#spiritofmawson ship of fools to get the rescue cost bill from Australian government

Uh, oh:  Federal Government to seek full cost recovery for Antarctic expedition rescue

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt yesterday said costs, estimated at about $2.4 million, would be sought from the insurer of the operators of the vessel.

The MV Akademik Shokalskiy, chartered by the University of NSW-associated Australasian Antarctic Expedition to retrace the steps of explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, became stuck in thick sea ice on Christmas Eve.

The 52 passengers were rescued by the Aurora Australis on January 2.

Mr Hunt said the Commonwealth would seek compensation for the recovery effort.

“We will be seeking full cost recovery through insurers for the up to $2.4 million costs incurred by the Australian government,” he said.

“We have a duty to protect life at sea and we do that willingly.

“However, what we see here is that there are some questions as to whether or not the ship was detained by the action of those on board within an area the captain had identified as potentially being subject to being frozen in.

“I think we have a duty on behalf of taxpayers to seek full cost recovery.”

Source: http://www.news.com.au/national/federal-government-to-seek-full-cost-recovery-for-antarctic-expedition-rescue/story-fncynjr2-1226809033585

h/t to Lucia at the Blackboard

Related: Battle begins over Antarctic rescue bill

==============================================

I’m betting that with this revelation

About 2.30pm the weather deteriorated. At the same time Captain Kiselev saw slabs of sea ice moving into the open water channel from which the ship had entered the area. He called for everyone to return.

A passenger standing near Professor Turney overheard the voyage leader, Greg Mortimer, telling him over the radio to bring passengers back to the ship so it can leave.

But minutes later, Professor Turney drove six more passengers into the field.

…the insurers will likely say the incident was caused by neglience on the part of Dr. Chris Turney, and toss the claim back in their laps.

UPDATE: Gosh, the hardships these Guardian guys faced is just inspiring. So is the lack of self-awareness.

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155 Responses to #spiritofmawson ship of fools to get the rescue cost bill from Australian government

  1. chris says:

    Excellent!
    I’d wager that if Gillard & Co were still in government, they would have insisted that the tax payer foot the bill for their green chums….

  2. Tom G(ologist) says:

    Well – the only thing we can hope is that their insurance premiums will be increased as a result, because, otherwise, there will be no real consequence to the university. Maybe, in the best of all possible worlds, their carrier will drop them or, at the least, force them to obtain additional cost insurance riders on all future ‘expeditions’ subject to the review of an actuary.

    that would make you stop and think before approving a propaganda junket (oops) research expedition.

  3. Peter Miller says:

    Hopefully, the insurers will then sue Professor Turney for full recovery of costs.

  4. KevinM says:

    Federal Government to seek full cost recovery from federally subsidized university.

    No decent sized insurance company could be held liable for the incompetence of these twits. Too much gravita$ to be punked like that.

  5. Jenn Oates says:

    Well, good. Stupidity should hurt.

  6. Clay Marley says:

    A brilliant and creative reader had posted some time back ,on one of these Turney expedition threads, the idea that Anthony should sell WUWT branded popcorn.

    I have a feeling 2014 will be a great year for it.

    Polar Vortex got you shut in? Trapped by miles of ice? How about a steamin’ hot bowl of Watts Up With That!

  7. TIM says:

    Insurance agency to pay huh? Nice one. I wonder how this will affect the premiums for future ‘fantastic voyages’ like it.
    This is surely going to discourage others from embarking on similar planet saving missions. Who will be left to provide us with the cold hard facts on the ground? We’re doomed.

  8. brians356 says:

    $2.4M is a small price to pay to save the planet “for the children and other living things.”

  9. Bob Greene says:

    The government sues an insurance company who then sues the government. Money shuffle. Tuney was in charge and I betcha it costs him nothing.

  10. Richard D says:

    …the insurers will likely say the incident was caused by neglience on the part of Dr. Chris Turney, and toss the claim back in their laps.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    So long as it wasn’t criminal negligence, I believe insurance will pay. Also, there are other parties that will likely seek reimbursement – China and perhaps the US (the US icebreaker was asked to assist/standby by the Australians).

  11. philjourdan says:

    What it will also do is spike Insurance costs for outings such as this in the future. Some may see that as a good thing. But there are legitimate scientific ventures that will be negatively impacted by Turney’s gross incompetence and malfeasance.

  12. Richard D says:

    KevinM says: January 24, 2014 at 10:37 am
    Federal Government to seek full cost recovery from federally subsidized university.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
    You’re missing the bigger point I think. New government with different priorities. Likely future publicity stunts like this one will have great difficulty securing insurance or university backing. Off-topic but I bet eco warriors stay the hell away from Russian waters after they faced real prison terms. And of course the French simply scuttled the Rainbow Warrior…..

  13. “I think we have a duty on behalf of taxpayers to seek full cost recovery.”
    —–
    Turney need only hold up his “Scientific Award for Excellence” and the evil tax payers will scramble like vampires before a cross.

  14. John W. Garrett says:

    It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of fools.

  15. Resourceguy says:

    This proves the corollary that seeking the deep pockets is equivalent to the rule of thumb called follow the money, eh Chris?

  16. Aphan says:

    Well his new Frederick White Prize money ($3000) is a nice, but small, start to apply to his new debt don’t you think? I wonder how many more “prizes” he’ll be awarded to defray the cost….

  17. Aphan says:

    Jenn Oats said-
    “Well, good. Stupidity should hurt.”

    We call it “Stupid Tax” here at home.

  18. Doug Proctor says:

    If the insurers do say Turney was to blame, even if the Government does eventually pick up the tab, the good Professor’s image is (rightly) hammered. In part because the Government will first try to have the University should pay for it if the insurers won’t.

    Promoting accountability (i.e. the Developed World or Big Oil or the Denialist Camp) is a tricky thing when you have to live by the same rules as the ones you target.

  19. Gail Combs says:

    Insurers are not interested in parting with money. Professor Chris(tmas) Turkey is going to be answering some very awkward questions and the insurers are not about to cut him any slack.

    Insurance investigators make pit trained pit bulls look like puppies.

  20. Momsthebest says:

    If the laws are similar to those in the United States, the organizers will still be liable even if their insurance doesn’t pay up. And even if it is one government organization reimbursing another, that is fair, because the rescue operation was unnecessary. Why should the budget of one government organization be gobbled up by the misdeeds of another? Perhaps Professor Turney’s superiors will find some way to clip him for his irresponsible behavior, bad publicity, and lack of judgement. And perhaps future scientific ventures will have to think twice about taking aboard tourists. Rather than offsetting the costs of the expedition, the tourists may cause costs to rise to the point where tourists will stick to tourist destinations rather than pretending that they are world explorers. Hubris!

  21. kenw says:

    Often the insurance will pay the claim and then sue the actual at-fault entities. That way they can obtain additional sums thru the courts for litigation costs, or other little extras, etc beyond the actual claim amount ….. It tends to keep the customers of the insurance company happier.

  22. I hope the Americans and the Chinese also seek recovery of their costs.

  23. If they have to pay, they would be getting off easy. There was a time when such stupidity was far more costly. There would have been no survivors.

    I suspect an important cause of the rampant rise of stupidity is that there is no longer a cleansing of the stupid gene pool. The stupid survive to breed again with the rest of us paying most of the costs. The Darwin effect should be allowed to operate in full. Perhaps then, the few surviving stupids would learn not to be so stupid the next time. If not, they might well leave the gene pool a bit cleaner the next time. They will have done it to themselves.

    Ignorance and “I didn’t expect THIS to happen” is no excuse. Especially when there are ample examples scattered about history to provide information about what not to do. Refuse to learn form history at your own peril and be prepared to pay the full price for the consequences of your actions.

  24. Richard D says:

    It’s difficult for me to fathom a professional master/skipper allowing an idiot like Turney to do what he did. The skipper by law is solely responsible for the life and safety of all souls on his ship, as well as the ship physically. The skipper put his ship and passengers in a situation where everything had to go right in an environment that likely exceeded the boat’s intended build/purpose. Inexcusable. The owner/insurance will rightly be held responsible. I don’t doubt there will be an adjustment in the skipper’s future.

  25. Greg says:

    Richard D says: ” And of course the French simply scuttled the Rainbow Warrior…..”

    Oh, and killed a member of the crew. Sorry forgot to mention that.

    The two french agents eventually convicted for the killing did a short term in NZ before being allowed to finish the sentence in the care of their french employers on an island military base. (The sort of thing most people would regard as dream holiday). Doubtless they only fed on gruel and cold water by the french govt. for the duration of their sentence though.

    What was your point again? I didn’t quite get where you were going with that.

  26. Tom G(ologist) says:

    Gail Combes – I agree. My earlier post was not to mean I think insurers will cough up without a fight. This is going to be ugly but we outsiders won’t actually get to see most of it. The ship’s insurance company will refuse to pay and will file an action against the university insurance company. Both will then start forensic evaluations which will last about one to two years while the legal departments of both companies strategize and posture (called negotiate) to frame the other one.
    In the midst of it, we here can take some comfort knowing that, behind the curtain, Dr, Chris will be in the hot seat and will first be interrogated by both (or more) insurers, by his university, and THEN he will be deposed if the insurers can’t come to settlement terms.
    what we can all REALLY hope for is that the organizations which sent reporters and/or others who went there on their respective payrolls will seek reimbursement for lost time and lost money with nothing to show for it. It would not cost them much to join an existing action, so this could be a lot of fun. Of course it could all go futt, but we can hope, can’t we.

  27. Richard D says:

    What was your point again? I didn’t quite get where you were going with that.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++==
    Government’s, even western democracies, don’t play nice when their interests are threatened.

  28. cnxtim says:

    The more public scrutiny and ridicule bought to bear on these fools from “Kensington High School” the better – no respite whatsoever.

  29. Neil Jordan says:

    Re Richard D says: January 24, 2014 at 10:50 am
    Gail Combs says: January 24, 2014 at 11:07 am
    kenw says: January 24, 2014 at 11:10 am

    The legal term for an insurance company going after parties to get back what it paid out for damages is “subrogation”:
    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/subrogation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subrogation

    An example is provided here:
    http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=2044
    [begin quote]
    subrogation
    n. assuming the legal rights of a person for whom expenses or a debt has been paid. Typically, subrogation occurs when an insurance company which pays its insured client for injuries and losses then sues the party which the injured person contends caused the damages to him/her. Example: Fred Farmer negligently builds a bonfire which gets out of control and starts a grass fire which spreads to Ned Neighbor’s barn. Good Hands Insurance Co. has insured the barn, pays Neighbor his estimated cost of reconstruction of the barn, and then sues Farmer for that amount. Farmer will have all the “defenses” to the insurance company’s suit that he would have had against Neighbor, including the contention that the cost of repairing the barn was less than Neighbor was paid or that Neighbor negligently got in the way of firefighters trying to put out the grass fire.
    [end quote]

  30. jbird says:

    Political dog and pony show…. The taxpayers will ultimately end up footing the bill for this nonsense in one way or another.

  31. Richard D says:

    @ Neil.
    I’m familiar yet here we’re dealing with maritime law. The captain is responsible for the lives and safety of passengers and crew on his ship.

  32. john robertson says:

    @Greg 11:29
    Perhaps the contrast between countries reactions to the Greenpeaes bullying,
    The French fiasco was a publicity boon to the activists, got them all kinds of Cred in NZ and world wide.Being sneaky as a state failed.
    Of course one must remember the investigation did show the cameraman drown as he tried to save his camera gear before himself.
    Changes little for French culpability, murder or manslaughter the man is still dead from an act of state terrorism.
    But what French activity have they protested since?
    The Russian response was simple and to the point
    I am still waiting for the cowards at greenpeace to protest in China.any Opec country,the heavy oil industries of California…
    Its not gonna happen, which shows the PR hackivists for what they are.Fully funded flunkies.
    What Chairman Moa called useful idiots fill the lower ranks..
    On topic
    The money talks will have the cruise participants stabbing each other in the back in most amusing ways.
    From damning with faint praise, to throwing Turkey meat to the wolves.
    When will this ship of fools stop entertaining ?
    Sort of like the CRU emails, a gift that keeps on giving.

  33. StrongDreams says:

    I believe, from previous information, that my particular university has something like a $5 million deductible. Otherwise the policy premiums are too expensive if the insurer has to cover every little thing. Obviously I don’t know anything about UNSW.

    It also depends on who the “operators” being sued are, which I’m not clear on. Would that be the signatories to the charter, or the tour company, or the Russian owners?

    But, something to keep in mind, if the costs are lower than or close to the deductible for whomever covers the insurance, insurance might be irrelevant in this case.

  34. Clay Marley says:

    Here in Arizona we have what is known as the “Stupid Motorist Law”. During our Monsoon season some roads over washes can flood during or after a storm. Barriers are put up warning motorists not to attempt crossing the flooded road. Some do anyway and end up needing rescue. Often the water is strong enough to float the car and carry it downstream. The Stupid Motorist Law means the motorist pays for his own rescue, plus an additional $2,000 just for being stupid.

    Perhaps Antarctica needs a Stupid Tourist Law.

  35. Jimbo says:

    I gotta funny sorta feelin’ Mr. Turkey is being thrown under the bus by the Warmists at the Independent and the BBC. They called it a “fiasco”.

    Independent – 22 January 2014
    A failure to respond to an order from the ship’s captain may have played a critical role in the operational fiasco that led to the stranding of the Akademik Shokalskiy in thick Antarctic sea ice on Christmas Eve……..

    Some passengers who had remained on the ship also reported that Captain Igor Kiselev and his crew were frustrated and angry with the delay because they had seen slabs of sea ice moving into the open water channel from which the ship had entered the area……….

    Andrew Luck-Baker, a BBC radio producer who was one of the four journalists on the expedition, said………..“The expedition leaders could have some tough questions to face about logistical shortcomings that may have put the vessel at increased risk of becoming trapped. These were operational errors and mishaps during a visit by scientists and tourists to a location close to the Antarctic shore on 23 December,” Mr Luck-Baker said…………

    “However, there was a lack of organisation to supervise and enforce it. A number of us were at the islands for about two hours, having wandered off in small groups with the scientist whose work we were particularly interested in. In the thrilling environment in which we now found ourselves, it was easy to lose track of time,” Mr Luck-Baker said……
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/communication-breakdown-on-board-the-akademik-shokalskiy-blamed-for-the-ship-being-stranded-in-antarctic-ice-over-christmas-9078090.html

    Let us not forget this little gem too:

    [PASSENGER Janet Rice - After 1 am on December 24 ]
    “The third drama of the day is the one which is still unfolding. Because of the Argo mishap we got off late, and had one less vehicle to ferry people to and fro. I’m told the Captain was becoming rather definite late in the afternoon that we needed to get everyone back on board ASAP because of the coming weather and the ice closing in. As I write we are continuing to make extremely slow progress through what looks like a winter alpine snow field – it’s yet another surreal part of this journey that we are in a ship trying to barge our way through here! I’m sure the Captain would have been much happier if we had got away a few hours earlier. Maybe we would have made it through the worst before it consolidated as much as it has with the very cold south- easterly winds blowing the ice away from the coast, around and behind us as well as ahead.
    http://www.janetrice.com.au/?e=98

    The forces are closing in on Mr. Turkey. He thought he could escape responsibility by yapping on about fast ice and unpredictability. He should have listened to the captain.

  36. ScottR says:

    The refusal of the tourist to return, when ordered by the captain, could possibly be considered mutiny.

  37. Jimbo says:

    I wonder whether the insurance company will launch an investigation first. Would they be obliged to pay if they can show that Turney disobeyed orders from the captain? Who pays if they don’t.

  38. Richard D says:

    Actual scientific expeditions doing work in areas visited would have enlisted an icebreaker and NOT an ice hardened ship. The owner contracted for work beyond the boats intended purpose and design or else the captain allowed himself to be talked into taking chances that put lives and boat at risk. The owner/captain won’t be let off by saying they ceded responsibility to expedition leaders.

    Turney is still an idiot, and deserving of boat loads of ridicule.

  39. Roberto says:

    I’m ignorant, but I wonder whether the fact they were on shore matters. If they were dropped off for a day trip in coldest Norway, wouldn’t they bear some of their own responsibility? Is Antarctica different that way?

  40. Richard Lawson says:

    A delicious irony would be if Turney took insurance from Catlin, the insurance company of 2011 ‘Arctic Survey!!’ fame.

  41. wazsah says:

    Agree this entire sheemozzle has light years to run yet.
    I am waiting to learn if UNSW gave $1.5million to AAE no reply from UNSW.
    Also curious at contradiction between Russian crew who said on return to Bluff that they put out a “pan pan pan” message yet AMSA gets this from Falmouth UK as a “distress” call.
    I have asked the AMSA Minister to look into why AMSA did not downgrade the thing below distress when AAE were clearly partying on and simply delayed not in distress – The AAD ship could have completed cargo operations at Casey before hightailing it east.
    Naturally no reply – normal.

  42. StrongDreams says:

    It’s difficult for me to fathom a professional master/skipper allowing an idiot like Turney to do what he did. The skipper by law is solely responsible for the life and safety of all souls on his ship, as well as the ship physically. The skipper put his ship and passengers in a situation where everything had to go right in an environment that likely exceeded the boat’s intended build/purpose. Inexcusable. The owner/insurance will rightly be held responsible. I don’t doubt there will be an adjustment in the skipper’s future.

    In fairness to the captain, if he tells Mortimer, “Don’t leave the ship, the ice is coming, pass it on,” and Mortimer tells Turney, “Don’t leave the ship, the ice is coming,” and Turney drives off anyway, I’m not sure that’s the captains fault (to put it mildly).

  43. John Leon says:

    @ Greg. If memory serves it was a Spanish journalist who was trapped on board as the Rainbow Warrior sank, the two agents were unaware that he had slipped back on to the ship, he had nothing to do with the actual crewing of the ship.

  44. JEM says:

    There’s a new sheriff in town. I’m liking the cut of this Abbott gentleman’s jib.

    I agree with the potential for a ‘chilling effect’ on real science (hey, there’s a pun there, I guess) but this one was such a mess from concept to execution that the miscreants have to be sanctioned somehow.

    I’m betting that Turney et al was probably concerned that some of his hangers-on would probably be clamoring for a refund if they didn’t get time on the ice.

  45. negrum says:

    Clay Marley says:
    January 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm
    ” … Perhaps Antarctica needs a Stupid Tourist Law. …”
    —-l
    Maybe the Australian counterpart of the director of the French Polar Institute (the one who was “spitting tacks with anger” ) would welcome the idea :)

  46. glyn says:

    Australia’s Antarctic Tourism Policy, March 2004

    To implement this policy Australia will work to develop within the Antarctic Treaty system:

    •an accreditation scheme to encourage adherence to voluntary guidelines and codes of behaviour by all tourist expeditions;
    •an environmental monitoring framework capable of identifying both short-term and cumulative impacts arising from tourism activities;
    •activity guidelines addressing environmental and safety issues which will assist in the planning and conduct of activities commonly undertaken by tourists to ensure that such activities have no more than a minor or transitory environmental impact and are conducted in a safe and responsible manner;
    •a site management system incorporating site-specific guidelines to identify and put in place management controls for sites identified as being at risk;
    •an Antarctic shipping code for consideration by the International Maritime Organisation to encourage appropriate environmental and safety standards for commercial shipping in the Antarctic Treaty area;
    •a co-ordinated inspection/observer scheme to audit compliance with regulatory and voluntary measures governing tourism activities;
    •effective quarantine procedures to prevent the introduction and spread of exotic species in the Antarctic environment.
    •a database on tourism activities to assist in the management of these activities; and
    •a financial security system that requires all tourism activities to carry adequate insurance, provide a bond, or otherwise indemnify or reimburse others against the cost of support provided in the event of accidents or an emergency.

    http://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/tourism/australian-policy

  47. Resourceguy says:

    I would suggest a mechanics lien be placed on Chris Turney’s assets until the bill is paid.

  48. Gail Combs says:

    Lionell Griffith says:
    January 24, 2014 at 11:21 am

    If they have to pay, they would be getting off easy. There was a time when such stupidity was far more costly. There would have been no survivors.

    I suspect an important cause of the rampant rise of stupidity is that there is no longer a cleansing of the stupid gene pool….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Perhaps we need a new award. Zombies of the Gene Pool

  49. papertiger says:

    Richard D says:
    January 24, 2014 at 11:52 am
    @ Neil.
    I’m familiar yet here we’re dealing with maritime law. The captain is responsible for the lives and safety of passengers and crew on his ship.

    The captain had the option to leave the dipsticks on the ice, take his boat to safety. If that could be construed as necessary to protect the safety of the majority of passengers and crew, captain screwed up.

    I bet 2.4 million is enough to end an Antarctic tour company.

  50. Gail Combs says:

    Neil Jordan says…
    In the case I was involved in they insurance company took one looked into the matter and told the guy to go pound sand. A friend had his insurance company settle out of court and then hand him the bill. He is now having to sue the insurance company to get them to pay the claims they settle.

    It can get to be a real mess. Boy do I want to be a fly on the wall when all this goes down.

    Do you think we can get NSA to bug the offices?

  51. Richard D says:

    “I’m betting that Turney et al was probably concerned that some of his hangers-on would probably be clamoring for a refund if they didn’t get time on the ice.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Good point.

    I wonder if the owner was even insured to provide service to the areas visited. It’s entirely possible they were operating beyond the scope of their insurance. And if the captain ceded responsibility of command to expedition leaders the insurance might be voided anyway, leaving the owners naked with responsibility including millions to defend excluding actual damages.

  52. Roy UK says:

    @ Richard D says:
    January 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm …

    So Richard you say it is the responsibility of the Captain to look after his crew and passengers. So When Prof Turkey landed another six ecovangelists on terra firma, should he have left them there and saved the rest of the party when the ice closed in?

    What he did, he did because of the stupidity of Prof Turkey. Turkey put the captain in a position where he could not leave anyone behind. If he had headed for open water as the ice closed in (as you suggest) he would have left six ecomartyrs to their doom.

    Are you still on the side of the ecotroughers?

  53. Eric Worrall says:

    At least one positive outcome – its going to be a lot more difficult in future for Turkey or his mates to charter a ship.

  54. Richard D says:

    papertiger says: January 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    The captain had the option to leave the dipsticks on the ice, take his boat to safety. If that could be construed as necessary to protect the safety of the majority of passengers and crew, captain screwed up.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Sure, let’s all go to prison….

  55. Gunga Din says:

    Richard D says:
    January 24, 2014 at 10:50 am

    …the insurers will likely say the incident was caused by neglience on the part of Dr. Chris Turney, and toss the claim back in their laps.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    So long as it wasn’t criminal negligence, I believe insurance will pay. Also, there are other parties that will likely seek reimbursement – China and perhaps the US (the US icebreaker was asked to assist/standby by the Australians).

    =================================================================
    I don’t think they have to worry about the US. After all, Obama cares.

  56. john says:

    Clay Marley says:
    January 24, 2014 at 10:45 am
    =======

    How about WUWT shot glasses with little icebergs floating in our favorite libation.

  57. Gail Combs says:

    Richard D says: @ January 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    ….The owner/captain won’t be let off by saying they ceded responsibility to expedition leaders.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The captain did not have responsibility for people on land. All he could do was abandoned Turkey and his flock. Since he got within two miles of clear water his decision to wait instead of abandoning the Turkey was a decent one.

  58. Richard D says:

    Roy UK says: January 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm
    Are you still on the side of the ecotroughers?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++==
    Reading comprehension difficult for you?

  59. Pedantic old Fart says:

    @ Richard D “…and of course the French simply scuttled the Rainbow Warrier…”

    well isn’t that a slim smooth description of an attack on a ship tied up in a peaceful port in the middle of the night.and the consequent murder of a photographer on board. They didn’t “simply” open the stopcocks. They blew a bloody great hole in its side.

  60. Gail Combs says:

    wazsah says: @ January 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    … Also curious at contradiction between Russian crew who said on return to Bluff that they put out a “pan pan pan” message yet AMSA gets this from Falmouth UK as a “distress” call….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A distress call make much better news than a “pan pan pan” message. This might have been a publicity ‘moment’ that got out of hand.

  61. Gail Combs said @ January 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Do you think we can get NSA to bug the offices?

    What makes you think NSA would need to be perusaded?

  62. Roy UK said @ January 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    So When Prof Turkey landed another six ecovangelists on terra firma, should he have left them there and saved the rest of the party when the ice closed in?

    You must admit it must have been tempting :-)

  63. Richard D says:

    Gail Combs says: January 24, 2014 at 1:13 pm
    The captain did not have responsibility for people on land. All he could do was abandoned Turkey and his flock. Since he got within two miles of clear water his decision to wait instead of abandoning the Turkey was a decent one.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Really good points. And it was not only a descent decision but the only decision possible unless you’re cut from the same cloth as the Master of the Costa Concordia.

    My contention is the owner/captain never should have allowed the ship, crew and passengers to be there to begin with. Apparently professional expeditions use actual icebreakers in waters like that and adventure tour operators with ice hardened boats stay clear – see climate audit. The captain made a really bad call in cutting things close with no margin for error (the Turney factor). I bet the owner’s insurance won’t pay as they were likely operating outside policy scope.

    I’m more than glad to heap ridicule on Turney, the expedition, its aims, assumptions and members/passengers (Guardian and BBC)…….. but the owner took the money and the ship ventured where it shouldn’t have with “expedition scientists” unequal to the excursion.

  64. M Courtney says:

    It might be the drink talking but… shouldn’t this be a Friday Funny?

  65. Gary Pearse says:

    Clay Marley says:
    January 24, 2014 at 10:45 am
    =======

    “How about WUWT shot glasses with little icebergs floating in our favorite libation.”

    Anthony, this is an idea worth expanding on. You can get “permanent” ice cubes that just need to be returned to the ice box to be refrozen. A “Ship of Fools” motif with a small model ship “trapped” in the ice cubes. Should have a Yo Ho Ho shot of rum as one of the ingredients.

  66. Richard D says:

    “…and the consequent murder of a photographer on board.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I don’t disagree.

  67. M Simon says:

    $2,400,000/52 = $46,153.85 ea.

    $2,400,000/6 = $400,000 ea.

    $2,400,000/1 = $$2,400,000 ea.

  68. M Courtney said @ January 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    It might be the drink talking but… shouldn’t this be a Friday Funny?

    Or perhaps a Saturday funny, given that it’s Saturday morning AFAICT. It’s definitely funny… unless you are one of the scientists whose equipment was delivered late.

  69. clipe says:

    I’m awaiting lawsuits to start landing from the actual paying passenger/tourists.

    Possibility of getting stuck in dangerous sea-ice wasn’t mentioned the brochure.

  70. M Simon says:

    And of course this will be settled in an Admiralty Court.

  71. M Simon says:

    And of course the perfesser will be occupied defending himself for a while.

  72. Richard D says:

    “I’m awaiting lawsuits to start landing from the actual paying passenger/tourists.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Yep.

  73. PJF says:

    jbird wrote:
    January 24, 2014 at 11:46 am
    “Political dog and pony show…. The taxpayers will ultimately end up footing the bill for this nonsense in one way or another.”

    Indeed.

    But since the AGW nonsense is a political dog and pony show for which taxpayers (as in – all of us) will foot a civilisation-threatening bill, then it is only right and proper that it is fought on the same political grounds.

    This Australian government response will cost Australian tax dollars, for sure. But one way or another, it’ll make Alarmist propaganda expeditions like this much more expensive (financially and politically).

    “We” need to do this kind of thing as often as possible; this is “us” punching back twice as hard.
    And having a good laugh in the process.

  74. David Schofield says:

    A small legal point but one often misunderstood. No injured party claims money from an insurance company. You sue the insured party (the university). The claimant (government) isn’t interested if the the university is insured or not. The insurance is for the insured not the claimant.

  75. Richard D says:

    M Simon says: January 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-pan – message.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Quite. Yet I’m reminded of the split in the ships hull above the water-line I saw somewhere/CA? (pressure of ice). Australia takes a primary role in S/R in the Southern Ocean and after all it was their people at risk. I’m pretty sure the Australian government wanted its people off that ship despite the captain’s intentions to stick it out. Keep in mind, if the captain and crew abandon the ship it can be seized and “ransomed” for salvage by any third party or scuttled as a derelict and hazard to navigation.

  76. Rick K says:

    This might be appropriate here…
    I don’t sing, but if I did…
    I would sing this to the tune of Michael’s Jackson’s “Beat It”

    They told you don’t you ever come around here
    Don’t wanna see your facts, you better disappear
    The clouds are in their minds and their words aren’t really clear
    So heat it, just heat it

    It’s getting cold you gotta do what you can
    You want some heat you just call Michael Mann
    You need some more grants, better do what you can
    So heat it, but you want it so bad

    So heat it, heat it
    No one wants to be defeated
    Show ‘em your models, get in there and fight
    It doesn’t matter if they’re wrong or they’re right

    Just heat it, heat it
    Heat it, heat it!

    Global warming’s out to get you, better die while you can
    Exhale your CO2 now, before it gets banned
    Fly to a climate conference so you can work on your tan
    So heat it, just heat it

    You can show the people how to stay alive
    The truth is out there, it’s in AR5
    The models goin’ up but global temps are in a dive
    So heat it, but you want it so bad

    So heat it, heat it
    No one wants to be defeated
    You got supercomputers that run day and night
    It doesn’t matter if they’re wrong or they’re right

    Just heat it, heat it
    Heat it, heat it!

    You don’t want to be a turkey better show them there’s ice
    Gotta get rough this ain’t no time to be nice
    Charter a boat South, share your cold bunk with some mice
    So heat it, just heat it

    After peanut butter banana milkshakes the food just tastes yuck
    Prove the world Antarctic ice is gone and you’ll be in luck
    Too much time sightseeing and now you got stuck
    So heat it, but you want it so bad

    So heat it, heat it
    The penguins showed up to greet it
    Show ‘em open water, show ‘em you’re right
    It doesn’t matter if the boat’s not upright

    Just heat it, heat it
    Heat it, heat it!

  77. Richard D says:

    But one way or another, it’ll make Alarmist propaganda expeditions like this much more expensive (financially and politically).
    ++++++++++++++++++
    Amen…

  78. Leon Brozyna says:

    And now the parties start jockeying to get into position for the start of litigation … and the lawyers start salivating … and Professor Turney is going to finally discover that actions have consequences.

  79. King of Cool says:

    $2.4 million! That would have to be the tip of the iceberg for the total costs of this pantomime on ice.

    I think Dr Tony Fleming is being very conservative and generous in his estimate in the cost of the rescue which takes into account fuel, chartering and staffing costs. Does it take into account the disruption the Australian Antarctic Division’s 2013/14 program?

    The Aurora Australia was already 3 weeks behind schedule because of unforeseen thick summer sea ice on its first trip to Davis base. This little episode must have shot the entire season’s maritime itinerary into smithereens.

    And what about the costs to the Chinese? And to the Americans for the involvement of the Polar Star? Have they been taken into account? I’m sure when you add up the total costs you could easily quadruple the good doctor’s estimate.

    And who is going to pay? Well, Dr Fleming says any formal inquiry would be the responsibility of the ship’s flag of state – Russia. Hidey Ho there. I can’t see the Captain of the Akademik Shokalskiy being sent to the salt mines over this one and Vladimir coughing up one rouble.

    But the REAL cost is to that of the CAGW movement. That is immeasurable. And on the other side of the ledger when some-one pays – some-one gains. And the gain to the sceptic’s movement against CAGW is likewise immense.

    So much so that I move that Professor Chris Turney be awarded the inaugural WUWT Sir Douglas Mawson Medal for outstanding achievement above and beyond the call of duty in the cause of questioning Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

  80. Wow, way to go Australia!
    I hope you recover at least some dignity, but money?

  81. Henry Galt. says:

    papertiger says:
    January 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm
    “”
    I bet 2.4 million is enough to end an Antarctic tour company.””

    Maybe not … 52 X cost of berth X number of voyages. After all, the AS was on time to take its next group out to the damncold.

    Nice little earner.

  82. Gail Combs says:

    King of Cool says:
    January 24, 2014 at 2:50 pm
    …. Does it take into account the disruption the Australian Antarctic Division’s 2013/14 program?….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That is</strike Those are a separate law suit[s]…
    Snicker, chuckle, gufaw…

  83. Richard D says:

    But the REAL cost is to that of the CAGW movement. That is immeasurable. And on the other side of the ledger when some-one pays – some-one gains. And the gain to the sceptic’s movement against CAGW is likewise immense.
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    Exactly. It was dramatic and big news for weeks even if details were withheld by lackey media. The news in Australia didn’t stop once passengers were evacuated.

    This story is also about new management in Australia hammering these CO2 enthusiasts. Belay that. Devotees is more apt. :)

  84. Richard D says:

    That is</strike Those are a separate law suit[s]…
    Snicker, chuckle, gufaw…
    ___________________
    Gail, total nightmare unless you are a team of lawyers, who specialize in maritime law. SNORT. :)

  85. pat says:

    a question. how come Chris Turney, who received yet another Award recently, & has been the subject of world news for a month, DOES NOT HAVE A WIKIPEDIA PAGE? i’ve searched and am still not able to locate one but, if anyone can, please post a link:

    LinkedIn: Chris Turney
    Chris led the radiocarbon dating on the ‘Hobbit’ fossil of Flores, Indonesia that hit the headlines worldwide in 2004.
    Education:
    University of East Anglia
    BSc (Hons), Environmental Science
    1994 – 1997
    Honours & Awards:
    2009 Bigsby Medal, The Geological Society of London.
    2008 Philip Leverhulme Prize, The Leverhulme Trust.
    2007 Sir Nicholas Shackleton Award for Most Outstanding Quaternary Scientist, International Union for Quaternary Research (first recipient).
    2004 J.G. Russell Award, Australian Academy of Sciences.
    http://au.linkedin.com/pub/chris-turney/25/8a1/926

  86. DirkH says:

    “But minutes later, Professor Turney drove six more passengers into the field.”

    Agent Turney played his role very well. The warmists obviously had no clue he was an undercover MegaOilCorps operative tasked with discrediting warmism once and for all. Those hapless dupes.

    I suggest we let Agent Turney infiltrate IPCC HQ next.

  87. Nick Stokes says:

    “the insurers will likely say the incident was caused by neglience on the part of Dr. Chris Turney, and toss the claim back in their laps”
    They can’t do that. They have issued liability insurance. That is, they took a premium to insure against the possibility that the insured will incur liability. They can’t then say – well, it’s your liability, not ours.

  88. Nick Stokes,

    That is, they took a premium to insure against the possibility that the insured will incur liability. They can’t then say – well, it’s your liability, not ours.

    What you say is very possible, but it will depend on the exact language of the policy, and the details of the exclusions in the policy. At this point, we really just don’t know.

  89. Gail Combs says:

    Nick Stokes says: @ January 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    …. They can’t do that. They have issued liability insurance. That is, they took a premium to insure against the possibility that the insured will incur liability. They can’t then say – well, it’s your liability, not ours.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Nick try telling that to a friend of mine who is staring at several million in claims because the insurance company settled out of court and then handed him the bill. He then had to sue the insurance company.

    The case has dragged on for over ten years and STILL is not settled. It is the NC State Fair e-coli poisoning and he had a several million dollar policy that cost him a bundle.

  90. Barbara Skolaut says:

    What Peter Miller said.

  91. milodonharlani says:

    Turney is listed fifth of 14 on the “Hobbit” dating study. No wonder he switched from boring lab & field science to the much more generously endowed “climate science”, with its lavish junkets:

    Morwood, M. J.; Soejono, R. P., Roberts, R. G., Sutikna, T., Turney, C. S. M., Westaway, K. E., Rink, W. J., Zhao, J.- X., van den Bergh, G. D., Rokus Awe Due, Hobbs, D. R., Moore, M. W., Bird,
    M. I. and Fifield, L. K. (October 27, 2004). “Archaeology and age of a new hominin from Flores in eastern Indonesia”. Nature 431 (7012): 1087–1091. Bibcode:2004Nature.431.1087M. doi:10.1038/nature02956. PMID 15510146.

  92. J Martin says:

    Why did the Mawson trip take place at a time when there was still a great deal of sea ice ?

    Surely it should have been timed to coincide with minimum sea ice. Perhaps the timing of the expedition was dictated by Australian holidays rather than ice state. Thus influencing the success or failure of the expedition.

  93. Richard D says:

    They can’t then say – well, it’s your liability, not ours.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Don’t be silly. They can deny the claim and it happens all the time, in which case you win the unique adventure of suing your insurance company. Free advice friends, if you are ever sued for real money and you are insured, get a personal lawyer to keep his/her boot on the insurance companies throat until they accept the claim.

  94. Steve from Rockwood says:

    Insurance is a tricky thing. So is establishing cause for liability. My guess is the Australian government is just drawing a line in imaginary sand. The bill will be paid. Russians will still run their reinforced (non ice-breaker) boats in the Antarctic. But maybe poorly thought out “exploration” projects will full under greater scrutiny. I’m not hopeful.

  95. Paul Pierett says:

    Al made a billion off this rubbish. Maybe he would pick up the tab.

  96. J Martin says:

    Insurance companies can write whatever they like into their contracts,but any clauses found to be at variance with the law of the land, or more likely in this case maritime law, are nul and void. These situations are often complex and can only be resolved in a court of law, and sometimes not even then as some posters have quoted examples of.

  97. rogerknights says:

    JEM says:
    January 24, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I’m betting that Turney et al was probably concerned that some of his hangers-on would probably be clamoring for a refund if they didn’t get time on the ice.

    Seems like a very reasonable speculation.

  98. Dodgy Geezer says:

    Alas, what Turney is supposed to have done or said in internet and newspaper reports is not actually evidence.

    Everyone involved will shut up, and the insurers will claim that the icing-up was an Act of God, for which the maritime rescue organisations should pay. Turvey will then produce ALL his friendly Climate Change experts to back him up, and, with no other evidence, I don’t even think it will get to court.

    Certainly the Climate Change warmists in the AUS government will be applying considerable pressure for this to happen. And I assume that all the possible witnesses are being briefed about the correct thing to say as we speak. They’ll all hang together. If pressed about why they’re changing their story, they will just say they ‘misheard’…

  99. Jim says:

    This will boil down to a fight between the boat and unsw insurance companies.
    He boat will try and shove the bill to unsw, which will then try and claim insurance.
    However the expeditionrisk risk assessment will come into play. The responsible staff
    On the trip much comply with the protocols that were stated in their own risk assessment.
    For example, use of sat phones to maintain communication between ship and shore.
    If risk assessment sates sat phones are to be used, and they are not, then the unsw
    Insurer will likely state that the insurance company is not liable since the unsw did not
    Follow their Own stated safety processes.

    Now if turney did not comply with stated process on risk assessment, the unsw can
    Possibly turn around and sue him as an individual.

  100. Lewis P Buckingham says:

    It also depends on who the “operators” being sued are, which I’m not clear on. Would that be the signatories to the charter, or the tour company, or the Russian owners?’

    In practice the Australian Government would have to sue the lot and then they can all sue each other to sort it out.

  101. Richard D said @ January 24, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Don’t be silly. They can deny the claim and it happens all the time, in which case you win the unique adventure of suing your insurance company. Free advice friends, if you are ever sued for real money and you are insured, get a personal lawyer to keep his/her boot on the insurance companies throat until they accept the claim.

    My sister was stopped at a stoplight when she was rear-ended by a truck. It took 15 years to force the insurance company to pay.

  102. Chad Wozniak says:

    Whatever the legalities here – from a moral standpoint, at least, Turney and his alarmist friends should pay out of their own pockets for the cost of rescuing them. In addition, anyone Turney deceived into thinking this trip was safe, including any misrepresentation by him that there would be no ice to obstruct travel, as an inducement to come along on it should be reimbursed by him for the amount for which they are liable themselves. If Turney doesn’t have sufficient assets to make good on all these claims, then his income should be garnished for as long as it takes to recover the remainder of the damages – even if that means he lives at absolute minimum wage for the rest of his life. And if he has no income to garnish, then he’d better hope some homeless shelter will take him in. His actions could have resulted in many deaths, an should be punished accordingly.
    GLOBAL WARMING ALARMISM KILLS.

  103. Richard D says:

    The Pompous Git says: January 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm
    My sister was stopped at a stoplight when she was rear-ended by a truck. It took 15 years to force the insurance company to pay.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
    Wow, she’s persistent. Sorry to hear but hope she was ok otherwise. Some states have an insurance commission that is consumer friendly and will help keep insurance companies from pulling this crap. With the ship of fools, international treaties and maritime law is controlling.

  104. Gail Combs says:

    JEM says: @ January 24, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I’m betting that Turney et al was probably concerned that some of his hangers-on would probably be clamoring for a refund if they didn’t get time on the ice.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Any bets that Ms. Janet Rice, green party Elect was in that group Turney took out the last time?

    …The area also provided a good location for the paying passengers to walk upon the Antarctic continent.

    “There was an interesting opportunity to do some good science [and] to get the paying passengers underneath the icecap,” Mortimer said.

    After more than two weeks at sea, people were keen to feel Antarctica beneath their feet. “Everyone onboard was keen to make the journey across the fast ice to the islands,” said one passenger….
    http://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2014/stuck-in-the-ice/

    I’m told the Captain was becoming rather definite late in the afternoon that we needed to get everyone back on board ASAP because of the coming weather and the ice closing in. As I write we are continuing to make extremely slow progress through what looks like a winter alpine snow field – it’s yet another surreal part of this journey that we are in a ship trying to barge our way through here! I’m sure the Captain would have been much happier if we had got away a few hours earlier. Maybe we would have made it through the worst before it consolidated as much as it has with the very cold south- easterly winds blowing the ice away from the coast, around and behind us as well as ahead. ~ Janet Rice
    http://www.janetrice.com.au/?e=98

    As I recall Turney was silent during the time Rice sent this info. I do not think she was aware of what was going on until she got back to the ship.

    No conclusive but a bit suggestive.

  105. Gail Combs says:

    Gosh, the hardships these Guardian guys faced is just inspiring. So is the lack of self-awareness… And finally, @loztopham gets his peanut butter milkshake. At Dubai airport.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    How old is the guy 16? He sure whines like a two year old image

  106. Gail Combs says:

    Jim says: @ January 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    … For example, use of sat phones to maintain communication between ship and shore….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>..
    They had two sat phones. One in the control of Greg M. and one in the control of Turkey.

    According to this article How And When To Buy A Satellite Phone, a sat-phone costs between $600 and $1700, depending upon the network. Considering the cost per person of the trip and who these people were and where they were going, why in heck did they not have at least one or two more of these phones? One with each group leader. Or at minimum one at the ship with Greg M. and one with a designated watch dog on shore. The radios only had a 5 mile range but the sat phone on the shore could be used to relay messages from the ship for the short range radios.

    At the very least there should have been a coordinator on shore and another on ship both with a sat phone. Instead both sat phones with the shore parties went unanswered.

    .At 2.30pm when Mortimer saw the fuzz on the horizon and the captain warned of sea ice moving in behind the ship, the voyage leader used the ship’s VHF radio to tell those with handheld VHF radios to move people back to the ship.

    People at the Islands would later report they did not hear the message on their handhelds, which have a range of about five nautical miles.

    Calls to both the satellite phones, which have a global range, went unanswered. There were 15 people at the islands including six staff, either drivers or field leaders.

    …A forecast from meteorologists at one of Australia’s Antarctic research bases, Casey station, had predicted southeasterly winds would strengthen late in the day, the 23rd of December…

    The leaders were also receiving daily weather forecasts from three sources, the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecasters at Casey station, a private forecasting company in Europe and the ship’s onboard weather station. From this information Mortimer estimated the team had 15 to 18 hours before the weather deteriorated, and 24 hours before a more serious change was expected.

    But the Bureau of Meteorology weather forecast issued the day before predicted high winds late on the 23rd….

    Mortimer’s report said: “We discussed the impact of losing 1.5hrs in dealing with the 3 Argo and felt that we had a sufficient time window to complete the operation.

    “Decision taken that pax [passengers] would move quickly to Hodgeman Islands and either return immediately or return on next rotation of transport ie approximately 45 minutes later.” he wrote….

    …While Mortimer’s report said the plan was for passengers to remain nearby the Islands and be closely supervised, several passengers said they were not aware of this request….
    http://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2014/stuck-in-the-ice/

    What an absolute unorganized mess.

  107. Walter Dnes says:

    Maybe they could sell movie rights to help raise cash. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishtar_%28movie%29

    “Here in Antarctica, I found the spirit of Mawson!” http://ishtarthemovie.com/downloads/RogersAndClarke-HelloIshtar.mp3

  108. Txomin says:

    Good luck finding the shipwrecked green royalty. Their agenda is choke-full of award ceremonies.

  109. Richard D said @ January 24, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    The Pompous Git says: January 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm
    My sister was stopped at a stoplight when she was rear-ended by a truck. It took 15 years to force the insurance company to pay.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
    Wow, she’s persistent. Sorry to hear but hope she was ok otherwise. Some states have an insurance commission that is consumer friendly and will help keep insurance companies from pulling this crap. With the ship of fools, international treaties and maritime law is controlling.

    She was quite severely injured, not just whiplash, but brain damge as well. But yes, she is a very determined woman. When she returned to work as a nurse’s aide after several months of recovery, she announced she intended to undergo training as a nurse. Her nurse and doctor colleagues attempted to dissuade her due to her (at that time) “obvious intellectual impairment”.

    Janet went on to complete two degrees in nursing and for a time lectured in neurology. She does not enjoy teaching and returned to working as assistant to several surgeons who value her immensely. Not as immensely as The Git it must be said.

  110. Richard D says:

    @ The Git.
    That’s a remarkable story and outcome. Whiplash is not good and brain injury is worse. Imagine the forces her brain experienced. I’m so glad she’s not just ok but thriving!

  111. Ian L. McQueen says:

    We would like to think that the general public is catching on to the absurdities of the AGW position. But have a look at the comments that follow this posting. (I am really annoyed at the position of The Conversation because it is published by the Univ of Melbourne and I did my master’s there,)

    Ian M
    http://theconversation.com/an-insiders-story-of-the-global-attack-on-climate-science-21972

  112. Steve says:

    Did the American icebreaker really suffer huge losses in this debacle? As far as I can remember, it reduced it’s shore leave at Sydney by 3 days and then changed course slightly towards the AS. I maybe wrong, but I thought the fools were rescued before the American ship got anywhere near.and after that reverted back to its original mission. According to the head of the French Antarctic survey, the French lost 2 weeks of missions while the Chinese lost a whole season—words no doubt expressed in the heat of the debacle and probably needing more specifics.

  113. Streetcred says:

    January 24, 2014 at 11:46 am | jbird says:

    Political dog and pony show…. The taxpayers will ultimately end up footing the bill for this nonsense in one way or another.

    ——————

    Not necessarily. The government is not likely to top up the university’s grant to cover these costs … it will have to come out of the university’s revenues.

  114. Old Data says:

    I hope to see a modern remake of Monty Python And The Holy Grail with Turney as the Black Knight and Michael Mann as head of the Knights Who Say Ni.

  115. BruceC says:

    @Old Data;

    Ah, but they no longer the Knights who say Ni!

    They are now the Knights who say… “Ekki-Ekki-Ekki-Ekki-PTANG. Zoom-Boing. Z’nourrwringmm.

  116. Patrick says:

    “Eric Worrall says:

    January 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm”

    There is talk, and I can’t find the link, of changing/introducing laws in Australia to limit expeditions like the Turney fiasco to Antarctica in the future.

  117. ES says:

    Here are some pictures of Mawson’s Second B.A.N.Z.A.R.E. Voyage in 1931. They were stuck in pack ice for three weeks. Mawson said there was a lot more ice than in 1912.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/uon/702147690/in/set-72157600614667459/

  118. ba non says:

    Someone should award Turney the “Costa Concordia Leadership Award” if not the “Fletcher Christian Bounty Award“.
    ——–
    The Russians are used to working those ice strengthened ships through ice north of Russia. Even as oil carriers. No doubt the captain was a little vexed to find out how unprofessional and irresponsible this “scientific expedition” is. In Russia, “Specialists” as graduate degreed are a mark of professional distinction and presumed responsibility. Not so much at UNSW eh, Igor (capt)?

  119. John says:

    Richard D says:
    January 24, 2014 at 10:50 am
    “So long as it wasn’t criminal negligence, I believe insurance will pay.”
    Does disobedience of a direct order from the Captain of a ship, in matters relating to the safety of the ship and her passengers constitute criminal negligence?

  120. davidmhoffer says:

    First of all, it is not a vessel. Ask anyone who is Russian. It is a wessel. Mind you, I have a good friend who is Russian and for years insisted his car was a Pontiac Wibe. We teased him mercilessly about his Wibe until one day he became very upset and stormed out shouting that he was going to trade the Wibe in on something new. Sure enough, he returned the next day driving a….I’m not making this up…. a Grand Witara. But I digress.

    My expectation is that the captain will come out of this just fine. Had he abandoned the passengers, they most likely would have died. He was faced with that or endangering the ship in order to save their lives. Ultimately, he was legally bound to save their lives, but they were equally bound to return to the wessel when he ordered them to. By failing to comply with his orders (even though they were not on the ship at the time) they became responsible for the wessel’s predicament, and hence the costs associated with the entire rescue operation.

    But the legal shenanigans are just beginning. There’s going to be a tangled up web of contract law and jurisdictional issues not to mention that the passengers may well turn on each other with those not participating in the land excursion seeking to protect themselves from damages accrued by those that did.

    Oh the popcorn! Lotsa popcorn!

  121. Jaakko Kateenkorva says:

    Perhaps not the way Prof Turney originally imagined it, but he has already earned his place in the history books.

  122. CRS, DrPH says:

    …it sounds as if Prof. Turney is in the market for a new ship….this one would fit the bill, and the price is right!

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ghost-ship-starving-rats-20140123,0,2318033.story

  123. p@ Dolan says:

    I do see a downside to this nonsense on the part of Turney and his “scientific” tourism, and while people are hopping up and down and hoping the his premiums will go up so that he feels the consequence of his actions, keep this in mind:

    Premiums will indeed go up on future research missions, and it will have a negative impact, primarily on legitimate research, increasing costs. CAGW and fools like Turney et al do nothing but damage Science—ALL science. Except their own junk “science”, but unfortunately, few people, and no insurance company figuring new actuarial tables, is likely to take the time to distinguish between the two.

    The whole point of insurance–well, the ostensible purpose, anyway—is to share the risk across all insureds seeking protection against certain similar risks. The very fact that Turney et al HAVE insurance means they are buffered from the fallout of their foolishness, and others will, by design and by law, others will share the costs of their recklessness. Even if, in this case, the company which carries their rider says they acted in violation of the terms of the insurance, it’s a fair bet that premiums will indeed go up for everyone.

    So all will be harmed by the recklessness of the few. Again.

    And at least for the moment, Statist, rent-seeking corporate types, grant seeking academics without scruples, and politicians looking to extend their power base all support they myth of CAGW as a method of dipping into the public till. Like as not they’ll find a bunch of sympathetic zombies, who, mindless robots they are, will all cry on cue, boo hoo! for the good Dr. Turney et al, and take up collections with which to pay for his poor judgement. I’m surprised President Obama hasn’t tweeted his support for the poor fools who thought to find melting ice at the South Pole. Duh. They think they brought back samples of great value to science. They weren’t competent to bring themselves back. I cannot imagine that they will contribute ANYTHING to posterity aside from an example of how NOT to run a scientific expedition.

    I’m starting to think that the best thing the folks in Canberra could’ve done would’ve been to pretend they weren’t hearing the SOS’s and left them there to starve (or eat each other. After all, wasn’t it Lyall Watson who said, “[Cannibalism is a] radical but realistic solution to the problem of overpopulation.”? —h/t to Ian Wishart, ‘Air Con’. Isn’t overpopulation one of those things Greens like Ehrlich & Suzuki were always bleating about?). Yeah, yeah, I know: hadda save Turney’s kids, and the poor crew of the ship didn’t deserve that, they were just doing their jobs… Still, if the Green idiot-manques all practiced what they preached and ate EACH OTHER, CAGW theory would be a self-correcting problem…

    As for leaving reckless idiots to their fate when they do stupid things like Turney and company…well, to borrow a phrase from Pournelle and Niven: “Think of it as Evolution in action.”

  124. Slacko says:

    Ian L. McQueen says:
    January 24, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    We would like to think that the general public is catching on to the absurdities of the AGW position.

    Where I live there seems to be no shortage of them. But at the link you provided I read through the comments until my stomach could take no more. Apparently we’re a bunch of “Lieberal” “right wing lunies” and “Anti Science” freaks who “move goal posts,” and put up “straw man arguments” and… well, you know the standard projections. One poster feels sorry for Michael Mann, and another thinks that man has “survived several ice ages” without serious difficulty but is now in grave danger of facing “temperatures of 50°C+.” Where do they get these people?

  125. Richard D says:

    John says: January 24, 2014 at 9:40 pm
    Does disobedience of a direct order from the Captain of a ship, in matters relating to the safety of the ship and her passengers constitute criminal negligence?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    That’s a really interesting question. If you jeopardized safety of ship and passengers on a cruise ship in the Caribbean you will be locked in the ship’s brig and disembarked at the next port of call. It’s a Russian flagged ship and their admiralty court could look at this.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the owner and/or Russian government stick it to Australia, saying the Pan Pan call was a request for assistance – icebreaking – and the ship was in no immediate danger; hence, no May Day, the ship was not abandoned by skipper or crew and in fact beat everyone home to Hobart. The rescue was effected solely at the behest of Australian S/R, who acted hastily and in fact ignored a plausible weather window forecast that suggested the ship would be freed on its own. In fact, all the “rescue” accomplished was moving passengers from one stuck ship to another stuck ship.

  126. John says:

    Richard D says:
    January 24, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Suppose that events had taken a different turn, after Prof. Turney disobeyed the Captain of the MV Akademik Shokalskiy.

    Suppose that the pack-ice had caused the ship to list, so that she took on water and sank and that some of her passengers or crew were killed, either by drowning or through freezing, while awaiting rescue.

    In these circumstances, would anyone be charged with negligent manslaughter?

    If people had died on the expedition and the issue was not merely allocating financial liability for the rescue effort, but possible criminal responsibility for the deaths of people, would Prof Turney’s wilful disobedience of the Captain of the ship reduce the responsibility of the Captain and ship-owners, in any way and would Prof. Turney and possibly his sponsors be considered responsible, in law, for any fatalities which resulted from his irresponsible behaviour?

    I believe that on this occasion, luck played an important part in the happy ending, which occurred, but the same irresponsible actions could have easily resulted in a far more tragic end to the expedition.

  127. Richard D says:

    John says: January 24, 2014 at 11:19 pm
    Suppose that events had taken a different turn, after Prof. Turney disobeyed the Captain of the MV Akademik Shokalskiy.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    With that vessel, forecast and typical conditions he had no business being there, period.

  128. @ davidmhoffer

    Was it a Horst-Wessel, or internal combustion? :-)

    [ducking and running]

  129. rogerknights says:

    Calls to both the satellite phones, which have a global range, went unanswered.

    Shades of the curious incident of the dog in the night time.
    (I.e., the recipients knew what the call was about (come home) and turned a deaf ear to it.)

  130. Chuck Nolan says:

    Gail Combs says:
    January 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm
    It can get to be a real mess. Boy do I want to be a fly on the wall when all this goes down.

    Do you think we can get NSA to bug the offices?
    —————————————————————————–
    Too late.
    I’m sure NSA’s way ahead of you.
    cn

  131. Silver ralph says:

    Richard D says: January 24, 2014 at 11:52 am
    @ Neil.
    I’m familiar yet here we’re dealing with maritime law. The captain is responsible for the lives and safety of passengers and crew on his ship.
    __________________________________

    Not if the captain has been ordered to stay on station by his employer. Then, the responsibility greys considerably, as the Hearald of Free Enterprise sinking demonstrated (the management were charged with corporate negligence).

    The problem is that Russian ships run on a shoestring. So if professor X says ‘go here, or we are not paying you’, then the ship tends to go there whether it is safe or not. In which case, the responsibility (and the cost of rescue) is right back in the court of the company or the leader of the expedition.

    The insurers will know this, and will be seeking evidence of who was giving the orders, and what protestations the captain made.

    Ralph

  132. Silver ralph says:

    Nick Stokes says: January 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm
    . They have issued liability insurance. That is, they took a premium to insure against the possibility that the insured will incur liability. They can’t then say – well, it’s your liability, not ours.
    ________________________________

    Don’t be silly, of course they can. The insurance company are not going to pay out, if you deliberately imperil your ship (or deliberately set fire to your company premises).

    The insurance company will be all over this claim with a fine-tooth comb. Which will be interesting, as all these details may well come out in court.

    ralph

  133. Amatør1 says:

    Roberto says:
    January 24, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I’m ignorant, but I wonder whether the fact they were on shore matters. If they were dropped off for a day trip in coldest Norway, wouldn’t they bear some of their own responsibility? Is Antarctica different that way?

    In Norway, they would have been rescued within a couple of hours. Norway is not an empty land like Antarctica, far from civilization.

  134. Amatør1 said @ January 25, 2014 at 2:41 am

    In Norway, they would have been rescued within a couple of hours. Norway is not an empty land like Antarctica, far from civilization.

    I have known a number of expeditioners and count some among my most excellent of friends. Far from being savages, they are quite civilised. Hobart’s inhabitants, suppliers to many Antarctic-bound vessels can also exhibit many signs of having been civilised — on a good day. Only IMHO of course :-)

  135. Steve says:

    The Pompous Git says:
    January 25, 2014 at 2:55 am
    Hobart’s inhabitants, suppliers to many Antarctic-bound vessels can also exhibit many signs of having been civilised — on a good day.
    *****************************************************************
    Many came from convict stock, including me :)

  136. Gail Combs says:

    The Pompous Git says: …..
    Good for her! Tell her we wish her the best.

  137. Gail Combs says:

    Steve says: @ January 25, 2014 at 3:23 am

    Many came from convict stock, including me :)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Aaah, the independent survivor types.

  138. Gunga Din says:

    Gary Pearse says:
    January 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Clay Marley says:
    January 24, 2014 at 10:45 am
    =======

    “How about WUWT shot glasses with little icebergs floating in our favorite libation.”

    Anthony, this is an idea worth expanding on. You can get “permanent” ice cubes that just need to be returned to the ice box to be refrozen. A “Ship of Fools” motif with a small model ship “trapped” in the ice cubes. Should have a Yo Ho Ho shot of rum as one of the ingredients.

    ===================================================================
    They make gag cubes with plastic fly in them. Maybe cubes with little frozen turkeys?

  139. Gunga Din says:

    Rick K says:
    January 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    This might be appropriate here…
    I don’t sing, but if I did…
    I would sing this to the tune of Michael’s Jackson’s “Beat It”……

    ========================================================================
    8-)

  140. Greenpeace should get a bill too.

    “Chief Enabler”, conspirtor before these foolish acts.

    Al Gore, “The Act”.

  141. Gail Combs,

    Got a 3 week R & R out of Vietnam as a pay off for taking another year in the conflict in 1969.
    Got loose in down under, found a place out in the middle of no where, called something like “Etta Maw Pub” . Lots of good beer real cold to boot. Some nice young ladies in shorts and halter tops. We made a play. Some locals youth said, ” now we love you Texas guys from the U.S. but these ladies are spoken for”, they invited us out to the parking lot, did a bit of a work over on all 4 of us, picked us up, took us to our rented auto and saw us off.

    Some sort of cultural thing uh?

  142. What makes the AGW nut jobs freak out is just posting the web cams of ski resorts.

    http://www.arapahoebasin.com click on web cams

    good way to get your post deleted and the ban stick

  143. tty says:

    J Martin says:

    Why did the Mawson trip take place at a time when there was still a great deal of sea ice ?
    Surely it should have been timed to coincide with minimum sea ice. Perhaps the timing of the expedition was dictated by Australian holidays rather than ice state. Thus influencing the success or failure of the expedition.

    Because during this period all suitable ships are booked years in advance by normal tour operators. As far as I can make out Shokalskiy is now back in Antarctica on a Heritage Expeditions tour. However it is to the Ross Sea, which is normally quite ice-free by this date. Actually it may be a bit sticky to get down to McMurdo this year. However, once again, normal tour operators always have contingency plans, and always include an all inclusive escape clause in the contract provisions:

    “Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.”

  144. John Whitman says:

    I would really like to see the various insurance policies held by the various parties: the one(s) held by the ship owner, the one(s) held by the trip organizers/charterers; the one(s) held by the University of NSW for its employees; the one(s) held by the media for its reporters on the ship; etc.

    It would be interesting reading, and would cut short intriguing but unproductive speculation about claims/courts/suits/etc.

    NOTE TO SCOTT MANDIA => Has Chris Turney contacted you yet in your capacity as a manager of a climate scientist legal defense fund which I presume is through your participation in the UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists)? If not then you may want to contact him because, Scott, don’t you consider it a reasonable possibility he is going to face litigation due to his unprofessional behavior and irresponsible claims while being an activist leader of the Antarctic climate science expedition?

    John

  145. clipe says:

    CRS, DrPH says:
    January 24, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    …it sounds as if Prof. Turney is in the market for a new ship….this one would fit the bill, and the price is right!

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ghost-ship-starving-rats-20140123,0,2318033.story

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/01/25/five-reasons-the-lyubov-orlova-and-its-cannibal-rats-are-at-the-bottom-of-the-atlantic/

  146. anengineer says:

    Is that the total bill for the rescue, or only Australia’s part of it? Can we expect further growth?

  147. Kevin White says:

    He should have listened to the advice from this penguin …

  148. Owen in GA says:

    Ah, the Greenpeace debacle…the French government should have waited and warned them they were entering restricted military space and let them proceed to the nuclear test site (with a “Willy Wonka” type don’t go there warnings on the radio the whole way), where their ship would have sunk with all hands when the shockwave from the bomb going off cracked their keel. The French sank that ship in harbor when it was supposed to be empty to prevent that eventuality.and trying to save lives.

    Personally I have no problem whatsoever with running the Greenpeace rhibs over when they try to interfere with some operation at sea. The law of gross tonnage is a harsh mistress, but the large vessel has the right of way in the sea lanes. Civilian vessels are captained by idiots when they intentionally enter military operations zones, and the if the ones who intentionally intrude die, that is Darwin in action, I’ll shed no tears over the loss of the terminally stupid. Of course, some people say I am heartless for rooting for the whalers in that stupid animal planet show where they endorse high sea piracy as well.

  149. Owen in GA said @ January 25, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Ah, the Greenpeace debacle…the French government …sank that ship in harbor when it was supposed to be empty to prevent that eventuality.and trying to save lives.

    And the announcement from the French to ensure the vessel was empty came when? The French were exploding a nuclear bomb in ourbackyard, not France’s. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you are trying to drum up sympathy for the perpetrators of 9/11. Presumably beforehand whoever they were didn’t know whether their idea would work, or not.

  150. Patrick says:

    “The Pompous Git says:

    January 26, 2014 at 1:04 am

    The French were exploding a nuclear bomb in ourbackyard, not France’s.”

    Whether you like it or not, it was still French territory. A bit like the Brits testing in the Australian outback.

  151. ferdberple says:

    wazsah says: @ January 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm
    … Also curious at contradiction between Russian crew who said on return to Bluff that they put out a “pan pan pan” message yet AMSA gets this from Falmouth UK as a “distress” call….
    ==========
    Pan is a step below Mayday. Both mean you are in trouble, but Mayday means there is an immediate threat. Stuck, Pan. Sinking, Mayday. They are both distress calls.

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