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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Betrayal

Now that the dust settled, we now know what happend with the Egyptian Ferry, and why no distress signal was sent or why so many people were lost. The truth is more disturbing than I could've imagined. Rescue boats picked up at least 362 survivors from an Egyptian ferry that caught fire and sank in the Red Sea, apparently so fast there was no time for a distress signal. But more than 1,000 missing passengers and crew were feared drowned, officials said Saturday. [...]

Many survivors said the fire began about 90 minutes after departure, but the ship kept going. Their accounts varied on the fire's location, with some saying it was in a storeroom or the engine room.

"Fire erupted in the parking bay where the cars were," said passenger Ahmed Abdel Wahab, 30, an Egyptian who works in Saudi Arabia. "We told the crew: 'Let's turn back, let's call for help,' but they refused and said everything was under control.

"We heard an explosion and five minutes later the ship sank," he added.

Wahab claimed that as passengers began to panic, "crew members locked up some women in their cabins."

What this story doesn't tell us is the fact that the captain and crew- who al jazeera reported have all survived- abandoned the ship and left the passangers to die.

Survivors of the Red Sea ferry disaster have said the captain and his crew were first to flee the burning ship by lifeboat and abandoned them to their fate.

Some passengers plucked alive from the sea or from boats after the ferry caught fire and sank early on Friday said on Saturday that the crew had told them not to worry about a fire below deck and even ordered them to take off lifejackets.

[...] Shihata Ali, an Egyptian survivor, said the passengers had told the captain about the fire but he told them not to worry. "We were wearing lifejackets but they told us there was nothing wrong, told us to take them off and they took away the lifejackets," he said. "Then the boat started to sink and the captain took a boat and left." Another survivor said: "The captain was the first to leave and we were surprised to see the boat sinking." Other survivors also reported that the crew played down the gravity of the situation and withheld lifejackets. There wasn't enough for everybody and for them to wear. They were apparently afraid they would run out if they handed them out, so they withheld the Lifejackets from the passengers, whose lives were their responsibility. Abd al-Rauf Abd al-Nabi said: "There was a fire but the crew stopped the people from putting on lifejackets so that it wouldn't cause a panic." Nadir Jalal Abd al-Shafi, another arrival on the same rescue boat, said: "There was a blaze down below. The crew said 'Don't worry, we will put it out'. When things got really bad the crew just went off in the lifeboats and left us on board."

Unbelieveable. I am so disgusted by this. The captain and the crew negligence have lead to the death of more than 900 people. There shouldn't even be a trial at this point. They should be taken to Tahrir square and shot. As far as I am concerned, for them to 1) withhold lifejackets , 2) lock people in their cabins, and then 3) flee the boat first is nothing short but the intentional murder of more than 900 people whose lives were their responsbility. Those men betrayed their duty and killed about 1000 men, women and children. Killing them wouldn't even be enough to make them pay for their betrayal, but it would be a good start.

15 Comments:

At 2/04/2006 09:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely unbelievable!

thinker

 
At 2/04/2006 09:38:00 AM, Blogger The Sphinx said...

I don't know if it's appropriate to say this but:

FUCK

 
At 2/04/2006 09:42:00 AM, Blogger Crazy Girl said...

I'm so mad now.. How the hell? What the hell? Lock women in cabins? Swear to god if those assholes aren't held accountable.. Those poor people..

Son of a bitch..

 
At 2/04/2006 09:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will not see the " muslim umma " take to the streets for this great incompetence,cruelty and injustice as long as it has nothing to do with their beloved prophet.

 
At 2/04/2006 09:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any reports of government responsibilities? The ferry was an old rebuilt Italian ferry deemed unfit for passenger travel by European authorities because of accidents in the past.

I believe the M/S Herald of free Enterprise, which sank in the English channel, was of the same ferry type.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M/S_Herald_of_Free_Enterprise

193 died, but it would have been worse hadn't it hit a sandbank, when it went down.

 
At 2/04/2006 10:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The captain and the crew negligence have lead to the death of more than 900 people. There shouldn't even be a trial at this point. They should be taken to Tahrir square and shot."

SM, I've been reading you 'religiously' for probably a year. In my view, you are a beacon of reason in what looks more and more like a totally irrational middle-eastern Arab culture. However, I have to disagree with your prescription for justice. Egypt, indeed the entire Arab world, needs the rule of law. This kind of vigilante justice that you advocate is little more than a lynching.

I’m not Egyptian, so I can not ‘plug in’ to the intense rage you must feel. But consider this, after WWII, Churchill advocated simply shipping Hitler to the US and putting him in an electric chair. But calmer minds prevailed and Churchill admitted after the Nuremberg trials that the trials provided a better way to handle things. Egypt needs to try these guys in a court of law, to open up the entire issue of transportation safely in the society, to look how regulations are formulated and how they are implemented, what needs to be fixed, so that things can start to change. Then, if they are found guilty, let the law provide the justice and then (if it is the sentence) go ahead and shoot them.

Arnie

 
At 2/04/2006 10:40:00 AM, Blogger Freedom for Egyptians said...

Sam,

Governments were busy with the cartoon protests and fireworks!!

 
At 2/04/2006 12:06:00 PM, Anonymous Andrew Brehm said...

You are wrong.

This is not like murder. It's worse than murder.

A captain is responsible for his ship and the people on it. He has extraordinary powers because a ship can sail outside a country's own waters and he, in his function as the captain, represents the flag the ship sails under.

A captain is supposed to leave the sip last or never. What this captain and his crew did was not murder, it was a form of treason (and murder).

His crime was not a crime within the laws of a country, it was a crime above that. He did not merely violate a law but he openly announced, by his actions, that he doesn't accept the law. And that must be punished more strictly and more harshly than a mere violent crime.

I am against the death penalty for normal criminals, even for mass murderers. But breaking the law and throwing it away are still two different animals.

Execute him!

 
At 2/04/2006 02:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will not see the " muslim umma " take to the streets for this great incompetence,cruelty and injustice as long as it has nothing to do with their beloved prophet
---------------------------------------

I think it is more like, they won't protest because it was not a 'western' government or captain that did it.

If the exact same thing had happened but the captain was american or the waters were the british straights or something like that, then the outrage would have been overwhelming and boycots and threats and such.

But arabs don't dare protest their own governments.

 
At 2/04/2006 02:21:00 PM, Blogger Kat said...

First, with all the things going on, I do not want to forget that over 900 people have died in this tragic incident.

My condolences to all those who lost family members, my prayers for those who are recovering and may God accept all the lost poor souls into his loving arms.

Second, I hope that the tragedy is investigated and all responsible parties are held accountable. If the accounts are true, then it is probable that there were many crimes committed in the lead up of this accident including certification of the ferry by some government agency, inappropriate maintenance and training or just plain negligence on the part of the owner and it seems the Captain with direct authority has committed the most direct act that perpetrated the loss of these 900 or more lives.

All persons should be held accountable.

 
At 2/04/2006 09:46:00 PM, Anonymous scott said...

This is what you get in a culture where folks choose to live in the 14th century. I dare some enterprising reporter to search out the corporation that owned this boat and find out how much profit they have banked by running a ferry line with no safety, no maintenace, no porfessionals in the crew and god knows what else. Whatayawannabet that no such story will ever be printed as the rich owner pays off Mubarik and his buds. There's that 14th century stuff again.

 
At 2/04/2006 10:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think it is more like, they won't protest because it was not a 'western' government or captain that did it."

So you seriously believe that if a similar episode had occured on Estonia, we would have seen protests from someone in the middle east?

 
At 2/04/2006 11:24:00 PM, Blogger Bitman said...

Horrofying ... mind numbing. I can certainly understand the anger, but I must join in the warning against vigilantism. I agree with Amie 100% to let the law work its way. Maybe that will provide your nation with tools to make sure things like this NEVER happen again.

I must admit I've heard "stories" from Europe that the disaster is God's hand telling the Muslims they're doing things wrong. Not that I believe that - but it is funny that after Katrina hit the US, we heard excatly that from the same extreme muslims that are now torching emassies. It was God's punishment. Likewise with the sonami last year "it was Gods will because there too westernized". It's mans crazyness that's what it is.

Let's hope that at least this crew will NEVER EVER be allowed near a boat again, and that all other crews get instructed in proper procedures. Locking people into their cabins - this sounds like Titanic ... but worse - at least they tried to save the first class passengers.

How can an emergency signal not have been broadcasted? Isn't the radio manned all the time? Is this a stupid case of "pride" of not admitting you were in trouble?

I just found your blog a few days ago, and I'm impressed. You've sure proven me wrong in thinking there were no middle easterners with a brain. Thank you SO much for that. Keep up the good work, I'll keep coming back for updates.

 
At 2/05/2006 09:00:00 AM, Blogger gatorbait said...

I'd love to do a frag and fire analysis of the auto hold. Why would a vehicle just start burning? Shipboard fires in general, don't just happen. This is no exception.

This ship li kely had the bottom holed as well.

I find it fascinating that the two powers best suited for rescue at sea had their offers of assistance rebuffed. Well now, I guess the Egyptian government and media was far too occupied over real threats, like Danish cartoons.

 
At 2/05/2006 11:51:00 PM, Anonymous elengil said...

I must admit I've heard "stories" from Europe that the disaster is God's hand telling the Muslims they're doing things wrong. Not that I believe that - but it is funny that after Katrina hit the US, we heard excatly that from the same extreme muslims that are now torching emassies.

Would it make you feel better to know that some prominant 'christian' leaders in the US said the same thing about Katrina?

Oh yes, we even have people in our own country that called 9/11 G-d's punishment on America. There will always be people to try to find larger reasons for disasters.

 

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