Crucero fatal con destino a Ushuaia: murió una mujer, otra sufrió múltiples fracturas y un pasajero cayó al agua

Deadly ship bound for Ushuaia: one woman died, another suffered multiple fractures and one passenger fell into the water

A series of accidents in the south seas and Antarctica in just two weeks have set off alarm bells in the industry: unpredictability, lack of safety and poor material are the subject of investigation.

The epic of death in the south sea does not stop. Two 76-year-old American tourists were killed suddenly, as the investigation continues into a semi-rigid boat of the Portuguese-flagged Word Explorer cruise ship that capsized while on a cruise near the white continent. 80 years ago, a series of fatal accidents in the last days lit the alarm lights in the sector.

On 28 November, a similar ship, in this case the Norwegian cruise ship Viking Polaris, suffered a malfunction under the same conditions that momentarily deprived her of propulsion, causing the passenger Nancy to crash. Under the influence of the tide, she was launched into Creech (78) from a height of almost two meters and then crashed to the floor of the boat with multiple smashes.

In the same incident, another passenger fell into the water and was later rescued by the crew with obvious signs of hypothermia. The ship’s captain, in his testimony before the Argentine Naval Administration, attributed the accident to malfunctions in the semi-rigid material used for the sea tour.

But the adventures of Vikin Polaris would not end there. On 29 November, while returning to the port of Ushuaia to evacuate the victims, she was struck by a violent storm with winds exceeding 82 knots (almost 150 km/h) and the fierce sea that caused the wave to hit the ship. caused several glass panels on the port side (left) to break, resulting in the death of 60-year-old American passenger Sheri Zhu.

The extent of the damage also caused injuries of varying severity among passengers David Kuo (63), Eduards Jefferson (75), Nelson Jo (77) and Susan Eduard (66).

All the events mentioned, Dr. Under the responsibility of Federico Calvete, he is being investigated by the Argentine Naval Administration and staff of the federal court of first instance in Ushuaia; Viking Polaris was moored by the roadside of the local port, while its passengers were evacuated from here.

Infobae consulted different sources who agreed to express different concerns and reservations when assessing tourist activities beyond the 60th parallel, the exact geographic point that marks the entrance to complex Antarctic waters.

They stated from the Argentine Maritime Association despite the fact that the so-called “Polar Law”, which regulates both the vocational training of personnel operating ships sailing in polar waters and the structural conditions that ships must have, has been in effect since 2017. There are many grays to clear, being suitable for navigation in icy areas.

In the same vein, Rear Admiral Marcelo Tarapow, Head of the Antarctic Academy, said: “The main purpose of the Polar Law is to agree on minimum safety standards for the training of personnel and ships that will sail at high latitudes. Arctic and Antarctic.

And he expanded: “This encompasses everything from the construction of boats with vehicles adapted for low temperatures, to communications equipment, positioning and abandonment in the event of an accident. The Polar Code brings together more than a century of experience in an environment characterized by strong winds, choppy seas, low temperatures, reduced visibility, inaccurate cartography and the presence of disparate elements. types of ice. vagabond”.

“It should be noted that in the special case of Viking Polar, it is a ship that was put into service in 2022. It has the latest technology and its hull is approved for Antarctic navigation. This does not mean that some things are not entirely clear in terms of the safety provisions on such vessels intended for the carriage of non-seafarers”, another maritime expert consulted.

The cited source said: “These ships have huge glass surfaces that offer a magnificent view of the Antarctic landscape, we can’t help but think now, just as navigation in the Caribbean Sea is usually accompanied by nice weather and calm waters, the bravery of the south sea, subject the structure of the boat to all sorts of troubles,” said the source. and the Polar Code doesn’t really study the subject”.

A famous maritime businessman working for a cruise ship agency said, “Cruise ships are subject to special building regulations. Classification societies are responsible for compliance with the regulations, as those responsible in these cases are usually representatives of the State whose flag the ship is flying”.

Among the long pending problems with the operational safety of such ships is the lack of correlation between the age, physical fitness and reaction capacity of the majority of passengers and the freedom to carry out the activities assigned to them. It is a high risk even for educated people.

“For a professional military or civilian seafarer to serve on a small ship in dangerous waters, he must pass a large number of physical tests. A tourist from Antarctica said, “Without the slightest prior instruction, and often just because they are old people, it is necessary to pass a lot of physical tests. being invited to the semi-truck crew knowing it will put them at an unquestionable risk of life.”

For several years, different authorities responsible for the Antarctic sector have been warning of the danger of increased tourism activity on the white continent. In addition to frequent personal accidents, he flies over the irreparable environmental damage the only oasis on the planet can suffer if a mega cruise ship crashes and spills fuel in the area.

Infobae was able to learn that the string of fatal or serious accidents occurring at the local level should lead to more effective control measures and to restrict or outright ban passengers from landing on Antarctic soil.

In this regard, Antarctica once again pointed out: “The problem with trying to regulate Antarctic tourism at the national level is that apart from the declared Antarctic sovereignty it has led us to a two-continent map, practically the country has no powers. Enacting laws at these latitudes as the current Antarctic Treaty prohibits it. any proposal must be the result of international consensus”. (FERNANDO MORALES – INFOBAE) #NUESTROMAR


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