Stop undermining professionals

In an interesting Norwegian language article today, I read about city mayors and port captains in (northern) Norway complaining that the Captains of Hurtigruten doesn’t dare dock their ships in adverse weather. Communications director in Hurtigruten, Anne Marit Bjørnflaten, is now tired of this. And, that with a good reason!

I so wholeheartedly agree with this woman. As a Captain myself, passengers are often second-guessing my command as well on extreme days when the weather is so rough that a safe operation with satisfactory margins can not be maintained. 

People with no responsability for damages to vessel or its crew or guests, have no problem complaining about the descision of professional seafarers. Shouldn’t they instead agree that operating ships with safety in mind, be the better alternative? After years of experience, and hundreds of accidents and disaster, haven’t we learned more? 

By complaining about the descisions of my fellow ship-captains, aren’t they actually pressing them into a corner where they take uneccesarry risks? A few decades ago, this was frowned upon. Shipping companies would often pressured their captains to take great risks, but with the invention of the ISM code, this is no longer a problem. By complaining and second guessing professionals, the public appears as if they would once again like to see an increase in serious accidents. 

Nobody undermines the pilot of an aircraft when he decides to cancel a landing due to serious cross winds. Neither should passengers when a ships captain decides not to risk his ship, and it’s complement, in rough weather conditions at sea. 

We should instead be proud of the safety regulations we have in place to limit injuries and fatalities, and not frown upon the higher standards we have achieved. That would be so wrong, so very very wrong. 

Do you agree with me? Do you think it is correct to undermine the decisions of those that are legally in full command of a ship, an aircraft or any other form of transportation?

© : 2005 - 2021