Daily Archives: February 26, 2013

Mega Cruise Ships: Disaster risks for the Caribbean

Carnival Triumph Disaster

Carnival Triumph – Yet another cruise ship drifts helplessly

by Robert MacLellan for Barbados Free Press

In considering risk assessment for Caribbean nations in relation to cruise ship emergencies, let’s do the math…

Nearly sixty percent of the world’s cruise ship fleet is in the Caribbean from November to March each year. Over forty per cent of the world’s cruise ship fleet is owned by Carnival Corporation (Carnival, Costa, Cunard, Princess, P&O, Holland America, Seabourne, Aida and Ibero cruise lines). At least four major incidents have occurred in the last twenty-seven months on that company’s ships alone.

Two potential disasters for Barbados and other small Caribbean countries

Let’s consider just two of many potential Caribbean disaster scenarios, based on the fact that three of Carnival Corporation’s cruise ships have each drifted helplessly for approximately ninety miles. If a ship leaving or returning to the busy cruise home port in Barbados loses all propulsion and steerage-way when west of that island, wind and current might very likely make it drift the ninety miles to the wild and rocky east coast of St Lucia – with huge risk to human life, to the marine environment and to the country’s tourism based economy. If a ship leaving or returning to the principal Caribbean cruise home port in Puerto Rico experiences the same situation when south-west of Anguilla and St Maarten, a ninety mile drift could take it to the pristine but dangerous reefs of the Virgin Islands.

Unlikely disasters? No – very possible based on recent events. Continue reading

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A reasoned view of the Royal Barbados Police Force

barbados-police.jpg

If the current staff could be like the police officers I once knew

by Mark Fenty

We obviously cannot invalidate the important job the Royal Barbados Police Force is doing in Barbados, but we are certainly troubled by the many instances of misconduct surrounding this institution. Some people fail to realize that the Royal Barbados Police Force is much like any other organization in Barbados, and is therefore subject to some of the same faults and failings as all. And like any other organization there are good and bad apples within.

So with this thought in mind, we therefore cannot unilaterally or arbitrarily besmear the efforts of the majority for the wrong doings of a few bad apples in the Force. It is important however that we are impartial in our judgment of the Royal Barbados Police Force, and assign blame where it is needed. I think we all can agree that the job of a peace officer is quite difficult at times.

And to be quite frank, there are often calls for some officers to do things that aren’t conductive to proper policing. Nevertheless, too often some of us take for granted the effort it take on the part of these peace officers to maintain the public peace.

In any event, some of these peace officers are men of integrity whose objective it is to ensure the public order. Others are rotten apples who see an opportunity to use their position of power to take advantage of the marginalized elements in our society. I knew both elements quite well, because I was born and bred just behind a major police station in Barbados. I saw both sides of the coin but for the most part, most of the men and women I once knew were good nature people who would go out of their way to give you their shirt of their back. That’s the kind of men and women I once knew, and that’s the kind of men and women who once constituted the Royal Barbados Police Force in my day. I would like to give a shout out to Commission Alvin Griffith if he is still living, a man of honest purpose and simple integrity, cloth with the rare qualities of dignity, decency and decorum.

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