I have enjoyed wonderful dive trips on Aggressor/Wave Dancer boats...
Ken Elkins - Vessel Inspector/Captain
January 20, 2002 at 17:29:05
As a "Retired" U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Inspector, a licensed ship Captain of more than 35 years and a recreational diver who has been on five Aggressor boats, three Peter Hughes boats and more than just a few day boat dive trips, I agree with Mr. Gilliam about the term used for "lifeboat" in the article.
Under Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Treaties, "Lifeboats" are not required. The prefered device is exactly as described by Mr. Gilliam . . . and to add to his remark, Inflatable Life Rafts are preferable simply because they are self contained with everything from first aid supplies to drinking water and flares.
ALL of the boats that I have been on meet or exceed the SOLAS Treaty requirements and that includes the dayboat operators.
Every liveaboard that I have been on since 1989 has had what is affectionately known as the "Captain's Briefing" and they have covered everything from fire alarms, emergency escapes and PFD's (Personal Floation Devices) to meal/snack times, planned dive sites and shore trips. Most of the "briefings" were read from a printed check off sheet just before our "C" cards were checked by a member of the crew. I don't know what happened here.
I have done more than a little research and confirmed that Mr. Hasson IS NOT the owner of the Galapagos boats. Both of these boats are owned by Equadorian Nationals as is required by Equador law. Mr. Hasson has no personal funds invested in either of these boats. As I understand it Mr. Hasson is the Aggressor Fleet Operations Manager.
My wife and I took a cruise shortly after the 911 incident. We were both concerned about flying. A call to the Cruise Line informed me that we would not get a refund if we cancelled unless we had purchased the rather expensive "Trip Insurance"... the same answer was given when I asked about hurricanes. I don't see why the small guys (Aggressor and Dancer Fleets) should be any different than the big guys (Carnival).
I'm getting old but I will continue to make dive trips on these two liveaboard companies (and others too) as long as I am physically able. I am intelligent enough to know when the conditions on a boat make it unsafe and I will simply not stay on the boat.
Is it me or do others feel the same way? It seems that Cyber Diver has singled out this one incident to SLAM the Aggressor Fleet. I am sure that there are thousands of others who have had the same wonderful divetrips I have enjoyed on the Aggressor and Dancer boats. I suspect that your ultimate goal is to destroy these two businesses. Too bad.