Saturday, March 01, 2008

Wilful Ignorance

When they’ve finished filling in their various questionnaires, the Fraud Squad detectives set about catching criminals.
But, how do they perform this task? Do they go out into the street, copping people at random? No, of course not! They employ logic.
The unfortunate thing, however, is that their logic can sometimes take the shape of the politicised Heads of the Met.
In our previous posts we reported on the progress made by the Fraud Squad in response to our fraud complaint. Today, we are able to provide you with an exciting update:
After 11 months of rumination, the Met detectives were finally able to shout Eureka, as they found an answer to our concerns, and a simple one at that.
In a letter signed by a Detective Chief Inspector of the Fraud Squad, we were informed that the design fault on the Gaul - which, we contended, could have competed as a more likely cause for the loss of the vessel than crew negligence, had evidence of this fault not been withheld – was, in fact, recognised by the 2004 RFI and duly mentioned in the final report, at paras 2.44 –2.49.
How extraordinary! The naval architect, who has been carping about the final report to the RFI and its findings for more than two years now, never realised that the Investigation Panel had in fact agreed with him.
How could he have missed the meaning of those six vital paragraphs, which the Met detectives’ perspicacity identified as proof that the RFI panel didn’t keep shtum about the design fault in question?
Well, the truth of the matter is that the above-mentioned paragraphs[1] refer, in fact, only to:
  1. a calculation error in the design of the chutes, the unfortunate significance of which being, nevertheless, overlooked (see DESIGN ERROR 2 document);

  2. a mention of the fact that the vessel owners had annotated the drawing of the chute with the statement “the design of the watertight hopper hatch cover was “too fiddly” " – statement endorsed by the final report despite being factually incorrect;

  3. the unrealistic notion that the one inch square section of the steel hinge spindles would have become rounded with normal use (while, in the same paragraph, the experts advise that they had visited the Gaul’s 29 year old sister vessel on which, the same type of spindle had not, even by that time, become rounded);

  4. a suggestion that the design of the hinges would have “inevitably resulted in corrosion within the brass gland” - in fact the ‘brass gland’ referred to therein was a sintered bronze, self lubricating, bearing, and

  5. a statement that the flaps could not be maintained without destroying them, which, as we explained HERE as well as in this POST and on page 22 of the TECHNICAL REPORT, was pure misconception.

Nowhere in the report is it mentioned that the non-return flaps opened the wrong way round (a major DESIGN FAULT) and, therefore, would have failed to act as the principal strength barrier against seawater flooding, as they were supposed to. And that is the crux of the matter. Plain as daylight.

To claim otherwise is brazenly insincere, similar to saying that white is black and black is white.

When questioned about these inadvertences, the DCI professed ignorance of the details of the case, passing the buck to the lowest rank: i.e. a constable in his squad.

(To be continued)
[1] A copy of paras 2.44 –2.49 is provided at THIS LINK

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