has greatly improved the reliability and user interface design of ship systems … [Read more...]

Playing Pirate Does Not a Sailor Make

When I first read of the rescue of the tall ship Liana's Ransom, I contacted friends in the tall ship community to express my sadness at the loss of the vessel, and relief that the crew survived the ordeal. "Liana who?" was the common response. "That's not a 'tall ship,' Mario," they said. "It's probably one of those wanna-be pirate ships, a tourist-attraction powerboat. The … [Read more...]

Into the Storm – The Final Days and Decisions on Bounty

Drivers always slow down and rubberneck at car accidents, don't they?  Like me, you may have caught yourself complaining about the practice and wondering "Why are people so morbid that they have to slow down and look?"  That's what we all say, at least until we get close enough to see, and though we might strain our eyes to avoid looking like we are looking, we drive just a … [Read more...]

The Cost of Rescue: Why Carnival Shouldn’t Pay and the U.S. Shouldn’t Accept

Should people pay for rescue when it's their fault?  I get asked that question often.  For years I was on a team that went out to the end result of someone else's bad decision and saved their backside - at great expense to the taxpayer I might add.   So it makes sense that I would think that the costs of those rescues should be recovered, right?  Well, I don't.  Not at all. Not … [Read more...]