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New published book by Chaney Kwak (passenger of the Viking Sky - 3/23/19)


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Yes....it's (at least in significant part) about that memorable event!  I read some reviews as well as the sample preview - he writes very well. I'd say this could be considered a must read for anyone who was on that journey!  Being there as a travel writer primarily to record his experiences with hopefully seeing the Northern Lights, he goes on to provide a stirring account of the events leading up to and including 3/23/19. I definitely plan to buy it.  

 

Here is the book on Amazon....  

https://www.amazon.com/Passenger-Travel-Learned-Cruises-Sinking/dp/1567926975  

 

 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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34 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

Yes....it's (at least in significant part) about that memorable event!  I read some reviews as well as the sample preview - he writes very well. I'd say this could be considered a must read for anyone who was on that journey!  Being there as a travel writer primarily to record his experiences with hopefully seeing the Northern Lights, he goes on to provide a stirring account of the events leading up to and including 3/23/19. I definitely plan to buy it.  

 

Here is the book on Amazon....  

https://www.amazon.com/Passenger-Travel-Learned-Cruises-Sinking/dp/1567926975  

 

 

 

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I read the book last week. I found it very interesting. It was probably a very harrowing for all onboard. Our only Viking experience was the 2018 Inaugural World Cruise. We loved the ship and crew.

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Thanks, OTJ, for bringing this book to our attention. How fortunate we are that such a gifted writer both chronicled our harrowing experience and set it into a broader perspective. 

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23 hours ago, larry1365 said:

It was probably a very harrowing for all onboard.

Yes...it was. Scariest part, for me, were three things: 1) the innate feeling that something was really wrong and yet not having been informed as to what it is or what was actually going on - the passengers were ill-informed during the days leading up to and including the early part of the 23rd. I think others here would agree  2) the initial announcement to report to muster stations with the indication that it was not a drill  - I sort of panicked a  bit and, without my wife along, would have had no clue as to how to put on the life vest - the author alludes to this as well (thus, I feel, lifeboat drills should still include actually having to put them on - cause in the actual emergency it's easy to get a bit of brain freeze despite having practiced it)  3) the actual air-lifting evacuation - scariest thing I've ever had to do!!

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21 hours ago, JDincalif said:

set it into a broader perspective. 

Exactly. That's one of the reasons I want to read it. We all have our own 'take' on it, but he was there specifically to write about his experiences but then also ties it in with other phases of his life - at least that's the general feel I get from things reviewers have mentioned. It just seems a book that all of us should have...now there's an idea for Mr. Hagen....distribute free copies of it during a reunion cruise!!! 

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16 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

Yes...it was. Scariest part, for me, were three things: 1) the innate feeling that something was really wrong and yet not having been informed as to what it is or what was actually going on - the passengers were ill-informed during the days leading up to and including the early part of the 23rd. I think others here would agree  2) the initial announcement to report to muster stations with the indication that it was not a drill  - I sort of panicked a  bit and, without my wife along, would have had no clue as to how to put on the life vest - the author alludes to this as well (thus, I feel, lifeboat drills should still include actually having to put them on - cause in the actual emergency it's easy to get a bit of brain freeze despite having practiced it)  3) the actual air-lifting evacuation - scariest thing I've ever had to do!!

 

All great points and I hope the final report provides some real answers.

 

Muster drills - this is the classic example of why the Muster Drill should not be dumbed down any further. Fortunately, I never had to issue the dreaded, "This is not a drill" on sounding the General Emergency Stations signal, mustering pax at Assembly Stations. It is the little things like donning a lifejacket during a drill, that can help once the alarm sounds and many pax get a rush of adrenaline. Another consideration is different brands of lifejackets have different methods of donning. While each Viking ship most likely has the same brand, it isn't guaranteed, as more ships are built. Other cruise lines do use lifejackets from other manufactuers, as this was the first time I have sailed with this brand.

 

Communications - when dealing with really serious incidents, this is unfortunately one factor that can be somewhat lacking for a variety of reasons. I recently read the book written by the pilot that landed the plane on the Hudson and he mentioned that while he normally provided excellent updates to pax, in that incident, he hadn't even advised the cabin crew to expect/prepare for a water landing. Just wasn't time, with other priorities.

 

You experienced an incident of similar magnitude and only once the final report is released will we have a better timeline of events. However, in the beginning of a critical situation, the Master will not have all facts and when it is mechanical, awaits updates from the Chief Engineer, while trying to keep the ship afloat. 

 

Helo Evacuation - I just can't imagine how the pax survived, as we have only performed this with military/coast guard. None of our crew even went up to a helo when we trained with them. All of you that evacuated by helo are in a very select group.

 

If one of the ship's officers ever writes a book on the incident, it will be interesting to compare it to the thoughts of the pax.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

It just seems a book that all of us should have...now there's an idea for Mr. Hagen....distribute free copies of it during a reunion cruise!!! 

 

Spoiler alert...

 

Given that, in response to Mr. Hagen's generous offer, the author writes, "There's no way in hell I'm setting my foot on another cruise ship," we suspect that we'll have to buy the book for ourselves.😉

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34 minutes ago, JDincalif said:

Given that, in response to Mr. Hagen's generous offer, the author writes, "There's no way in hell I'm setting my foot on another cruise ship," we suspect that we'll have to buy the book for ourselves.😉

LOL....and yet sort of sad that he let this experience get in the way of maybe taking future cruises...which brings up an interesting question...have to wonder how many of the Sky passengers feel the same way? And if so, will they mellow in time and get back out on the water?  

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Re: muster drills.....You have my thumbs up on that one. Some of these videos that are being shown in lieu of any sort of drill are, in my estimation, a joke. 

 

1 hour ago, Heidi13 said:

Another consideration is different brands of lifejackets have different methods of donning.

Well, what we had was sort of like a cube - all folded up. When the time came, I had NO clue how to manage it. My wife held it all together, mentally and emotionally, far better than I did. 

 

1 hour ago, Heidi13 said:

However, in the beginning of a critical situation, the Master will not have all facts and when it is mechanical, awaits updates from the Chief Engineer, while trying to keep the ship afloat. 

You're surely the expert on all this, but given that they allegedly knew there was a severe storm likely in our path, at least some sort of warning or notification about it with maybe a thought to change course in some way so as to avoid the worst? Anything to prepare the pax for whatever might be coming along with possible alternatives. We never got that.

 

The cruise we were on right after the Sky encountered some bad weather and the passengers were kept informed all along - to the extent of the captain holding 2 excellent and lengthy presentations in the theatre complete with graphs, maps, diagrams, etc. showing our intended course and then the revised one to avoid bad weather. He also showed the various itinerary change options and which one was decided on and approved by the front office. We were really impressed and, at the same time, even moreso disappointed with how little we were informed on the Sky before all of a sudden being in a mayday. That made it all the more stressful - no time to mentally prepare for even the remote possibility of something like that. Others here have verified my recollection of it. There was one announcement I recall from the captain indicating that he will try to stay more to the inside passages to avoid some rougher seas...but that was all. Next thing we know is hearing the code echo announcement, followed by the general alarm. Nope...I'm sorry....but I feel there should have been way better communication. 

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1 hour ago, OnTheJourney said:

Re: muster drills.....You have my thumbs up on that one. Some of these videos that are being shown in lieu of any sort of drill are, in my estimation, a joke. 

 

Well, what we had was sort of like a cube - all folded up. When the time came, I had NO clue how to manage it. My wife held it all together, mentally and emotionally, far better than I did. 

 

You're surely the expert on all this, but given that they allegedly knew there was a severe storm likely in our path, at least some sort of warning or notification about it with maybe a thought to change course in some way so as to avoid the worst? Anything to prepare the pax for whatever might be coming along with possible alternatives. We never got that.

 

The cruise we were on right after the Sky encountered some bad weather and the passengers were kept informed all along - to the extent of the captain holding 2 excellent and lengthy presentations in the theatre complete with graphs, maps, diagrams, etc. showing our intended course and then the revised one to avoid bad weather. He also showed the various itinerary change options and which one was decided on and approved by the front office. We were really impressed and, at the same time, even moreso disappointed with how little we were informed on the Sky before all of a sudden being in a mayday. That made it all the more stressful - no time to mentally prepare for even the remote possibility of something like that. Others here have verified my recollection of it. There was one announcement I recall from the captain indicating that he will try to stay more to the inside passages to avoid some rougher seas...but that was all. Next thing we know is hearing the code echo announcement, followed by the general alarm. Nope...I'm sorry....but I feel there should have been way better communication. 

 

 

On Viking Sun, when we cancelled Melbourne and headed direct to Sydney, the Captain held a similar briefing in the Star Theatre, projecting a number of slides with forecasted wind/sea states and the estimated ship's position, both on the original itinerary and his alternative.

 

I don't know any Masters that do these presentations and it isn't something I have ever seen done before, but admit it was very impressive. However, even with being presented all the fact, we still had a number of armchair experts 2nd guessing the Captain stating it wasn't that bad and no reason to skip Melbourne.

 

As the convoluted Magical Mystery Tour progressed, the Captain called a number of similar meetings to update pax on any major changes. It was very well done.

 

Personally, with many years in Command, I have only once gone down to address the pax. In port, we found a suspicious bag on a car deck, so I had mustered the pax in the furthest lounge. In discussing the risk with the responding RCMP, I elected to move all pax ashore. Rather than making a PA announcement, I headed down to the lounge to discuss the situation and initiate an orderly disembarkation to the shore. Must admit, it definitely worked well and I received positive feedback, so hopefully the Sky incident may drive improved communications for heavy weather/itinerary changes.

 

Unfortunately, not all Captains are comfortable making pax presentations.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

not all Captains are comfortable making pax presentations.

We sure had never experienced anything like that. We've done the typical captain's welcome party where he (she) says a few words, introduces the officers, etc. and then often the daily announcements from the bridge...and that's about it except for maybe the captain being present at a few of the social fun events - but never anything like I referred to. He even ran overtime and had to stop due another program already scheduled for the theatre. Otherwise, his question and answer session would have kept going. As it was, I think he talked to us for close to 2 hours. Then the same thing again a few days later. 

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