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Viking Sky survivors

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18 minutes ago, DGHOC said:

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have had a response from Viking re the two paramedics/firefighter guests, Matt and Jamie Bergasser, who took control so valiantly in the theatre. They were outstanding, attending to the wounded, calming those upset and anxious, collecting badly needed meds (mine included), shouting out instructions and generally being truly exceptional. They were guests like all of us though many assumed they were Viking crew.

 

I wanted to make Torstein Hagen personally aware of their huge efforts, and I now know that he is going to thank them personally. A very well deserved thanks!

Well said, with you 100%, they were magnificent!

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I am not surprised that career firefighters/paramedics stepped up to the plate in a crisis.  Viking was so fortunate that they were on board.  I hope they are rewarded by an ADDITIONAL gratis cruise.  That would be wonderful. 

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I watched a youtube interview of Matt and Jamie. They are outstanding young people and relayed their experiences so well. Indeed the Sky passengers and crew were fortunate to have them onboard! 

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6 hours ago, gretschwhtfalcon said:

I watched a youtube interview of Matt and Jamie. They are outstanding young people and relayed their experiences so well. Indeed the Sky passengers and crew were fortunate to have them onboard! 

Do you have a link by any chance, would like to see it, thanks

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11 minutes ago, Haworth said:

Do you have a link by any chance, would like to see it, thanks

 

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Thanks Kitty, this is what I'd found. I'd been trying to track them down but only knew Jamie's Christian name. Unfortunately any written media I discovered wasn't accessible in the UK but then I found this.

 

I'd spoken to Viking a few times about them but I wasn't convinced the message had got through. When I found this I then had more comprehensive detail and was a little more insistent. The UK Viking Sky helpline team were switched on, acted quickly and gave me prompt feedback.

 

Well done to Matt and Jamie, hugely commendable efforts! We'd thanked them as had many others but official thanks from Viking will be appreciated I'm sure.

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Okay, so good for these awesome passengers, how great that they stepped up! But what would have been the case if they weren't there?  Would there have been chaos and panic, hypothermia...?

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22 minutes ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

Okay, so good for these awesome passengers, how great that they stepped up! But what would have been the case if they weren't there?  Would there have been chaos and panic, hypothermia...?

 

No I don't think that would have been the case at all. The vast majority of passengers with us in the theatre were calm and orderly irrespective of how they were feeling. People were helping each other, tying up life jackets for their neighbours, reassuring each other etc. Passengers who were very obviously scared were being supported and encouraged by those around them. I saw one lady helping another by encouraging her to do breathing exercises to calm her down.

 

People were stepping up but Jamie and Matt sprung into action and went a step further.

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Even though we were not in the theater, I can tell you people were very supportive of  each other, and helpful to each other.  Our muster station was in the restaurant, and was moved to the atrium when the door/window broke when the wave of water came in.   There was concern but no chaos.  Again, as stated numerous times, the crew kept us safe as possible and ensured everything was orderly.  They were fantastic.  

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So appreciative of all these wonderful stories of wonderful people being wonderful......

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3 hours ago, Hunding said:

So appreciative of all these wonderful stories of wonderful people being wonderful......

AND it was a wonderfully happy ending...except for those who were injured and wound up in the hospital

 

 

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6 hours ago, Doubt It said:

Consumers need to realize that cruise lines are not particularly well regulated so cruise passengers need to become more aware of the risks they take when cruising. 

 

 

Can only assume that you have never worked in the marine industry, especially cruise ships. The marine industry is so highly regulated by multiple levels of International, National and Local Authorities, in addition to Class and P&I Clubs. Many of the top companies now operate way beyond the basic ISM Code and have very detailed safety management systems (SMS) equivalent to ISO 9001/14001.

 

Bridge & Engine Room teams, in addition to having valid Certificates of Competency, receive extensive simulator training incorporating human factors and risk analysis. The aforementioned SMS will also have detailed plans for many situations.

 

As a consumer of the cruise industry, especially Viking Ocean, I do believe I am more than well informed of the risks. I also suggest that knowing the risks means virtually nothing to an educated consumer, as personally, I am more interested in how they are managing the risks and reducing the risks to "ALARP". 

 

With respect to the lawyers you mentioned, I have frequently read of them being referred to as the cruise ship equivalent of ambulance chasers. Sorry, but certainly would never help them by registering a hit on their blog. 

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19 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Can only assume that you have never worked in the marine industry, especially cruise ships. The marine industry is so highly regulated by multiple levels of International, National and Local Authorities, in addition to Class and P&I Clubs. Many of the top companies now operate way beyond the basic ISM Code and have very detailed safety management systems (SMS) equivalent to ISO 9001/14001.

 

Bridge & Engine Room teams, in addition to having valid Certificates of Competency, receive extensive simulator training incorporating human factors and risk analysis. The aforementioned SMS will also have detailed plans for many situations.

 

As a consumer of the cruise industry, especially Viking Ocean, I do believe I am more than well informed of the risks. I also suggest that knowing the risks means virtually nothing to an educated consumer, as personally, I am more interested in how they are managing the risks and reducing the risks to "ALARP". 

 

With respect to the lawyers you mentioned, I have frequently read of them being referred to as the cruise ship equivalent of ambulance chasers. Sorry, but certainly would never help them by registering a hit on their blog. 

Heidi - sorry to inform you that you are sadly in error - - worldwide cruise industry is not regulated !    I am US Master Mariner with all oceans endorsement . IMO is UN type body with no authority to ban ships from commerce or effectively regulate international cruise traffic when incident occurs. See casualty reports in MARITIME EXECUTIVE for details of at sea incidents aboard vessels including power failures , criminal activity against passengers and crew that have occurred.  Flag of convenience registration makes this all possible since actions are never reported to small flag countries like Marshall Islands and Bahamas !

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4 minutes ago, WBradfordGary said:

Heidi - sorry to inform you that you are sadly in error - - worldwide cruise industry is not regulated !    I am US Master Mariner with all oceans endorsement . IMO is UN type body with no authority to ban ships from commerce or effectively regulate international cruise traffic when incident occurs. See casualty reports in MARITIME EXECUTIVE for details of at sea incidents aboard vessels including power failures , criminal activity against passengers and crew that have occurred.  Flag of convenience registration makes this all possible since actions are never reported to small flag countries like Marshall Islands and Bahamas !

Thanks for your opinion, but with over 40 years at sea on UK & Canadian tonnage, of which 28 yrs were in command of passenger carrying vessels, I do actually know the industry and have studied many accident/incident reports.

 

When a Flag State is signatory to an IMO Convention, they are required to implement the convention requirements in their Shipping Acts/Regulations. I noted both Flag States you mentioned are signatory to IMO - Marshall Islands in 1998 and Bahamas in 1976. I believe Marshall Islands, rather than creating detailed Acts/Regulations simply make reference to IMO Conventions. Since this is the Viking Board, FoC is a mute point, since VO ships are flagged in Norway.

 

My last couple of years prior to retirement was researching regulatory issues and compliance, for a large passenger line. In addition, I also developed a new Level II, fleet ops policy/procedures . This incorporated the latest navigation standards, Bridge Team Command & Control procedures based on airline models, closed loop communications, human factors and risk analysis. I thoroughly researched the multiple levels of regulation in the industry. I also researched other leading passenger vessel line's policies & procedures.

 

If the cruise industry isn't regulated, I have no idea what documents I read and researched for many years. 

 

 

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Heid13, like many segments of business and society, there can be a plethora of rules, regulations, procedures, policy - and  little to no enforcement. Much of such activity is window dressing for auditors and the CEO. Being "required to" implement is subject to the disposition of the industry. 

 

Much of such "paper" is worthless without activist arms length organizations (not government) that have punitive power to force inspections, payment of fines. 

 

As WBradfordGary noted above, there is little to no punitive oversight of the cruise industry. Hence why it is a US government justice official who is addressing the Carnival Corp pollution file.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I agree that the industry is regulated; however, the issue comes from enforcement of said regulations which seems to be the biggest sticking point.  Look no further than the issues coming up as of late relating to Carnival Corp. and their continued illegal dumping of waste and other pollutants, of which they were only fined and not more severely admonished.  

 

In the US, there are several 'good' regulations (i.e. CVSSA) but if issues relating to these regulations are not properly reported/enforced then the regulations are nothing more than good ideas.

 

I also think there's a false equivalency being given to Viking in comparison to other mainstream brands in suggesting that they too are making use of training simulators, or have a comprehensive SMS, etc as in the case of Carnival Corp and others these have been implemented and honed over many years of operation.  Of course Viking will have an SMS in place in accordance with IMO regulations, but thats not to say its as in depth as a company with 100+ years in operation.  In speaking with senior officers onboard during meet & greets, I've found the majority have said they rely on their prior industry experience and that Viking are still operating in a fledgling system whereby they seem to be focusing more on the customer service element and much less on the technical side, which could very well be the river boat mentality coming to the forefront.

 

As has been said, how an incident is handled is equally if not more important but apart from the good will gestures being offered to those affected, I've seen nothing significant coming from Viking apart from a well timed 'puff piece' article in Forbes painting Hagen as some kind of underdog made good.  Pardon my cynicism but it seems like the spin doctors are hard at work trying to shift focus which i suppose is what they're expected to do...

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On 4/1/2019 at 12:13 PM, SLSD said:

DGHOC, Does this mean that Viking and Torstein Hagen are offering you one free cruise and then ANOTHER (being the maiden voyage of  Venus)?

Actually, in addition to the maiden voyage, we received a voucher for the full amount spent (cruise, airfare, insurance, excursions and on board expenses) to apply to future cruise(s).  So depending on how much your voucher is, I suppose you might be able to do a couple of river cruises!  To the person who wondered about crew gratuities - we were advised they received the amount they would have normally received, plus an additional amount.  I remain a Viking fan.

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2 hours ago, Cruising TBD said:

As WBradfordGary noted above, there is little to no punitive oversight of the cruise industry. Hence why it is a US government justice official who is addressing the Carnival Corp pollution file.

 

As I indicated in previous posts, my opinion isn't based on what I read in the press, but from personal experience of working in the industry for many years, and in retirement by staying informed through marine journals and others still employed in the industry.

 

When I started in the industry in the mid-70's I would agree few mariners at that time received punitive measures, but since the Herald of Free Enterprise incident it has changed. I also note that it isn't just the US that imposes penalties, as I have read of Canadian, UK, Australia, NZ, Hong Kong & Korea authorities charging & convicting mariners.  

 

While I don't follow the US, many world-wide maritime authorities have charged and convicted mariners - Canada, UK, Italy, Hong Kong & Korea to name a few off the top of my head. Some have received multiple year custodial sentences.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/14/2019 at 8:37 PM, johneb2 said:

Hi neighbor.  Not sure if you were the ones who alerted my wife about the northern lights.  She was thrilled when she got the call!

 

Just talked about this today. Yes...my wife was the one that called you! I wasn't aware of it at the time (and then really didn't discuss this much afterwards) since I was out on deck. She was in the room out on the verandah, then must have called you. 

Edited by gretschwhtfalcon

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On 4/23/2019 at 10:54 AM, DGHOC said:

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have had a response from Viking re the two paramedics/firefighter guests, Matt and Jamie Bergasser, who took control so valiantly in the theatre. They were outstanding, attending to the wounded, calming those upset and anxious, collecting badly needed meds (mine included), shouting out instructions and generally being truly exceptional. They were guests like all of us though many assumed they were Viking crew.

 

I wanted to make Torstein Hagen personally aware of their huge efforts, and I now know that he is going to thank them personally. A very well deserved thanks!

Wonderful - I was so impressed by them and glad they are being recognized.

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Thank her again.  My wife really enjoyed that!  We have now returned to everyday life, but still keep getting asked about our adventure on that trip!  Hope everyone else is well and recovered by now.  I know there is some debate about some things about the trip, but I think we can all agree upon...it is a cruise we will never forget!! 

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Posted (edited)

It is indeed a cruise to remember..as in...how can it ever be forgotten?  "Recovered" is, I think, a relative term here and undoubtedly varies by individual. Just the past few days, with the high wind and dark clouds here, we both once again felt quite unsettled - same reaction when watching a movie a few days ago when there was footage of a hurricane. So, yes, I think we recovered compared to how things felt trying to sleep the night of 3/23, but I'm starting to think that this is one of those experiences, personally speaking, that will stay with me. I can almost liken it to a near head-on car accident I had in '78. Forty-one years later, I can relive it just as powerfully as though it was yesterday. I have a sneaking suspicion that this incident could be sort of similar. All I have to do is think about it and can easily relive that moment of terror waiting to be airlifted. Scariest thing I ever saw was seeing Joan being swept off the deck of the ship. I was admittedly in tears - so afraid something bad would happen to her. Certain events - particularly frightening or highly upsetting experiences - seem to have a way of being permanently seared into my memory. Also, being a musician, I'm a highly auditory person - so I suspect the sound of all the glass and breakable objects smashing to the floor will always be one I can recall rather accurately, as I can the voices of loved ones long deceased. 

 

All that being said, it will NOT stop us from cruising. In fact, we look forward to our next one but it surely will be interesting to see how we react to any excessive ship motion and/or adverse weather and sea conditions. Glad you have adjusted well to it - perhaps better than I. I'd probably be doing myself a favor by getting away from the CC boards for awhile, and yet my way of coping with what happened has been to, ironically, sort of embrace it - learn as much as I can about what happened, talk about it with people, and so forth. Others may need exactly the opposite to be able to move on. Time will tell...but....yes...I will once again thank Joan!!! Glad she made that call to your room!!!  Hope to see you again sometime on another sailing. We are TRULY survivors!!! 🙂

Edited by gretschwhtfalcon

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