Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Sergeant Schultz Syndrome

I have been in touch with a senior Maritime Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) source, who had been involved in the preparation of the Gaul case prior to the 2004 formal investigation.
Asked whether the MAIB had provided information to the wreck commissioner (i.e justice david steel) in respect of the patent design defect in the construction and arrangement of the duff and offal chutes on the Gaul, he would say neither Yes nor No.
As to the pre-investigation deliberations that had taken place between MAIB and other experts on the subject of the faults in the construction of the chutes he had no clear recollection.
Whilst in other cases the MAIB would collect evidence and provide analysis on the causes and circumstances of a marine accident, in the Gaul case, I am told, the MAIB provided the documentary evidence, but left the government’s retained experts to formulate their own conclusions. The MAIB, my interlocutor said, was in a difficult situation vis-รก- vis the Gaul case.
I wonder why.

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