Saturday, 26 May 2012

O TAIC, where art thou?

As Captain Balomaga and Second Officer Relon begin their final incarceration the Antipodean Mariner asks why can't the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) produce an investigation report eight months after the grounding?

This is not rocket science. No-one died, the ship's charts and records were recovered intact and the Crown Prosector has brought the case to a concluding trial and sentencing in this period. The Root Cause Analysis fundamentals of determining unsafe actions and unsafe conditions are pretty straight forward for a skilled investigative team.

The reason for the AM's "pissed off" attitude is that with the close of the criminal case against the Captain and Second Officer, the other players in this tragedy can slink off behind their respective corporate anonymity with some confidence that their roles will not garner too many headlines when the findings are issued.

The AM cannot dispute the facts of the grounding or condone the individual actions of the two mariners. However, mariners don't deliberately set out to have a grounding, spend months under detention separated from family and and then jailed. Mariners for the most part are the 'pointy end' of casualties and criminalisation because commercial imperatives make unsafe acts a viable solution.

While the TAIC report remains 'work in progress', the individual and collective contributions to the grounding the Rena will fade from the public's memory and Captain Balomaga and 2/O Relon will be immortalised as the only villains to be publicly punished for their actions on the morning of October 5th 2011.

The Antipodean Mariner


  1. I can't agree more, what is concerning is why poses more questions to the management. Why did they employ these particular officers? How did they assess the competence of the Captain and 2/O? We all know the reality is that companies such as this one employ a range of cheap and incompetent labour, and hide behind Flags of Convenience when it all goes wrong. Management should be accountable for any accident.

  2. couldn't agree more AM, all thats been satisfied is the desire of media and most of the public to pin the tail to the nearest convenient donkey. The local papers have taken great joy in interviewing as many people as possible with "sir/mam is the sentence long enough?" with the most obvious and reactionist answer being forthcoming.
    Lets hope the bigger picture will still be addressed in some part!