I chose to use the promotional picture of the M/S Explorer above instead of the ones taken by Chilean Navy personnel because I wanted this post to have the appearance of calm and responsible reporting, not the knee-jerk reactions some media outlets have thus far provided. Photo above is from the expedition travel company G.A.P. and you can visit them at their Web Site and get a full update as to the whereabouts and condition of passengers and crew.
No. The hole in the side of the ship was not the size of a fist as originally reported. It was considerably worse. Anybody who has any maritime work experience knows that a hole that small in a ship this size would not cause catastrophic flooding.
No. The ship did not have a crew of 5 to 10. That's an absurd thought. There was a ship's crew of 54 plus two or more G.A.P. Expedition staff members.
No. The ship did not run into an iceberg the size of a mountain. I don't what what the berg looked like that breached the hull but it was most probably submerged and virtually impossible to see with radar or the naked eye.
Yes. The ship was fully found, professionally crewed, and structurally reinforced for traveling in arctic, ice-filled waters.
Yes. Adventure travel is risky. (The food's not that great either.)
Yes. The rescue and recovery of all passengers and crew from any sinking cruise ship in sub-freezing latitudes without incident or serious injury (one passenger reportedly has a hurt foot) is an heroic and meritorious act and a testament to the crew of the explorer, those on the rescue vessel (M/S Nordnorge) and the Chilean Coast Guard and Military.
Yes. The passengers and crew were very lucky the weather in this unpredictable and sometimes fierce region was favorable. (It deteriorated rapidly after the actual rescue, i.e. the plucking of the passengers and crew from their life rafts, which took about an hour according to the captain of the Nordnorge.)
Yes. Accidents happen. And sometimes they're not caused by simple human error.