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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Year of the horse sucks, big time

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It is official. Barely 4 months in and year of the horse has seen 3 major tragedies and all are related to water. First MH370, then the South Korean ferry tragedy which probably wiped out the seniors in one school and now the sherpas at Mount Everest, Sea, sea and ice, respectively. Watery grave and icy grave. Each seems to be breaking its own record for fatalities, each involves victims in dire situation that I can't begin to imagine. Horse year is really full of crap, manure and shit. Instead of individuals go do the tradition of paying respect at temples for good year, maybe it is time for countries themselves to do it, like those rituals at Temple Of Heaven or something. Each situation is so harrowing. It is just sickening to read more and more and more bad news and feel so helpless. My heart goes out to the victims, the families and the nations struggling to come to terms with how it all happened.

On the South Korean ferry tragedy, there is someone more inept than Malaysia in terms of rescue, search and PR. But at least they know where the ferry is. I read harrowing news of possible survivors in the hull. My first question was where is the hull? Then I read they're pumping oxygen into hull or air pockets. But wouldn't the hull be filled with water by now? Because if not, how on earth a ship can sink if no water enter the hull? And then I read about the despicable captain who left his inexperienced 25 year old new third in command the ship. I read it took a sharp turn and fell on its side and sank OR went to shallow waters and hit the rocks. So far undetermined reason. Then I read the captain told the kids to wait in the ship which was sinking? I read how he took hours to prepare for rescue? How only 1 of the boats were deployed? And then how he was one of the first to escaped? I know some may not be true but the 1st and last statement is true. And now he is giving stupid excuse like he didn't want the kids to be cold or float away or some nonsense. There is no way he can defend his actions. It is clear; he was inept and he was negligent and he was a coward. A captain NEVER leaves his ship first, he always leaves his ship last. He is always responsible for his crew and passengers. He will have to make difficult decisions to safeguard the safety of the passengers and crew, not himself. He may have to sink with his ship if he can't leave. A captain never leaves the command area unattended or leave it to some inexperienced 3rd in command. A captain when facing with a sinking ship should be saving the passengers and crew and not the ship itself. A captain never ever make stupid calls that delay evacuation and tells people to wait in the ship which is sinking fast. A captain never ever ever ever get rescued first before the last man is off the ship. In every way, this captain is screwed big time. As for his crew, it will depend but the one driving the ferry is screwed. I can never understand how anyone who so inexperienced could ever agree to drive something so big with so many lives dependent on her without supervision. I wouldn't even let myself drive a van even if I have driven a car for many years. I will always have an experienced van driver next to me when I drive a van, more so a huge big ferry carrying over 400 people. So now I can't stop thinking of those who were alive, trapped in the ferry and now drowned. Have you seen Titanic? Do what Jack did. He ran outside, took Rose along, wear the life jacket, wait until the very last moment to enter the water and then seek a lifeboat. When a ship is sinking fast, never ever ever ever go back into the ship. Find a bottle of whiskey or bourbon, drink it and pray you will be rescued fast before hypothermia hits you. At least you have a fighting chance. This South Korean captain,  Lee Joon-Seok by ordering the passengers back into the ferry, by delaying rescue, by running away leaving the evacuation mission unattended and unsupervised has sent over 200 people, mostly teenagers with bright future ahead of them into their deaths. A captain of a ship is like the PM of a country; he is supposed to show leadership in times of crisis, assurance in times of peace. Even if it is just a  ferry boat and not some naval boat. 

I condemn this Lee Joon-Seok. A coward and now making excuses.

Lee has been charged under maritime law with negligence and failing to secure the safety of passengers. Thirty-two have been confirmed dead so far, and a further 273 are still missing.Most of them are schoolchildren who were on a high school holiday trip. [Source]. Latest is 271 missing out of 475. [Source] And a vice principal who was rescued killed himself out of shame or guilt or both for having been rescued when it wasn't his fault in the first place.[Source]
The rescue mission seems to be filled with difficulty. Since MH370 is also facing similar problems, there is nothing to condemn (yet) but I read how officially they were supposed to be looking but parents said no one was looking during the early part of the rescue. Surely the authorities can't be so uncaring? I like to believe such are just misconception. Also stories about SMS from survivors in the ferry already sunken turned out to be fakes. How can anyone be so cruel to play such a joke? My heart tells me perhaps it is true but are closed down by authorities and yet my heart also tells me a ship sinks because water has breached into the ship, structure has weakened and so any SMS must be during sinking not after. I am not an expert but by now, all hopes is lost. However there may still be a chance.

The numbers for each tragedy is staggering. Right now, we don't know what caused MH370 to crash or crash where. 13 sherpas dead in Mount Everest which to me is like anyone can climb since so commercial and yet is deadly. 280 still missing in South Korean ferry, I believe all of them inside the ship. You must notice how it was 271, 273 and now 280. That's because each news is posted at different times. You can check here for the latest update on the ferry tragedy. You may ask why not lift the ferry from seabed? It is not easy. It is a huge operation and the ferry is not a small boat. Remember this sunken ship?  But then that was a cruise liner that I read was twice the size of Titanic. However the concept is similar.

Surely this puts things in perspective. If the sea around Jeju island can have such difficulties, more so the vast Indian Ocean. It is just frightening how routine flights, routine sailing, routine climbing all became tragedies.

Point is, year of the horse is full of horse shit. It sucks, big time.


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