Jump to content

Ruby Princess - Special Inquiry - Evidence To Date


Recommended Posts

For those too busy to spend your days watching  on internet the interesting proceedings before the  Special Commission of Inquiry into Ruby Princess - here is an interesting 3 page detailed  summary  from the Guardian newspaper.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/may/10/anatomy-of-a-cruise-how-the-ruby-princess-came-to-dock-and-disembark-with-coronavirus

 

The title is :  ''Anatomy of a cruise: how the Ruby Princess came to dock and disembark with coronavirus

The inquiry into the management of the ship’s arrival in Sydney in March has revealed a detailed timeline of who knew what and when"

 

An easy to read eye opener.   More revelation no doubt to follow form future witnesses.

The Commissioner (a very experienced senior Barrister) seems impressive in wanting to get to the very bottom of things.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a fan of Princess and cruising in general I have been watching it closely. I am not a fan of the guardian and do not even read their articles anymore after seeing too much hype and nonsense. I did however find an interesting article on the ABC about it. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-12/ruby-princess-coronavirus-nsw-inquiry-hears-of-shortcommings/12235396 For the record I think there were mistakes and unpreparedness all around. Nothing malicious or intentional but just mistakes and adapting to this new situation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The enquiry has wrapped up temporarily, with dates for re-start TBA, following the completion of the first round of witnesses, with the Carnival 'Port Manager' being the final witness.

My take on the hearings so far, albeit only from some parts of some witnesses, is that everything associated with the berthing of a cruiseship in Sydney Harbour & disembarkation is pretty much someone else's job 😮 Well I am exaggerating but I was surprised at some of the answers.

 

Let's see what happens on recommencement. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
As a fan of Princess and cruising in general I have been watching it closely. I am not a fan of the guardian and do not even read their articles anymore after seeing too much hype and nonsense. I did however find an interesting article on the ABC about it. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-12/ruby-princess-coronavirus-nsw-inquiry-hears-of-shortcommings/12235396 For the record I think there were mistakes and unpreparedness all around. Nothing malicious or intentional but just mistakes and adapting to this new situation.

So true, the popular media seemed hell bent on crucifying the Ruby Princess. In unprecedented modern times mistakes are made and hindsight is a luxurious window to look through.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
Link to post
Share on other sites

The worst looking party so far in this big comedy of errors fiasco with multiple players :

NSW Health Dept - by NOT  boarding Ruby and making  pax assessments on 19 March  (particularly as they did it on the previous cruise 8 March and everybody, incl. cruise Dr and Carnival expected them to do the same ). NSW Health instead deemed the ship 'low risk' in the covid raging world - because they did not have full info at that time, even though:

 

-  they knew of two ambulances for  non-covid cases but with people who had also at that time covid-like symptoms

-  they  also knew of many pax with respiratory infections

- and that the ship could not finalise covid tests on board. 

 

No surprise that in light of the above, the Commissioner asked why he should not conclude that the health dept NSW was responsible for a 'reprehensible shortcomings'.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, GEcruzer said:


So true, the popular media seemed hell bent on crucifying the Ruby Princess. In unprecedented modern times mistakes are made and hindsight is a luxurious window to look through.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Yes I have never seen so much hatred directed at the cruise industry in general from the mass media. What were they suggesting we do? I cannot fathom that they would seriously think it would be appropriate to send a ship infected back to sea full of at risk Australians. That is no way to look after your own citizens.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The morons of the mass media still have a 20 year old mindset. They think of cruising as a luxury holiday that only the wealthy can afford to do, so they use every opportunity they can to knock it. I don't think they realise how affordable it is,  and also how easy and convenient it is for older folk who would not be able to have a nice holiday any other way.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Cyrix400 said:

No surprise that in light of the above, the Commissioner asked why he should not conclude that the health dept NSW was responsible for a 'reprehensible shortcomings'.

 

 

Reading the transcript of the session with Ms Ressler of NSW Health suggest that the Commissioner could logically only come to that conclusion. What a mess.

And today I see a news report that NSW Health took part in a training exercise last year that revolved around the arrival in Sydney of a cruiseship with an epidemic onboard! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, mr walker said:

Reading the transcript of the session with Ms Ressler of NSW Health suggest that the Commissioner could logically only come to that conclusion. What a mess.

And today I see a news report that NSW Health took part in a training exercise last year that revolved around the arrival in Sydney of a cruiseship with an epidemic onboard! 

 

To be fair, that's a different situation from a cruiseship arriving without a known epidemic onboard - but in the midst of an epidemic around us.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What I would like to add here is that from reading medical experts can trace the virus to its place of origin by looking at the genetic sequence and its mutations. While I am not suggesting doing that to lay blame at some poor unsuspecting passenger, but if we do have samples of the virus from the Ruby Princess that can be analysed and traced to a geographic cluster then it may lay some rumours to rest about it being a crew member such as a chef which we all know to be nonsense. The criminal investigation that I have no faith in will probably hold off doing anything until the Special Commission of Inquiry has run its course. Some where in the world there would be the ability to trace the origin of the virus on Ruby Princess to. If that were done and debunked the crew theory and traced it to passengers then it would reduce the liability Princess faces and the crew faces. As I see it they are victims in this like everyone else. My guess is that the ships Doctor was caught by surprise by this as the infections at the time were not above average for your regular cruise. I have done world cruises before and know from experience that there are often influenza or bronchitis outbreaks on cruises. It is not uncommon and being away from the epicentre of the new virus the ship would have been none the wiser given past experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Battleship02 said:

What I would like to add here is that from reading medical experts can trace the virus to its place of origin by looking at the genetic sequence and its mutations. While I am not suggesting doing that to lay blame at some poor unsuspecting passenger, but if we do have samples of the virus from the Ruby Princess that can be analysed and traced to a geographic cluster then it may lay some rumours to rest about it being a crew member such as a chef which we all know to be nonsense. The criminal investigation that I have no faith in will probably hold off doing anything until the Special Commission of Inquiry has run its course. Some where in the world there would be the ability to trace the origin of the virus on Ruby Princess to. If that were done and debunked the crew theory and traced it to passengers then it would reduce the liability Princess faces and the crew faces. As I see it they are victims in this like everyone else. My guess is that the ships Doctor was caught by surprise by this as the infections at the time were not above average for your regular cruise. I have done world cruises before and know from experience that there are often influenza or bronchitis outbreaks on cruises. It is not uncommon and being away from the epicentre of the new virus the ship would have been none the wiser given past experience.

I agree with your comments. Actually, I posted a comment after the Sixty Minutes episode 10 days ago about the ability for researchers to trace where in the world a particular COVID cluster originated. If this has been done, the authorities in NSW are keeping quiet about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't consider it to be so absolutely important of who may have been #0 or #1, depending on the convention chosen, on Ruby Princess.

 

The problem is the systemic & individual failures that followed the initial spread that have become apparent during the inquiry.

 

Disasters are most often the result of a series of mistakes/errors/failures & this will likely become a casebook study.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, mr walker said:

I don't consider it to be so absolutely important of who may have been #0 or #1, depending on the convention chosen, on Ruby Princess.

 

The problem is the systemic & individual failures that followed the initial spread that have become apparent during the inquiry.

 

Disasters are most often the result of a series of mistakes/errors/failures & this will likely become a casebook study.

Except that proving that the virus was a US or UK strain probably puts the kybosh on the police commissioner's theory that it was a crew member. He might have to actually do some investigation then to earn the massive pay increase he just received recently. I would very much like to see him with egg on his face!

Edited by OzKiwiJJ
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Except that proving that the virus was a US or UK strain probably puts the kybosh on the police commissioner's theory that it was a crew member. He might have to actually do some investigation then to earn the massive pay increase he just received recently.

It seems that, irrespective of theories,  the position of NSW State Emergency Operations Controller pays $650K p.a. I'm not saying if I think that is justified or not, just that it is what it is.

Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, mr walker said:

I don't consider it to be so absolutely important of who may have been #0 or #1, depending on the convention chosen, on Ruby Princess.

 

The problem is the systemic & individual failures that followed the initial spread that have become apparent during the inquiry.

 

Disasters are most often the result of a series of mistakes/errors/failures & this will likely become a casebook study.

For the police investigation it would be vital. If they want to suggest that Ruby Princess was aware of the virus and was covering it up then they will need to prove that with hard facts and evidence. Therefore it would become an integral and any defence lawyer would be onto it also. The police commissioner has already laid the ground work by implicating a crew member. If it can be proven that it was not then it would demonstrate to the courts what an incredible lack of judgement he demonstrated my making that statement.

 

When you speak of individual failures the level of neglect the police will have to prove for criminal negligence is quite high. We must remember here that in March little was still known about the virus and for a cruise ship operating as far away from the epicentre as possible with a Doctor looking after up to and over 3,000 people, I dare say she would have little time to be following the news and would have had only the medical information to go off sent to her by relevant worldwide health authorities and in the case of Princess the CDC which is US based. It would be fair to say that based on her workload and working knowledge of the virus at the time that the degree of her failure to identify and recognise it does not meet the level required to be considered criminally negligent.

 

On the other hand the bar would be much lower for NSW Health being a government department and knowing there was a risk of the virus from incoming passengers. At the time of the outbreak there was no travel ban in Australia on people from USA and UK but I believe there was from northern Italy and the blanket ban on from or through mainland china.

 

The way the police commissioner has maligned the Ruby Princess and the crew in the media will build a very strong case for malicious prosecution should he dare proceed with the case. That is why I do not think it will happen. He clearly lacks the intellect for his position and is undeserving of that salary he is getting in my opinion.

 

I am not going to be as extreme and hard on him or the police as others have on here but looking at it rationally and objectively I cannot see how he could proceed with any criminal charges. I know they are desperate to lay them based on the unprecedented scale of the investigation underway but in my opinion it will prove futile and an incredible waste of money which would be better spent on giving nurses a pay rise.

 

Sometimes bad things happen. I do not think appropriating blame or defaming a cruise line or maligning their respectable crew is helpful.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading about Fuller's comments about a 16 year who was stripped searched by police at a music festival, this man is clearly not fit for his job. Her lawyer had even sent a "cease and desist' letter to him.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Battleship02 said:

For the police investigation it would be vital. If they want to suggest that Ruby Princess was aware of the virus and was covering it up then they will need to prove that with hard facts and evidence. Therefore it would become an integral and any defence lawyer would be onto it also. The police commissioner has already laid the ground work by implicating a crew member. If it can be proven that it was not then it would demonstrate to the courts what an incredible lack of judgement he demonstrated my making that statement.

 

When you speak of individual failures the level of neglect the police will have to prove for criminal negligence is quite high. We must remember here that in March little was still known about the virus and for a cruise ship operating as far away from the epicentre as possible with a Doctor looking after up to and over 3,000 people, I dare say she would have little time to be following the news and would have had only the medical information to go off sent to her by relevant worldwide health authorities and in the case of Princess the CDC which is US based. It would be fair to say that based on her workload and working knowledge of the virus at the time that the degree of her failure to identify and recognise it does not meet the level required to be considered criminally negligent.

 

On the other hand the bar would be much lower for NSW Health being a government department and knowing there was a risk of the virus from incoming passengers. At the time of the outbreak there was no travel ban in Australia on people from USA and UK but I believe there was from northern Italy and the blanket ban on from or through mainland china.

 

The way the police commissioner has maligned the Ruby Princess and the crew in the media will build a very strong case for malicious prosecution should he dare proceed with the case. That is why I do not think it will happen. He clearly lacks the intellect for his position and is undeserving of that salary he is getting in my opinion.

 

I am not going to be as extreme and hard on him or the police as others have on here but looking at it rationally and objectively I cannot see how he could proceed with any criminal charges. I know they are desperate to lay them based on the unprecedented scale of the investigation underway but in my opinion it will prove futile and an incredible waste of money which would be better spent on giving nurses a pay rise.

 

Sometimes bad things happen. I do not think appropriating blame or defaming a cruise line or maligning their respectable crew is helpful.

I think I am missing something as I may be a little slow. What law/laws has/have been broken due to this "criminal negligence"?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Police criminal investigation is a big red herring here - it will be  impossible to prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' (criminal proof standard) that the cruise line was criminally  liable in the world of fast changing events.

Observe also that up to date   respiratory sick  log WAS as supplied by Princess/ Carnival -even though late, it was before the ship arrived - it was in the system but  Health NSW did not look/ realise that it was there  ).

 

On the other hand consider again how much the infection rate could have been reduced if Health NSW, - knowing that it is the last cruise (govt bans) - did what they did 11 days ago and boarded the ship and emphasised to affected pax to take precautions & give face masks - AND/OR detain them on board for a few hours - if they decided to do Covid tests & wait for results.

  After all , from the mid of Feb 2020 Health NSW updated its health protocols for cruise lines emphasising reporting of respiratory infections. The idea was presumably for Health NSW to take action if this occurred.

 

My post No 8 refers:

"NSW Health instead deemed the ship 'low risk' in the covid raging world - because they did not have full info at that time, even though:

-  they knew of two ambulances for  non-covid cases but with people who had also at that time covid-like symptoms

-  they  also knew of many pax with respiratory infections

- and that the ship could not finalise covid tests on board. 

 

No surprise that in light of the above, the Commissioner asked why he should not conclude that the health dept NSW was responsible for a 'reprehensible shortcomings'."

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Cyrix400 said:

The Police criminal investigation is a big red herring here - it will be  impossible to prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' (criminal proof standard) that the cruise line was criminally  liable in the world of fast changing events.

Observe also that up to date   respiratory sick  log WAS as supplied by Princess/ Carnival -even though late, it was before the ship arrived - it was in the system but  Health NSW did not look/ realise that it was there  ).

 

On the other hand consider again how much the infection rate could have been reduced if Health NSW, - knowing that it is the last cruise (govt bans) - did what they did 11 days ago and boarded the ship and emphasised to affected pax to take precautions & give face masks - AND/OR detain them on board for a few hours - if they decided to do Covid tests & wait for results.

  After all , from the mid of Feb 2020 Health NSW updated its health protocols for cruise lines emphasising reporting of respiratory infections. The idea was presumably for Health NSW to take action if this occurred.

Agree with your comments. I still cannot see the need for these enquiries. I feel an internal government one to see what went wrong with their systems would have been sufficient.

 

If it had been known (or suspected) that there was COVID on board what would have been different? The ship could not have been kept at sea where the risk to passengers would have been worse. All passengers could have been placed on quarantine ashore. However, I don't think the government had the facilities to keep 2,700 people in quarantine. Although there are pie-charts etc showing the proportion of COVID cases in Australia linked to the Ruby Princess, these numbers would have been only slightly reduced if the passengers had been put into quarantine. They were already infected before they disembarked.

 

What would have been different?  We would have had 19 fewer cases (those identified as being secondary infections) but most likely, the same number of deaths. 

 

Maybe there would have been fewer cases among the crew, but this isn't definite because the doctors on the ship were advised a couple of days after docking that a small number of passengers had tested positive to COVID. If the crew had gone into lockdown at that time, the infection rate would have been much lower among the crew. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

 I feel an internal government one to see what went wrong with their systems would have been sufficient.

 

 Presumably an enquiry handled by people a little more competent than the ones they are investigating, based on the current enquiry thus far.

We can only ever be eternally grateful that the doctors, nurses & other frontline health staff are much more competent than some of the bureaucrats who are employed within NSW Health. On the proceedings thus far, it appears that the person providing the greatest input of information to base the decision on what was to happen with Ruby Princess on Mar-19 was not a doctor, but an epidemiologist, which seemingly is a fancy term for a statistician. 

 

How would an internal enquiry satisfy the people of NSW? What about the people who say that the Police Investigation was setup for political purposes to clear the government of any blame and to destroy the cruise industry. Mr Fuller is surely going to earn his money and then some to somehow find that NSW Health were not negligent in their duties to protect public health in NSW by any rational assessment of the current proceedings.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, mr walker said:

 Presumably an enquiry handled by people a little more competent than the ones they are investigating, based on the current enquiry thus far.

We can only ever be eternally grateful that the doctors, nurses & other frontline health staff are much more competent than some of the bureaucrats who are employed within NSW Health. On the proceedings thus far, it appears that the person providing the greatest input of information to base the decision on what was to happen with Ruby Princess on Mar-19 was not a doctor, but an epidemiologist, which seemingly is a fancy term for a statistician. 

 

How would an internal enquiry satisfy the people of NSW? What about the people who say that the Police Investigation was setup for political purposes to clear the government of any blame and to destroy the cruise industry. Mr Fuller is surely going to earn his money and then some to somehow find that NSW Health were not negligent in their duties to protect public health in NSW by any rational assessment of the current proceedings.

I don't think there should be a police enquiry. I cannot see what it can achieve. Maybe it was set up for political purposes to divert attention away from the errors of NSW Health.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A with Chris Prelog, President of Windstar Cruises!
      • Register Now for Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Royal Caribbean
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...