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    Re: Navy Grounding in PI Digital Charts Blamed
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2013 Jan 31, 16:11 -0800

    Brad, you wrote:
    "Typical newspaper reporting! There is no way to tell the order of boarding vs grounding. Further, the article makes it sound like every ship entering the park is to be boarded first. Hence my comments."

    Yes, I understand. And I think the reporting in the NY Times article is built on an assumption of "American arrogance". I am sure you know the old joke that's been circulated by email as if it's a true story: it relates a supposed radio conversation apparently between two ships at sea that goes "Get out of my way... this is the USS... a giant, American, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier..." and after a few more exchanges, the other party answers, "well, this is a lighthouse. Your call, mate." The idea that the sweet and friendly "park rangers" warned off a US Navy vessel who then plowed into an innocent, beautiful reef after telling the locals to "call the US Embassy" fits some people's expectations too well.

    Regarding my comment about nearby fishing vessels, you wrote:
    "well that's some marine park! Fishing vessels!?! What's being protected? Fishing grounds?"

    I was only speculating there. There are certainly numerous fishing vessels in the Sulu Sea at night. You can see their lights from orbit. Whether any of them fish near the reefs, I have no idea. It would make sense to do so as long as they don't get too close in. As I understand it, this group of atolls has been made a marine park as a means of generating diving revenue. Otherwise it was little more than a hazard to navigation. It's actually very clever. It makes money, and even more importantly, in that part of the world, it establishes clear sovereignty for the Philippines. Similar sorts of things are going on in the nearby South China Sea every day. The Chinese are resolutely determined to win full Chinese sovereignty over the whole sea between southeast Asia and the Philippines including numerous small, uninhabited islands and the potential oil reserves (and the Chinese are VERY good at being resolutely determined).

    You concluded:
    "I'll wait and see how big the mapping error is. The magnitude is important, as is the magnitude of the berth the captain gave the danger. "

    They say it was eight or nine miles. You saw the earlier thread on this topic started by Richard Langley, right? But supposedly the error was only found at one scale, which to me is interesting, because it means that it could have been detected with carefully designed software.

    -FER


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