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Food for thought What members really think about their meals at sea 20-21

Nautilus calling A day in the life of the Union’s Dutch ship visitor 19

NL nieuws Drie pagina’s met nieuws uit Nederland 36-38

Volume 46 | Number 02 | February 2013 | £3.50 €3.70

QE2 set to move to Far East as a floating hotel

FThe former Cunard liner QE2 is set for a new role as a luxury

floating hotel in the Far East, it was revealed last month. Reports that the ship could be

destined for a similar function in London were dashed when the owners, QE2 Dubai, confirmed that the vessel was moving into drydock for classification checks before conversion work. The company said it had created

an international consortium with Singapore and Hong Kong-based cruiseship management company Oceanic Group to convert the 45- year-old ship into a 500-room five- star floating hotel. ‘A number of Asian cities have

Costa captain tells of ‘legacy’ hopes

Blame culture may mean key safety lessons are ignored, Captain Schettino tells Telegraph EXCLUSIVE


a plan which had prevented a ‘cat- astrophic’ accident and a greater loss of life. But, he claimed, there are

One year after the cruiseship Costa Concor- dia sank off the coast of

Italy, with the loss of 32 lives, its master, Captain Francesco Schet- tino, has told Nautilus of his hope that the accident will leave a ‘legacy’ of improved safety. In an exclusive two-and-a-half

hour interview with the Tele- graph, Capt Schettino told how he wanted to have his side of the story heard following the ‘gossip’ that had been circulated ‘to create the scapegoat’. The 52-year-old master, who

has been at the centre of a crimi- nal investigation and has been accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship, spoke last month as prose- cutors were deciding on an indict- ment to face trial. Five other members of the

crew, including the first officer, and three of Costa Cruises’ shore- based staff are also facing crimi- nal charges arising from the acci- dent. Capt Schettino told the Tele-

graph of his concerns that the desire to blame people for the accident would prevent impor- tant safety lessons from being learned. ‘I have never denied my

Captain Francesco Schettino leaves a pre-trial hearing Picture: Reuters He described how he had

responsibilities,’ he said. ‘I accept my responsibilities, but I am not a criminal. You cannot control things that are outside your control.’

arrived on the bridge only 11 min- utes before Costa Concordia hit the rocks on the island of Giglio and claimed that the vessel was already off-course by the time he took the con. He rejected reports that he had

panicked after the grounding and said he believes VDR evidence would prove that he had followed

‘political’ reasons why a proper analysis of the accident has not been publicised. And he warned: ‘I am not con-

fident that the truth will come out. We have a blaming culture and will not take advantage of the opportunity for improvement in safety.’ Capt Schettino said he under-

stood the reasons why the public wanted to have someone to blame for the accident, but said he wanted people to have a better understanding of events on the night and of the pressures that modern-day shipmasters work under. ‘There should be an under-

standing of all the aspects involv- ing work at sea,’ he said. ‘Everyone should understand the limits.’ Capt Schettino said he had

been shocked by the way in which he had been portrayed by the media and said it had ‘ridiculed’ the maritime profession. ‘I believe that since the accident many things have been improved, but we have to be much more

gle out

respectful about the role of offi- cers and captains,’ he added. He claimed it was unfair to sin- individuals for blame

when the entire industry is suf- fering from a shortage of skilled and experienced seafarers. And he argued that justice

would be best served by making sure that the lessons of the acci- dent are learned and that a safety ‘legacy’ is created for the shipping industry. This should include measures to improve the surviv- ability of ships following water ingress, to improve evacuation arrangements, and to improve communications between crew members. ‘We have to handle this acci-

dent in a way that it deserves to be respected,’ he said. Capt Schettino said he had

always been extremely safety- conscious throughout his 34 years at sea and he hopes other masters and officers will learn from his experiences. And he also told the Telegraph

that he still wants to return to the sea —or at least find a new job in the maritime sector. gFull report —see centre pages.

expressed interest in securing this historic attraction,’ it added. ‘We have firmed up with an international tourist city in the Far East as her first destination.’ It promised that the work on the

ship would respect and safeguard its ‘immense heritage’. Cunard sold QE2 to Dubai World

in 2008 and the initial plan was for the retired ship to operate as a hotel in the Middle East city. But this failed to materialise as a result of the financial downturn — prompting rumours that it could return to the UK or even be scrapped. Cunard said it was pleased with

the new plans. Picture: Eric Houri


FCabin fever Research reveals seafarers’ concerns over low quality accommodation and facilities onboard ships— page 22

FMARPOL alarm Members warned of need for care over new rules on ships’ garbage — page 31

FUK training call Nautilus has called for new safeguards on the standards of cadets’ seatime — page 48

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