10 years after the tragic hurricane claimed
1,800 lives and displaced 400,000 people… is the United States better equipped
to handle a storm of Katrina’s magnitude?
“Rain Cloud” courtesy of pakorn at
25, 2005. 10 years ago, one of the most devastating
hurricanes ever to hit US soil makes landfall. After just a few days, the
effects of the Category-5 storm is revealed to be almost unimaginable; 1,800
people are dead and 400,000 are displaced. Photo and video coverage from the
media show the particularly desperate plight of the citizens of New Orleans, a
city 80% of which was submerged in water.
Orders for a mandatory evacuation were
delayed. New Orleans’ levees could only withstand category 3 storms. The state
of Louisiana had limited resources for rescues and aid. The federal government
waited on a state request for assistance before acting on the situation.
Looting and violence broke out in the city, from both opportunistic criminal
elements and ordinary citizens just trying their best to survive when aid
seemed distant and bleak.
One of the biggest issues of our generation
is illegal or irregular migration. The maritime industry is especially touched
by this issue, as our wide stretches of waters are difficult to protect and are
thus, vulnerable to unmonitored or illicit movement. The water has been the
chosen route for many people fleeing wars or hardship in their countries—from
Cuban people sailing to America, to African and Middle Eastern refugees heading
to Europe via Italy, for example.
Often, immigrant traffic comes by way of
rickety vessels that are barely seaworthy, or on overloaded ships; this is a
major problem in Europe, where thousands are said to have drowned last year while
trying to cross the Mediterranean. Others cross borders as stowaways on ships, or
are trafficked as human cargo. Kemplon Engineering reports on recent instances
of stowaways, and the new dangers they present in a conflicted world.
According to the International Maritime
Organization, stowaways are persons secreted onto a ship or as cargo loaded
onto a ship, without the knowledge of those responsible for the vessel, and who
are later detected after departure and reported to authorities.
The dangers and negative consequences of
stowaways are widely known. First, the lives of stowaways are in danger if they
are in hiding and have to survive subhuman conditions with little food or water
provisions. The security of vessels are also at risk, with unknown persons
present and possibly in areas sensitive to operations. Upon their discovery,
ships can also expect delays and additional work as stowaways are reported and
processed. Finally, for countries and ports, the repatriation of stowaways can
There are, however, other dangers emerging
from the problem of stowaways. In January, the Dutch Navy reported they had
discovered stowaways on a ship that had delivered aid to Ebola-stricken
countries in West Africa. Luckily, they had no symptoms of this terrifying,
viral disease—but the risk the country could have faced if the men were ill
cannot be plainer.
Aside from disease control, the problem of
stowaways may herald another danger: terrorism. Suspicious stowaways were
encountered on a Ro-Ro heading to Turkey, where they allegedly meant to go from
Istanbul and on to Syria to join ISIS or another militant group. What concerns
authorities is not only that stowaways like these could be strengthening the
region’s militant groups… they may also use the route to return radicalized,
becoming a threat after training and fighting for extremists groups.
In a late 2014 incident, intercepted at the
port of Dover leaving Britain last November was a truck carrying: a terror
suspect who allegedly had records for orders of millions’ worth of ammunition;
and a couple of Britons allegedly intending to join and fight for the Islamic
State in Syria.
Another risk is that jihadists may send
militiamen into tumultuous Libya, from which they can cross the Mediterranean
among the thousands of migrants heading to Europe.
Tensions and fear are high in so many parts
of our globe. There is already an increasing sense of fear, xenophobia and
racism, as many migrants are regarded with suspicion and even derision in the
countries they desperately run to. In these situations, we must remember that
many of them truly are helplessly fleeing the dire situations of their homelands,
and they deserve our sympathy and humanitarian aid. But that does not mean we
should be blind to the dangers presented by frenzied flows of humanity. The
difficult question facing our authorities now is, how to balance compassion
with safety and control.
Watch out, cruise industry! Carnival Cruise
Lines is launching their biggest cruise ship yet, the Carnival Vista. It
promises to be “the future of fun” with fresh features never before seen at
sea. Not slated for a debut until the spring of 2016, anticipation for the new
cruise ship is nevertheless ‘sky high,’ as announcements are made on what
passengers can expect aboard the ship. Kemplon Engineering reports:
Future of Fun” is looking very bright with Carnival
Vista’s highly anticipated, unprecedented features. The 4,000-passenger cruise
ship will have the first IMAX Theater on the high seas, a brewery on board, and
an attraction called the SkyRide.
The SkyRide is a hanging, open-air bike
ride 150 feet above the sea, pedal-powered by a passenger to go round an
800-foot long suspended track. If this daring brand of outdoor fun is not for
you, Carnival also provides a fantastic array of indoor attractions, with the
Vista introducing the first ever IMAX Theater at sea, for full-on entertainment
featuring current and classic releases on a screen three decks high.
The Carnival Vista’s inaugural sailing will
be departing from Italy on a 13-night itinerary. It has been years since
Carnival had a ship in Europe, and from how things look, Carnival Vista is
determined to make a high-impact return. The vessel is scheduled for 19
sailings in the area, with voyages taking the ship to and from ports in Italy,
Spain, Greece, France, Malta, Croatia and Turkey.
The 133,500-ton ship is currently being
built in Italy, at the famed Fincantieri shipyard. After its launching season
in Europe, the Vista will sail on a 13-night crossing to New York, have a few
sailings departing from the city, and eventually have Miami as its homeport
late in 2016.
ferry sinking in South Korea led to almost 300 deaths. In 2012, Costa Concordia ran aground in Italy,
claiming 32 lives. The wheels of justice for those harmed and hurt by these
tragedies are still turning this 2015, as courts on opposite sides of the globe
continue to deliberate and decide on the fate of the persons considered accountable
for these heartbreaking incidents. Kemplon Engineering reports on the latest
legal developments faced by the Captain of the South Korean Coast Guard during Sewol’s botched rescue attempt; and Costa Concordia’s notorious Captain
It’s a tense situation the media has
compared to nothing less than the Cold War—Sweden is on the hunt for a foreign object
that has repeatedly been spotted in its sovereign waters. Theories include the unwelcome presence of a
Russian submarine, which has led to the inevitable reference to the classic
book and film “The Hunt for Red October.” But after a weeklong operation
involving a massive military mobilization and days of capturing the public’s
rapt attention, what have the authorities discovered? Kemplon Engineering takes
a look at the intriguing developments around a strange incident people have
come to refer to, cleverly, as the ‘hunt for Reds in October.’