Comments: 12 killed as former Washington ferry capsizes in Tanzania source: 12 killed as former Washington ferry capsizes in Tanzania | Seattle Times Newspaper A Zanzibar official says 12 people were killed in a ferry accident off the coast of Tanzania's island region of Zanzibar. Read article You must be logged in to leave a comment. ..to assume that if they were not also regulating the waterways there would be chaos afloat is questionable... Having worked in the maritime industry for about 30 years now and seen a very wide range of operations in most parts of the world, I feel quite confident in saying that the lack of government oversight, and/or poorly paid regulators (vulnerable to graft and corruption) is a short route to casualties of this sort. This is particularly the case when there is a substantial profit motive at stake, as well as when there is little likelihood of legal or financial consequence for the responsible parties. The popular hue and cry that government is bad/regulations are bad, is good for riling the mass of people who fail to look at the situation objectively, but it has little basis in reality. A reasonable middle ground is a good final objective, but a robust and well-enforced regulatory environment helps ensure a safe operating environment. This is critical in areas where the consequence for failure involves mass fatalities. ... and this is why government regulation is a good thing. Years of great service and safe operations by the state of WA. Then sold to a foreign private operator with little government regulation or oversight. 400 (!) people crammed onto that thing and 12 dead. I'm glad I don't have to worry about things like that every time I get on a ferry. xmetienne Zanzibar Tanzania - Naples FL US - Geneva CH Someone just mentioned 200 people perished last year in September when MS vessel Spice Islander capsized on the north of ZNZ! Wrong it was 1200 people for a ferry which had a capacity of barely 420... I am in Zanzibar as we speak and was supposed to take Kilimanjaro III ferry when it happened, they cancelled the trip and used it to go and rescue the ferry which was sinking next to Chumbe Island on the south of Zanzibar, we're now stock there with this nightmare repeating itself... Maisara ground turned, yet again, in an open morgue thousands of people going from Mnazi Moja hospital to Maisara trying to get news about their relatives... What has just happened last September just repeat itself! It seems that we in Zanzibar never learn from our past mistakes! Human greed allowed a ferry to be overloaded and take the sea on rough conditions! Same horror yet again! As we speak unconfirmed reports contradict official statement of 12 people perished... According to anonymous military sources 270 where officially on board and another undeclared 130 people paid their way directly to the crew for a cheap ride to Zanzibar! Sad... But enough is enough... Jerry Attrich Port Townsend, WA And, of course, freedom to overload ferries, safe from all that nasty regulation, must be good for us too, huh? Do you have to park your common sense at the door when you whine about regulation? IndiaPaleAle Seattle msschuyler: "..would expect a socialist to be for government regulation..." you got a problem with the Coast Guard? That's the branch of government that regulates the waterways. Greenlantern seattle, WA AMZ is correct, and the observations of xmetienne in Zanibar reflect the reality that in developing countries that rely on ferry transportation overloaded ferries sailing in questionable weather is very common. Indonesia seems to lose a ferry with a large loss of life every year. If you are traveling on a foreign ferry do not ride below....either on top...or close by an exit. Poolpro Pierce Co. "Too bad. It would have been better if it happened here. There are too many people sucking of of WASHDOT and living on the Penninsual. 200 less daily ferry communists would be a huge savings for the state." from reechard maddouex I've seen some pretty sick comments here, but when a comment wishes for death and bad tidings to people he doesn't even know, it goes a little too far. Reechard Maddouex, I wish you the worst karma possible and I hope you get the help you desperately need. opinionated1 Vashon, WA To AMZ: It is truly mind-boggling how your post could generate even one thumbs down. I would love to hear the reasoning behind that thumbs down. Purple Martin Seattle, WA Reasonable people talk about reasonable circumstances. Typical junk about "all or none" regulation. The DOT does a pretty good job on the whole, and the Coast Guard is masterful. Corruption is Africa's problem, not "liberal or conservative" government. Having extra passengers buy their way on to a fully loaded ferry is merely one form that. I'm sure there is plenty of "oversight", but I'm sure they get their cut of the pay-offs as well. Corrupt. vortex engineer Seattle That boat didnt feel safe on the runs between Seattle and Vashon, and it was frequently loaded to the max with 215 passengers. Many of us would refuse to ride that boat in many conditions, and I have experienced such a sever roll that props came out of the water and water went in the top event of the bathroom window... When the Ferry System re-engined the boat, they had to remove ballast, so it felt top heavy. There were several times where the Capt asked everyone to get down to the lower deck... then there was the infamous hot mike off of Blake Island, when the Capt said "I dont think we are going to make it" over the loudspeaker... We were very, very lucky. Zombies ate my Brain Sarcastic Forecasting Station 1-b3 I would suspect that the assertions made by the poster in Zimbabwe, xmetienne, are correct. There were a lot more riding that boat than should have been, 400 or so on a boat built for 250. This particular tragedy hits us really close to home since that was "our" boat that capsized. I used to live on Vashon and rode that boat a few times. It was truly the scariest boat in the WSF fleet, even at normal capacity. As mentioned, regulation is a good thing. These type accidents/tragedies occur far too frequently in countries across the world with little or no regulation. reading news PORT ORCHARD, WA I won't be as dramatic as others with first hand experience describing what it was like to ride that boat. But when it liked to rock. A lot. Even under reasonable conditions. It seemed to do just fine heading straight into or with the waves, which works pretty well on the Seattle to Vashon route going mostly straight North or South up the Sound. But occasionally coming out of Elliot Bay and before turning South could get a little exciting. Running that thing out in the Indian Ocean sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. And I'm sure people were either sitting on the roof (making it more top heavy) or they figured out how to open / remove windows, letting the waves that would normally deflect off the side dump the boat full of water. Cause a lot of waves used to dump a lot of water up onto the windows, it didn't take much. And that boat wasn't too great in the ventilation dept., not as big an issue in Puget Sound, I'm sure in Zanzibar that was a big problem. robert the bruce Seattle How sad that these disasters keep repeating themselves over and over. whh Seattle WA Don't worry, opinionated1, you received a thumbs-down as well (not from me!). This site is followed closely by some very ignorant, mean spirited people. Now you can follow how many thumbs-down *I* receive for that. . . . What I Have Seen Seattle Super sad for the people there, I looked at the photos of those ferries and if you look at the distance and imagine the ocean conditions it must have been in compared to the tame Puget Sound, those people were basically doomed. That combined with putting too many people on the boat, so sad. chucksand Seattle, WA I rode this boat many times when it subbed for the Tyee between Bremerton and Seattle. It was noisier than the Tyee by far, plowed deep into the waves and rocked when the southern winds hit broadside, when you didn't want to be on the upper deck. The Skagit and Kalama were the only WSF boats that felt unsafe in a Puget Sound storm. unkanny Seattle, WA opinionated1 > It is truly mind-boggling how your post could generate even one thumbs down Not if you've been around these message threads a while. I got thumbs down once for noting that a date fell on a different day then someone else said it did. The entire message was something like "The 19th next week is Tuesday, not Thursday". Offended a few folk. Or the same one with multiple accounts. Zombies ate my Brain Sarcastic Forecasting Station 1-b3 pardon me, Zanzibar, not Zimbabwe. Sorry, those Z names confuse me. Granted, I am easily confused. MaxYak Seattle, WA I rode the Skagit a bunch as a commuter from/to Vashon. Great boat, fun ride. The only ferry that felt like a boat, actually. Though it was small enough to move with the waves, it never felt scary to me. It had a very solid-feeling roll (fast to get back to level, didn't linger on its side). But any boat can be overloaded to a danger point. SD70MAC San Diego, CA I'm a bit impressed that one of our ferries made it to the other side of the world. A reasonable middle ground is a good final objective, but a robust and well-enforced regulatory environment helps ensure a safe operating environment. This is critical in areas where the consequence for failure involves mass fatalities. Now that's just crazy talk. A fatality or two are perfectly acceptable as long as profit margins and bonuses are robust and healthy. /s It would have been better if it happened here. What a terrible and inconsiderate thing to say. This reminds me of the American who flew his small plane into an IRS building in Texas in 2010. Some politicians actually sympathized with the terrorist and his attack because he was anti-government. If you're upset over WSDOT, then let them know through your words and democracy. Hoping for a major accident and deaths to prove a point is We've lived with the curremt scheme of regulation for so long that we sometimes assume that there are no alternatives. So what do you propose as a solution? We abolish the Coast Guard-established shipping lanes in the Puget Sound and let it become a total free-for-all? Or allow ferries and big cargo ships to operate in US waterways without proper safety certifications and maintance checks? Would that really benefit people? Or perhaps we get rid of the FAA and let planes traveling 500mph manage themselves in the crowded skies and above our cities. We don't really need the government to make sure trains are safe either. They're only hauling thousands of tons of cargo, some of which is extremely hazardous. (Having worked for railroads before, it's amazing what they would like to do if the FRA wasn't there ensuring safety.) Are regulations ensuring farmers and other industries don't pollute our drinking water and air really bad for society as a whole? What is this alternative you propose? Do we let it self-regulate like what lead to the sinking of this ship, or the crash of our stock market? We keep trying the whole self-regulate thing, but it keeps blowing up in our faces because a few people get extra greedy. I personally like safe ferries, planes not colliding, trains staying on the tracks, and clean water to drink. Here the boats were rated for 230 passengers Well yeah because we live in a country where there are reasonable expectations of safety that are enforced by the US Coast Guard which is...the government. And from the article, they were rated for 250 passengers. the government would run every aspect of our lives because they know what is good for us. Just like how my private insurance company tells me what medical services will be covered? Or how my private employer has to grant me permission to take a day off for any reason? I don't see the super socialist countries of Sweden, Norway, Canada, France, or Germany telling their people what to do or running their lives. They all just seem happy and free.