Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Flossie

Normandie Incident - Mon 11th April 2016

Recommended Posts

Another website (normandie-actu.fr) this morning has an article giving the union view of the incident. The CGT union rep suggests that since the ships have been to Poland and Spain for their refits (not necessarily linked to the scrubbers but this needs to be checked) there has been a series of technical problems. He suggests it is down to those yards sub-contacting out work to people not technically qualified. They have highlighted the problems with the management and asked why the work can not be done in France given the fact they are already subsidised by the state. Ed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Normandie Scheduled back in service for Friday AM sailing. Probably refits cannot be done in France due to timing and possible size of dry docks and who knows the price as well may not be cheaper in France.

Edited by Banditman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To suggest that the work is of an inferior quality because it was not done in France is ludicrous.

I don't think that is what the Union is saying the two points aren't necessarily linked, but if there are unqualified people potentially working on a ship then that is a very real issue raised, what you have to remember as well the sole purpose of a union is to secure safe well paid work for its members and I would he there would be an understanding between all French unions to encourage as much work as possible to be carried out in France.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another website (normandie-actu.fr) this morning has an article giving the union view of the incident. The CGT union rep suggests that since the ships have been to Poland and Spain for their refits (not necessarily linked to the scrubbers but this needs to be checked) there has been a series of technical problems. He suggests it is down to those yards sub-contacting out work to people not technically qualified. They have highlighted the problems with the management and asked why the work can not be done in France given the fact they are already subsidised by the state. Ed.

 

The article is full of inaccurate terms and facts. The Normandie is called a "Paquebot" i.e. a cruise ship and the "fume filters" were fitted in Poland according to the Union rep when we all know the scrubbers were fitted in Spain by Astander. I am not sure the french repair shipyards can or were available to fit the scrubbers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The article is full of inaccurate terms and facts. The Normandie is called a "Paquebot" i.e. a cruise ship and the "fume filters" were fitted in Poland according to the Union rep when we all know the scrubbers were fitted in Spain by Astander. I am not sure the french repair shipyards can or were available to fit the scrubbers.

 

I know and suspect it might be a case of the union reps jumping on the bandwagon to be in a position to apply leverage depending on the outcome of the incident report. Or it could just be shoddy journalism. Whichever it is, with one or more of their colleagues in hospital the CGT etc are bound to ask for something to be done to guarantee crew safety. BF will have to take the accusation regarding unskilled workers seriously if they want to avoid any further industrial action (especially if any link to the scrubbers - no matter where they were installed - is found). Ed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whichever it is, with one or more of their colleagues in hospital the CGT etc are bound to ask for something to be done to guarantee crew safety.

 

Aren't we jumping to conclusions a bit here? I can't find any mention in this topic as to what caused the fire or who might have been responsible for it. It could have been one of the crew - we don't know but people do seem to like pontificating on here with no real knowledge of the facts. Lots of free advice on how BF should run their operations as if the company isn't perhaps better placed to make those judgements themselves on the basis of ALL the relevant factors.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Aren't we jumping to conclusions a bit here? I can't find any mention in this topic as to what caused the fire or who might have been responsible for it. It could have been one of the crew - we don't know but people do seem to like pontificating on here with no real knowledge of the facts. Lots of free advice on how BF should run their operations as if the company isn't perhaps better placed to make those judgements themselves on the basis of ALL the relevant factors.

Indeed the stakes are too high to compromise on health and safety too save a few Euros.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Aren't we jumping to conclusions a bit here? I can't find any mention in this topic as to what caused the fire or who might have been responsible for it. It could have been one of the crew - we don't know but people do seem to like pontificating on here with no real knowledge of the facts. Lots of free advice on how BF should run their operations as if the company isn't perhaps better placed to make those judgements themselves on the basis of ALL the relevant factors.

 

Pontificating, maybe. Speculating, certainly (along the lines of your 7th April post about the Pont-Aven scrubber installation) but that probably makes up 50% of the contributions on this site. Contributing to a lively and enthusiastic debate into a potentially serious incident, the outcome of which may affect various users of this site and the public perception of BF, definitely. In which case, long may it continue. Ed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure that 'Paquebot' does translate only as Cruise ship. Back in the days of the Merchant Navy class of locomotive, one was called Channel Packet to collectively acknowledge all the ships that worked on cross channel links from Southampton. 'Paquebot de Crosiere' is an expression still heard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not sure that 'Paquebot' does translate only as Cruise ship. Back in the days of the Merchant Navy class of locomotive, one was called Channel Packet to collectively acknowledge all the ships that worked on cross channel links from Southampton. 'Paquebot de Crosiere' is an expression still heard

 

From a native speaker perspective, in today's french "Paquebot de croisiere" specifically refers to cruise ships e.g. Queen Mary 2 not ferries. The french words for ferries are "Ferry", "Car ferry" or "transbordeur".

Edited by crechbleiz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The comments about Condor as an alternative... I don't really fancy walk round St Peter Port docks;-)

 

On a serious note - I cannot help thinking that rather than spending all the cash on Normandie scrubbers when they knew full well she was on her way out before long, even back then. Why not sell Normandie AND Bretagne and charter two newer vessels, ideally BDS era (early 2000's) at a reasonable cost, ideally which had also already been converted? Is there really THAT much of a lack of tonnage available? What about a lot of the big mediteranian vessels or SNCM ships? Surely BF could find something that was suitable? It would make financial sense considering the cost of even 1 scrubber, and the additional forced running costs now of Bretagne... also would potentially be an improvement in terms of capacity of the aging pair?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The comments about Condor as an alternative... I don't really fancy walk round St Peter Port docks;-)

 

On a serious note - I cannot help thinking that rather than spending all the cash on Normandie scrubbers when they knew full well she was on her way out before long, even back then. Why not sell Normandie AND Bretagne and charter two newer vessels, ideally BDS era (early 2000's) at a reasonable cost, ideally which had also already been converted? Is there really THAT much of a lack of tonnage available? What about a lot of the big mediteranian vessels or SNCM ships? Surely BF could find something that was suitable? It would make financial sense considering the cost of even 1 scrubber, and the additional forced running costs now of Bretagne... also would potentially be an improvement in terms of capacity of the aging pair?

 

Be careful hf_UK, you don't want to get accused of pontificating and running BF's business for them. 😀

 

On the subject of which I looked the word 'pontificating' up in a dictionary and apparently it means: the process of attaching a large, unattractive lump of metal and plastic to the top of a previously sleek and attractive cruise ferry for the purposes of ridicule among opinionated online armchair enthusiasts.

 

Ed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Be careful hf_UK, you don't want to get accused of pontificating and running BF's business for them. 😀

 

On the subject of which I looked the word 'pontificating' up in a dictionary and apparently it means: the process of attaching a large, unattractive lump of metal and plastic to the top of a previously sleek and attractive cruise ferry for the purposes of ridicule among opinionated online armchair enthusiasts.

 

Ed.

 

😂

 

Nice one Ed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.............Whichever it is, with one or more of their colleagues in hospital the CGT etc are bound to ask for something to be done to guarantee crew safety.

 

And PASSENGER safety, I would hope.:(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If we are being pedantic, Queen Mary 2 is actually a liner which is frequently used for cruising....

 

Even more pedantic: Queen Mary 2 is a "transatlantique" in french

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on the Normandie on Monday when the accident occurred. I think at the time most passengers were more upset over the injured crew member than the disruption and many were asking staff about his progress the next day. We were told about the technical problem as the power had clearly gone and we were on emergency lighting and were told of the injury and the expected arrival of the helicopter. The outer decks were sealed off then for safety reasons but everyone was aware what was going on. The ship stopped for quite sometime and after the evacuation it was able to progress only very slowly.

 

Some passengers hoped we might be towed by the Mont which was in the vicinity (i don't know if that is even possible). It was a bit of a shock to find out several hours after leaving Caen that we were returning to France and to another port and that we would not be able to leave the ship until the next morning. As there was a very noisy school party on board that was not a very attractive prospect but there was not much we could do about it. I was glad I had already booked a cabin. We were relieved that we were able to move again and that the injured party had been taken to hospital. We were given food and water that night and breakfast the next day. All the restaurants closed while the power was off and there was no water in the cabins either so it was good to have water and, food etc. But we were not allowed access to the main decks that night because we were going so slowly the smuts from the funnel were landing on the deck. I found that really hard to deal with as I spend a lot of time on deck although the small deck on deck 7 was open. We were allowed down to the car deck to get stuff we needed out of the car. I did try to do that but I was so tired by then I couldn't find the car and gave up. I don't know how passengers with dogs in cars managed as there were a few on board.

 

We were woken up quite early the next day and disembarked. We then joined a massive queue to rebook our tickets. While staff came out and told us we could rebook at Ouistreham or Le Havre we were worried that they might run out of space by the time we got there. I think it would have been better if we could have done that while we were on board. Footies were sent by train to Caen. As there was nothing available until the afternoon we did not get back to England until late on Tuesday night and it was very exhausting.The Mont was packed to the gills (including the school party). It would have been good if another vessel could have taken passengers from Cherbourg that morning but I don't think BF could have done much more to assist passengers during the actual incident.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was on the Normandie on Monday when the accident occurred. I think at the time most passengers were more upset over the injured crew member than the disruption and many were asking staff about his progress the next day. We were told about the technical problem as the power had clearly gone and we were on emergency lighting and were told of the injury and the expected arrival of the helicopter. The outer decks were sealed off then for safety reasons but everyone was aware what was going on. The ship stopped for quite sometime and after the evacuation it was able to progress only very slowly.

 

Some passengers hoped we might be towed by the Mont which was in the vicinity (i don't know if that is even possible). It was a bit of a shock to find out several hours after leaving Caen that we were returning to France and to another port and that we would not be able to leave the ship until the next morning. As there was a very noisy school party on board that was not a very attractive prospect but there was not much we could do about it. I was glad I had already booked a cabin. We were relieved that we were able to move again and that the injured party had been taken to hospital. We were given food and water that night and breakfast the next day. All the restaurants closed while the power was off and there was no water in the cabins either so it was good to have water and, food etc. But we were not allowed access to the main decks that night because we were going so slowly the smuts from the funnel were landing on the deck. I found that really hard to deal with as I spend a lot of time on deck although the small deck on deck 7 was open. We were allowed down to the car deck to get stuff we needed out of the car. I did try to do that but I was so tired by then I couldn't find the car and gave up. I don't know how passengers with dogs in cars managed as there were a few on board.

 

We were woken up quite early the next day and disembarked. We then joined a massive queue to rebook our tickets. While staff came out and told us we could rebook at Ouistreham or Le Havre we were worried that they might run out of space by the time we got there. I think it would have been better if we could have done that while we were on board. Footies were sent by train to Caen. As there was nothing available until the afternoon we did not get back to England until late on Tuesday night and it was very exhausting.The Mont was packed to the gills (including the school party). It would have been good if another vessel could have taken passengers from Cherbourg that morning but I don't think BF could have done much more to assist passengers during the actual incident.

 

Thanks for the report and eyewitness account. It seems like you had some positive things to say about how the onboard situation was handled with the key being to avoid any panic. However your description of what happened after disembarkation seems to tally with what we saw on Twitter and elsewhere. Your experience happened in the sector of the channel where BF have 5 vessels so at least alternative options were available without too long a drive. However a number of us on here expressed surprise that BF did not make use of the Barfleur to get some of you home earlier. Was that offered as an option or did they insist on Caen or St Malo or Le Havre? Ed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surprise is not the right word Ed, certainly from my perspective. I posted suggesting a possible schedule that BF could have put Barfleur on to, but I am in no way surprised that it didn't happen. I equally think there could have been a better use for the Le Havre ships yesterday if needed, rather than have Tat and BDS sitting in port all day, but again not surprised it didn't happen. At the end of the day I suspect they had enough capacity on the existing schedules to Le Havre, Caen, Cherbourg and St Malo to be able to accommodate everyone affected without putting on additional sailings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are probably right about the capacity aspect. My surprise comes from the fact that even though they endeavour to get people to their destination, they don't seem to feel the need to do so ASAP so as to at least give the impression of being proactive and maintain customer confidence. Those who went back via Caen had a 24-hour delay while those that travelled from St Malo arrived 36 hours late. And that was at least 30 hours after docking in Cherbourg. They should have at least unloaded all the vehicles onto the quayside to allow those wishing or needing to get home the chance to find alternatives themselves. Keeping them onboard without a clear plan may not have been a good idea. Ed.

Edited by Cabin-boy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm led to understand that there was enough spare capacity across the existing schedule without needing to make alternative arrangements to divert, reschedule or re-activate other ships... let's for a second remember how sacrosanct working hours are to the crews onboard and the crewing levels ships like the Barfleur and BDS have onboard and that's before we go into slots in ports etc. To actually set all of that up would have probably taken longer than it took to arrange alternative sailings. Yes... people had significant delays, but that's one of the risks of travel we all tend to forget.

 

In terms of the logistics, whilst not to everyone's taste, remaining onboard overnight means passengers had a place to sleep. Taking cars off to the quayside whilst a good idea would also add the challenge of being able to track passengers both on and off the ship, and Cherbourg as a port may not have been ready for this (possibly ISPS regulations etc). I'd suspect overall it was more preferable for most than being turfed out into France last at night and left to get on with it.

 

Ticket re-issuing? Consider that not all the crew onboard will have access to systems (or the knowledge how to use them) to change tickets. Therefore doing this in the morning having drafted in staff from Caen to help is quicker than having everyone wait at the reception desk and easier to make sure that everyone is dealt with. There's also a fair chance that BF management worked late into the night to put a plan in place for the morning, weighing up all the options, rather than trying to wing it the night before.

 

Like I said before, any organisation can and most likely will have contingency plans in place - but there will always be some circumstances that go beyond them which have to be dealt with at the time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that the on board ticketing system would have been unable to cope with such a large volume of booking changes. Equally those lucky enough to have had afternoon cabins and those able to get one of the unsold cabins would perhaps have preferred to spend the night on board. However I would like to know how they managed for those with dogs in the cars. Clearly it was safe to go down to the car decks as people were allowed to retrieve their bags etc so why not get all the vehicles off and allow people to decide (regulations permitting). Those with animals could then exercise them and anybody wishing to find alternative transport could. Those on foot were short of options but people with cars could have found solutions (the 5.30 from Dieppe would have been tempting if I had needed to get back and space was available). Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to say that whilst for those affected it does seem more appropriate to alter other sailings to accommodate the immediate problem and damage limit those immediately affected. However it has to be considered as Jim has touched on, to then start fiddling with other schedules means not only a ship full of Normandie pax are upset, but then in one swoop they then affect another ships worth of pax or more.

 

I think Jim's idea of how and why is quite plausible, I can imagine if BF had altered other sailings to come 'help' they would have been accused of a night/day of meltdown as ships were all running out of schedule.... Black Brittany Ferry Day and likely blamed on the Liberation . . . . .haha!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...