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From the sinkings of the El Faro to the Andrea Doria, with dozens of similar maritime tragedies in between, the vague explanation of “human error” has been cited as the reason for the tragedies. For the first time, a 40-year safety consultant challenges much of that causation theory as too simple.
The captain and crew, too often, in modern maritime history have become the scapegoats for far deeper failures of ship design, ship inspection and maintenance, shipping timetables, mechanical deficiencies, poor ship construction, overloading, improper loading, and delayed ship replacement, among myriad other circumstances.
A common thread of greed, hubris, and miscalculation run through the dozens of international disasters. Ninety percent of our daily needs depend on the all but invisible world of international shipping. Are we racing toward disaster or greater transportation sophistication? In the world's rush to autonomous shipping and supersized NeoPanamax ships, SeaBlameworthiness offers many reasons for caution.