The distinction between lifeboat and life raft is somewhat trivial...
Tim Jenkins - Recreational Diver
January 20, 2002 at 22:15:43
In my view, Bret Gilliam and Ken Elkins' emphasis on making a distinction between 'lifeboat' and 'life raft' is somewhat trivial. Those of us who don't work on boats and are not familiar with precise nautical terminology may use 'lifeboat' when we mean 'life raft' or 'rope' when we mean 'line' but we definitely understand what we should be looking for (even if we can't find it): Compliance with safety requirements.
Whether you call it a 'lifeboat' or a 'life raft' it clearly was not on the Galapagos Aggressor. This we learned from the photo of the empty life raft rack and Hasson's comments. The fact that Elkins takes a cheap shot at Cyber Diver while ignoring a blatant safety violation that endangered human life is absolutely appalling, especially coming from someone who claims they worked as a Coast Guard vessel inspector. The only thing I find reassuring in Elkins' remarks is that he has retired and therefore is no longer responsible for ensuring that Coast Guard vessels operate according to inspection requirements.
As for the incident that occurred in the Galapagos, I commend Cyber Diver for investigating safety violations that could have resulted in loss of life. As a former Coast Guard Vessel inspector, Elkins may be confident he can protect himself from operators like Hasson who violate the law and disregard safety requirements but like most divers, I am not. I must trust the system to provide adequate safety for me and my loved ones when we put out to sea aboard a dive boat halfway around the world. If the safety system does not work because Hasson and others are deliberately ignoring it, we want to know because these boats are accidents waiting to happen.
Keep up the good work Cyber Diver. We have a right to know the truth!