Length......952 ft....882 ft
Draft........26 ft.....34 ft
Width.......116 ft.....92 ft
Depth*.......46 ft.....64 ft
[I]nvestigations [determined that] the Marine Electric left port in an un-seaworthy condition, with gaping holes in its deck plating and hatch covers. . . . [M]uch of the paperwork [declaring] that the Marine Electric was seaworthy was faked. Inspection records showed inspections of the hatch covers during periods where they'd in fact been removed from the ship for maintenance; inspections were recorded during periods of time when the ship wasn't even in port. . . . yet the Marine Electric was repeatedly certified as seaworthy.
Questions were raised about how successfully the [American Bureau of Shipping] was exercising the inspection authority delegated to it . . . there was a conflict of interest in that the inspection fees paid to the ABS were paid by the ship owners.
The wreck resulted in some of the most important maritime reforms in the second half of the 20th century. The tragedy tightened inspection standards, resulted in mandatory survival suits for winter North Atlantic runs, and helped create the now famous Coast Guard rescue swimmer program.
Though often complained about, most large ships at sea are burdened by myriad requirements for inspections and records of inspections, classification documents, SOLAS certificates, and training and maintenance logs. There are safety management systems and security certificates and a dozen other documents they have to carry at all times, and getting those documents is no small (or cheap) feat. When repairs on a ship are made, governmental oversight in the form of Coast Guard or class society inspectors will then make their own records that note every action taken by crew and shipyard.
Carroll: ”Can you give us a few details on professional background; your certifications?”
Jakomovicz: ”I don’t have any certifications.”
Carroll: “Did you attend any schools?”
Jakomovicz: “No – well I have a degree from forty years ago, but it’s got nothing to do with boats.”
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