No ID on eco warriors by media:
Al Gore buddy owner of sunken ship that left huge carbon footprint on Antarctic Ocean floor
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You’d never read this in the mainstream media: The owner of MS Explorer that sank, leaving a huge carbon footprint at the bottom of the Antarctic Ocean Friday is an acolyte of teensy-weensy carbon footprint crusader Al Gore.
G.A.P. Adventures CEO and Explorer owner, Bruce Poon Tip and Gore have similar ideals, “filling their schedules with speaking engagements on environmental change to educate global audiences.” And that’s straight off of www.gapadventures.com. In fact, as recently as last April, both Poon Tip and Gore gave presentations at the Green Living Show in Toronto.
“I expressed my admiration for Mr. Gore’s commitment and leadership which spans more than 20 years,” commented Poon Tip. “I also invited him aboard our legendary polar expedition ship, the MS Explorer to visit the Arctic.”
The legendary polar expedition ship…”had at least five faults at its last inspection,” according to Greenpeace spokeswoman Bunny McDiarmid. “Maritime records show the MV Explorer has completed more than 40 cruises to the ice, but has lately been suffering maintenance and safety problems.”
Maintenance and safety problems never kept the MS Explorer from setting out for the Antarctica two weeks ago.
Good thing Gore was otherwise occupied when 154 passengers and crew had to be rescued at sea when their eco-cruise ship struck ice in the Antarctic Ocean and started to sink early Friday morning. (None of the eco warriors aboard MS Explorer were identified in weekend media coverage).
Twelve Canadians—10 tourists and two expedition guides on the eco-adventure cruise—spent anxious frigid hours in lifeboats once they were evacuated from the Explorer.
In addition to the 12 Canadians were travelers from the United States, Britain, Australia, France and several other countries on board the ship.
There was little mention in the mainstream media that the passengers were comprised of eco warriors or that they had spent thousands of dollars to see ice at a much closer range than they ever dreamed.
Making it a Thanksgiving Day to remember, the polar cruise came with that sinking feeling of a miniature Titanic. Passengers and crew aboard the Canadian cruise liner waited in frigid temperatures for some two hours before pick up in a part of the ocean with no land in sight.
How the vessel sustained a “fist-sized hole” is a mystery taken down to the ocean floor.
The 38-year-old vessel was sold by Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) to G.A.P Adventures in 2004. A&K has since acquired Explorer II, now called “Minerva”.
A well-known ship in marine circles, the 75-metre Explorer was built in 1969 and was specifically designed with a reinforced double hull to withstand ice and other environmental challenges.
Near the South Shetland Islands, the ship began to take on water and a distress call was made. The Explorer’s pumps managed the incoming water while passengers and expedition staff were gathered in the ship’s lecture hall and informed of the emergency. All eco warrior passengers had received evacuation training on their first day at sea, and news reports indicated that nobody panicked when things started to go wrong.
As the Los Angeles Times described it: “The first cruise ship built to ply the frigid waters of Antarctica became the first to sink there Friday. The red-hulled Explorer struck ice, taking water as 154 passengers and crew members scrambled to safety aboard lifeboats and rafts. The ship later went to the bottom.”
According to one blogger who plans an Antarctica trip, “apparently, most (Explorer passengers) did not have wallets or passports with them,” adding in a Note to Self: “Wear identification belt at all times.”
Passengers and crew were taken to a Chilean military base on King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, from which they were flown home yesterday.
Meanwhile, Greenpeace believes tourism in Antarctica should be strictly limited because of the fate of MS Explorer, but the silence is deafening from Poon Tip and Gore about the huge carbon footprint left on the ocean floor.