Wednesday, July 26, 2006

To Err Was Human ...

Autopilot Off Hook: Last week’s Crown Princess lurch was caused by a mistake on the bridge, Princess Cruises now reports. In an open letter posted on the line's web site, Princess President Alan Buckelew cites human error. With the ship's captain still in command of the $500 million vessel, Princess blames another officer no longer on active duty and says "personnel changes" have been made, although it didn't say whether the offending officer was keel-hulled or what. Several officers are typically qualified to steer, including the staff captain and first officer. On July 18, the 3,100- passenger vessel listed 15 degrees for about 30 seconds while departing Port Canaveral enroute to New York. Princess treated 240 passengers onboard, and 94 were briefly hospitalized. National Transportation Safety Board, Coast Guard and Bermuda authorities are investigating. Early reports, linked to crew, blamed a steering malfunction, possibly from autopilot failure.


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