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Normal Accidents by Charles Perrow

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CHAPTER 6

Marine Accidents

Introduction

Marine accidents bring us to a wider system than we have had to encounter so far. It is a fascinating country, and in our tour, we will encounter a frying pan that destroys a luxury liner in hours, captains playing “chicken” in sea lanes with forty ships about, “radar assisted collisions,” monumental storms, tugboats blocking radio channels by playing Johnny Cash music, and tankers over a city-block-long negotiating channels only two feet deeper than they are. In the midst of these calamities are owners egging their captains on and insurance companies that fail to inspect the ships but shout “stop the carnage.” On the side sits the Coast Guard, charged with safety in U.S. inland and coastal waters but ...

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