Huffington Post Covers MSC Cruises Garbage Dumping Story

Today the Huffington Post covered the story we posted 10 days ago about MSC Cruises crew members throwing black bags overboard from the MSC Magnifica cruise ship into the water. 

MSC says there is nothing new shown in the photos and three videos we posted because they are just a different angle of an incident reported by a passenger last December.

I say hogwash to that.  The video taken by the passenger seems to show garbage bags thrown from the port side of the cruise ship; whereas, the videos taken by the crew member shows the garbage MSC Cruises Magnifica Cruise Ship Dumpingbags thrown from the stern.

Also, if you look at all three articles we posted, you will note that the piles of debris which the former crew members say were pitched overboard involved at least two different incidents from different MSC cruise ships at different times into different waters. 

The large pile of broken down pallets from the MSC Magnifica were reported thrown into Brazilian waters in November / December 2013. The pile of pallets from the MSC Poesia were reportedly thrown into the waters between Florida and Mexico in January 2013.  The crew members we spoke to said that this type of debris was systematically dumped overboard at least once a week while the ships were underway at night.

The former crew members also told us that the dumping of garbage bags were far from a single event from one single cruise ship. They have sent us many photographs of this practice, including incidents where bales of cardboard, plastic and debris wrapped in clear plastics were stacked from floor to ceiling and and then thrown into the sea (see photo above right).

It is not surprising to us that MSC Cruises has never responded to our requests for information. The cruise line refuses to inform us of the identity of the Brazilian authorities who are investigating these incidents. MSC may be trying to  keep the former crew members, who know that the practice is more widespread than MSC will admit, from talking to the authorities.

Another Blonde-Bimbo-in-the-Bridge Scandal Rocks Costa

Costa Concordia Domnica CemortanIts been two years since the deadly Costa Concordia disaster. It's much safer now the cruise lines assure us. 

The cruise line trade organization, CLIA, reminds us of all of the new protocols which the cruise industry implemented shortly after the Concordia capsized.

One of the new rules prohibits family, guests or other persons not essential to the navigation of the vessel from being on the bridge. This was to prevent "disruptions and distractions to the bridge team members while monitoring the navigation of the ship."

This new proposal came about because at the time of the disaster, disgraced Captain Schettino had invited his (often-photographed-in-a-bikini} paramour, Moldovan dancer Domnica Cemortan, to the bridge.

I call this the "no-bimbo's-on-the-bridge" protocol. 

It's pretty embarrassing that this is how the playboy officers on the Costa cruise were acting at the time of the disaster. It's even more embarrassing that the cruise lines had so little confidence in their navigational crew that they had to adopt a policy outlawing such immature, fraternity-like behavior.

Sasha Alexandra Costa CruisesBut today it appears that nothing has changed at the Costa boys club.The Italian newspaper Oggi published photographs of an attractive Romanian blonde, Sasha Alexandra, posing in the bridge of the Costa Atlantica. She was photographed next to the captain in a tight cocktail dress holding a large machine gun.

I can hear the Costa captain thinking: These former-communist women from post-Cold War eastern Europe holding guns are so hot!

The Italian magazine explains that the Atlantica cruise ship was sailing through the Gulf of Aden with armed security guards to protect the cruise ship from  attack by Somali pirates. That's when the captain invited the lovely Sasha Alexandra onto the bridge.

Oggi further explains that someone who obtained the photographs tried to extort money from Costa in return for not selling them to the press. It looks like Oggi was willing to pay more money than Costa for the embarrassing photos.

The timing of the latest-blonde-in-the-bridge photo couldn't have been worse. Yesterday was the two year anniversary of the Concordia crash which claimed 32 lives. 

For all those naive cruise fans who want to believe the cruise lines when they say that things have changed, the sad truth is that the cruise industry is no safer now than it was two years ago.

The photos prove it.

I can't wait when the Playboy edition entitled the "Girls of Costa Cruise Lines" comes out.

I suspect that it may consist entirely of photos shot in the bridges of the cruise ships in the Costa fleet. 

Costa Atlantica Cruise Ship 

Photographs: 

Top: Domnica Cemortan / Costa Concordia / Fransesco Schettino - http://www.stiri.com.ro/stire

Middle: Sasha Alexandra - Facebook via Telegraph

Bottom: Oggi via Telegraph

Where Are Photos of the Triumph Engine Room Fire?

Cruise lines do a great job keeping photographs and video of cruise ship fires away from the public.

Has anyone seen photos of the engine room of the Triumph, which is just the latest cruise ship to become disabled?  Or the engine room of the Carnival Splendor?  The Costa Allegra?  Royal Caribbean's Azamara Quest?

Cruise lines prefer to keep the images out of public sight and then say that the fire was "small" and "quickly Carnival Triumph Engine Room Fire Photoextinguished."  

A few photos have seen the light of day such as the catastrophic explosion aboard the Queen Mary 2 in 2010 and, of course, the deadly fire aboard the Star Princess in 2006.

I'd like to see exactly what happened on the Triumph.

But the chances of the Bahamas Maritime Authority releasing photos seems somewhere between slim and none. No need for the Bahamas to embarrass its customer, Carnival, I suppose.   

The only photo I am aware of involving the Triumph was released by the U.S. Coast Guard but it does not show much except the back of a Coast Guard representative in the engine room. Kinda of a PR shot for the Coast Guard, we-are-on-the-job-so-don't-worry kind of thing. Great, but how about a report and some friggin' photos for a change? We know the Bahamians won't release anything.

One crew member sent me the photo below of the Triumph after it was towed into Mobile and asked me not to mention his name.

But I believe that the soot on the stern shown in the photo was probably caused by smoke from the exhaust of the diesel engines of the tugs. You can also see where the tugs rubbed against the stern. I'm not 100% about this. If you have a thought, please leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.     

So does anyone have photos of the engine room in the Triumph or, for that matter, the Splendor, the Allegra or the Quest?

Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship Fire

Walker & O'Neill Retained to Investigate Disappearance of Cruise Passenger Jason Rappe' From HAL's Eurodam

Today, our firm was retained to help the family of missing HAL cruise passenger Jason Rappe' find answers to what happened during the evening of November 28th and the early morning hours of November 29th aboard the Holland America Line Eurodam cruise ship.

On November 24th, 41 year old Jason Rappe' and his wife, Tine, left Fort Lauderdale on a 7 day Caribbean cruise aboard the Eurodam.

Jason is believed to have gone overboard on November 29th as the cruise ship was sailing from St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) to the Bahamas, somewhere north-west of Puerto Rico. The U.S. Coast Guard eventually was notified but the search was called off after approximately 36 hours. You can read our article here which we published on the day of Jason's disappearance. 

Jason and his wife were married 17 years ago and live in Olympia Washington. Jason works as a carpenter and is a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

Jason served in the U.S. Army and is a veteran, and was honorably discharged as a sergeant.

Jason's wife, brothers and father released a statement which is repeated below. The family is seeking any information which may explain how and when Jason apparently went overboard. Please help. If you were on the cruise, please contact us.  

Contact:  Jim Walker: telephone - 305 995 5300 or 1 800 526 1518.

Please note that the comment section below is closed, and no further comments will be published. If you were on the cruise and have information, please contact us directly.   

Jason Rappe - Holland America Line - Eurodam Cruise Ship

 

Statement by the Rappe’ Family Regarding Missing HAL Cruise Passenger Jason Rappe’

On behalf of the Rappe’ family, we would like to extend our gratitude to all of you who have shown so much love and support for us during this time of crisis. We are all still trying to come to grips with this awful event of losing Jason at sea.

For those of you who are not familiar with what happened, Jason and his wife, Tine, from Olympia Washington, went on a 7 day cruise aboard the Holland America Line Eurodam out of Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean. On November 29, 2012, Jason apparently went overboard and has not been located.

We pray that somehow Jason is out there, and that he is ok. There are not many people on this planet with the grit and toughness that Jason has demonstrated in his life. Between Jason’s training in the U.S. Army and his stubborn, never-fail attitude, we know that if anyone can survive this it is him.

Jason is the type of person who could easily be imagined making a rope from his goatee, and lassoing a pair of sea turtles on which he would triumphantly stand as they lead him back to safety.

Our family is seeking information regarding what happened during the cruise. If you were on the cruise ship, we would to like obtain any information that you may have regarding Jason and the circumstances surrounding him going overboard. A maritime attorney is helping us investigate what happened, and we ask that you contact him with your information. His name is Jim Walker and his contact information is below.

Jason’s wife and father will not be conducting any interviews at this time, and we ask that you respect their privacy.

Thank you again for your support and prayers as we deal with this horrible family event.

Wife: Marie Christine (“Tine”) Rappe'
Father: Dana Rappe’
Brother: Ross Rappe’
Brother: Eric Rappe’


Please contact:

James (“Jim”) M. Walker 
Walker & O’Neill P.A. 

Telephone:  305 995 5300 or 800 256 1518

Email:  jim@cruiselaw.com