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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy View Post
    The volcanic activity scale runs from 1 to 5 with 3, 4 and 5 being actual eruptions of increasing magnitude.
    From 0 to 5, not 1 to 5.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy View Post
    So I take it you won't be driving your car for the next year either Beagle (or in any year for that matter as per your calculations)? I am sure you are a good driver. But what about the unpredictable others on the road for which you have no way to assess their skill and sobriety? How can you reliably gauge when they might happen towards you?.

    SNOOPY
    As car driving stats also include the figures for Drivers who are intoxicated - or young and inexperienced - perhaps they should be excluded from the comparison. Although their victims should be included. The Volcano tours are controlled by guides and pilots; the risk comes from the Volcano.

    In which case the White Island tour risk may be equivalent to well more than one year of an unintoxicated driver on NZ roads.

  3. #33
    ShareTrader Legend Beagle's Avatar
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    Okay let me ask you a simple question Snoopy.
    At this stage this industry almost looks like its operating without regulation. Gung-Ho helicopter operators not even registered as adventure tourism operators and therefore not assessed or audited as to their safety standards or safety equipment if any.

    I drive approx. 12,000 km's per year and unfortunately as most of that is in Auckland city my car's trip computer tells me the average speed is 36 km/hr so I spend about 333 hours per annum in my vehicle.

    If I wanted to go to White Island again in a 2 hour visit I am exposed to a very similar risk therefore visiting White Island is 333/2 166.5 times more likely on a per hour basis to result in my death.

    Driving on the road is an extremely heavily regulated and heavily policed activity. Don't you think visiting White Island should also now be extremely heavily regulated and policed ?

    I get it that adventure tourism has some risk as do a lot of sports and life would be boring if one tried to measure and eliminate as much risk as possible but don't adventure tourism operators have a responsibility to take whatever pragmatic steps they can to mitigate this risk and supply full safety equipment ?

    I get it that a fire suit may not be eruption proof but perhaps the number of deaths and extent of the injuries of the survivors would be considerably less ?
    Little known fact, did you know that fire suits were originally designed for volcanologists ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_proximity_suit

    Extract "Entry suit—used for entry into extreme heat and situations requiring protection from total flame engulfment. Most commonly made of Zetex or Vermiculite and not aluminized. These provide ambient protection up to ≈2,000 F (1,093 C)) for short duration[1], and prolonged radiant heat protection up to ≈1,500 F (816 C)".

    I wouldn't volunteer to be in an eruption with a full entry suit but I would think its safe to say the people there last Monday wish they were wearing them.
    If the adventure tourism operators don't want to provide some serious protection then in my opinion they should be stopped from running tourism operations there.
    Last edited by Beagle; 15-12-2019 at 07:50 PM.
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond47 View Post
    From 0 to 5, not 1 to 5.
    Thanks for the correction.

    SNOOPY
    Industry shorthand sees BNZ employees still called 'bankers' but ANZ employees now called 'anchors'. Westpac has opted out of banking industry shorthand...

  5. #35
    ShareTrader Legend Beagle's Avatar
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    Okay, this is more simple then. Tours to only proceed when White Island is rated by GNS as stage 0. (Analogy, drunk and drug driving is prohibited)
    Fireproof suits and heavy duty footwear and breathing apparatus to be worn / used by all visitors. (Analogy, cars must have seats belts and most recently electronic stability control)
    All adventure tourism operators to be registered and licenced and formally audited for compliance annually and mystery shopped at least twice during the year at random times to ensure compliance. (Analogy, drivers must have a licence and vehicles are subject to regular warrant of fitness checks)

    Our roads are extremely heavily regulated. Visiting White Island which is more than a hundred and fifty times more risky on a per hour basis, should be too.

    I get it that requiring tourism operators to take these steps would add considerably to the cost to visit the island but requiring vehicle manufactures to include crash intrusion beams, abs brakes, airbags, electronic stability control and other safety equipment adds to the cost of cars and people expect those safety measures and are prepared to pay for them so why shouldn't they be entitled to be properly looked after on White Island ?
    Last edited by Beagle; 15-12-2019 at 08:15 PM.
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bjauck View Post
    As car driving stats also include the figures for Drivers who are intoxicated - or young and inexperienced - perhaps they should be excluded from the comparison. Although their victims should be included. The Volcano tours are controlled by guides and pilots; the risk comes from the Volcano.

    In which case the White Island tour risk may be equivalent to well more than one year of an unintoxicated driver on NZ roads.
    I said in my post 30 'Let's take your (Beagles) figures as correct'. I accept that Beagles's assessment of risk may be able to be improved upon and I thank you for your thoughts on the matter Bjauck. Many analogies will break down at the edges and I am sure you can poke holes in the comparison. The point I was trying to make though was that in both cases there is a significant part of the risk that the 'driver'/'tour operator' cannot control.

    You cannot control whether the 'other driver' is intoxicated - or young and inexperienced. You can certainly observe that someone else is driving in an erratic and potentially dangerous. But your attention may be drawn so that you do not observe this. No matter how you tweak the numbers I think we can all agree that visiting White Island is more dangerous to your life than driving on the roads for one day. However, dying on the roads is a real and significant risk that we drivers do not fixate about (otherwise we wouldn't be drivers). So it should be possible to calculate the equivalent number of days you would have to drive on the road that would equate to the same risk of death as a single day trip to White Island. Whatever that number turns out to be, would it put you off driving? If the answer is no, then I think it is consistent to accept that you would find a one day trip to White island as an acceptable risk to take.

    SNOOPY
    Last edited by Snoopy; 15-12-2019 at 08:16 PM.
    Industry shorthand sees BNZ employees still called 'bankers' but ANZ employees now called 'anchors'. Westpac has opted out of banking industry shorthand...

  7. #37
    ShareTrader Legend Beagle's Avatar
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    If its regulated and the proper safety equipment is supplied then its an acceptable risk to take.
    Most people cannot choose whether they take the risk of driving or not, (most simply have to get around town) so have to be exposed to that risk, (and before you suggest riding a bicycle or a motorbike the ACC stats suggest the risks are dramatically higher). The risk is minimised by strict regulations and requirements of vehicle manufacturers with safety equipment like life saving seat belts. Road users can minimise it further by choosing modern 5 star rated safety vehicles.

    The point you are missing Snoopy is that visitors to White Island do not have to go there, they choose too and in so choosing, (even if they are ignorant of the risks they are exposing their family too like I was), they fully deserve the full protection of regulations to minimise the risk. The deserve the right that their chosen operator is using the very best safety equipment, that their systems and procedures are audited and checked and that they are not putting profit before safety.

    Hopefully some of the gung ho operators will go broke while visitation to the Island is temporarily shut down. I think its absolutely nuts that visitation is allowed at stage 2 when there are two known stages below this and the one immediately above it is actually an eruption event. This is absolute gross recklessness and MUST CHANGE !
    Last edited by Beagle; 15-12-2019 at 08:33 PM.
    No butts, hold no mutts, (unless they're the furry variety).

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
    Okay let me ask you a simple question Snoopy.
    At this stage this industry almost looks like its operating without regulation. Gung-Ho helicopter operators not even registered as adventure tourism operators and therefore not assessed or audited as to their safety standards or safety equipment if any.

    I drive approx. 12,000 km's per year and unfortunately as most of that is in Auckland city my car's trip computer tells me the average speed is 36 km/hr so I spend about 333 hours per annum in my vehicle.

    If I wanted to go to White Island again in a 2 hour visit I am exposed to a very similar risk therefore visiting White Island is 333/2 166.5 times more likely on a per hour basis to result in my death.

    Driving on the road is an extremely heavily regulated and heavily policed activity. Don't you think visiting White Island should also now be extremely heavily regulated and policed ?
    I see from that article you referenced that the pilot and passengers from this badly damaged Volcanic Air helicopter were evacuated by boat after the fatal White Island eruption. The article goes on to state:

    "Boat operator White Island Tours is the only White Island tour company on the WorkSafe adventure activity register which requires strict safety audits."

    So I guess we can conclude that all of the helicopter operators are what some would describe as 'cowboy operators'. So what do you say to those cowboy operators who dispatched their helicopters to White Island in the immediate aftermath of the eruption event to help?

    "Auditor AdventureMark and said it had suspended eight operators over the past five years for various breaches, and it was aware of one who received a prohibition notice from WorkSafe for conducting unregistered adventure activities."

    That Auditor power seems sufficient to me. Together with the potential $50,000 of fines for operating without an accident occurring it would seem to me the law has enough teeth already. I imagine the damage to the Volcanic Air helicopter in the picture 'post eruption' would be in excess of that $50,000 figure. But if gung ho helicopter operators keep appearing, maybe the existing law should be enforced more diligently?

    SNOOPY
    Last edited by Snoopy; 15-12-2019 at 09:04 PM.
    Industry shorthand sees BNZ employees still called 'bankers' but ANZ employees now called 'anchors'. Westpac has opted out of banking industry shorthand...

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
    Okay, this is more simple then. Tours to only proceed when White Island is rated by GNS as stage 0.
    GNS stage 0 is 'no volcanic unrest'. Perhaps I should open up a cafeteria in Whakatane and invite customers in to watch me boil up a pot of tea. I could advertise it as an experience 'more thrilling and thermally active than a trip to White Island.'

    SNOOPY
    Industry shorthand sees BNZ employees still called 'bankers' but ANZ employees now called 'anchors'. Westpac has opted out of banking industry shorthand...

  10. #40
    ShareTrader Legend Beagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy View Post
    So I guess we can conclude that all of the helicopter operators are what some would describe as 'cowboy operators'. So what do you say to those cowboy operators who dispatched their helicopters to White Island in the immediate aftermath of the eruption event to help?

    "Auditor AdventureMark and said it had suspended eight operators over the past five years for various breaches, and it was aware of one who received a prohibition notice from WorkSafe for conducting unregistered adventure activities."

    That Auditor power seems sufficient to me. Together with the potential $50,000 of fines for operating without an accident occurring it would seem to me the law has enough teeth already. I imagine the damage to the Volcanic Air helicopter in the picture 'post eruption' would be in excess of that $50,000 figure. But if gung ho helicopter operators keep appearing, maybe the existing law should be enforced more diligently?

    SNOOPY
    They were incredibly brave, there is no question about that.
    That doesn't change the fact that they may have been "exceedingly reckless" to allow them on the Island in the first place with it being stage 2 according to GNS, see legal opinion below in the link.

    From my point of view what gets under my skin a bit is that visitors are entitled to be fully briefed on the risks of visiting the Island and entitled to be able to rely on operators to cancel tours when it isn't safe. They should also be entitled to have full safety equipment supplied to them. I don't think that's happening at present.

    A potential $50,000 fine is a slap over the back of the hand with a wet bus ticket as helicopter operators would make that much profit in a couple of good weeks in Summer and the boat operator is reported to be making $4.5m per annum, which is ~ $87,000 per week. Look at the cost to visit the Island in the story linked below.
    Very fat profits are at stake here, who really dutifully cares about visitors safety at present ?
    Max fine should be $5m...that might get them thinking a bit straighter and more compliant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy View Post
    GNS stage 0 is 'no volcanic unrest'. Perhaps I should open up a cafeteria in Whakatane and invite customers in to watch me boil up a pot of tea. I could advertise it as an experience 'more thrilling and thermally active than a trip to White Island.'
    SNOOPY
    LOL I'd be happy to come and have a cup of tea with you anytime, you could call it the Fat Beagle Caf We could grab on one end of the bone each and gnaw away to our hearts content and debate for instance, whether the roads need to be more exciting and whether people should be allowed to drive drunk or stoned. Who needs these silly regulations, right ?

    Here's an idea, why not ask the relatives of more than 20 people currently in ICU fighting for their lives whether we need stricter regulations and better safety equipment ?
    How many will survive and of those that do how many will be so horribly disfigured they'll wish they hadn't ?

    "Exceedingly Reckless" https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/ind...ing-passengers Extract "The volcanic alert level for White Island/Whakaari was raised from one to two not long before the eruption and on December 3 GNS said moderate volcanic unrest continued on the island and data suggested that the volcano may be entering a period where eruptive activity was more likely than normal."

    If Tour operators and / or the Government through regulation can't be relied upon to minimise risk to visitors to While Island its time the whole thing was canned.
    I think its appalling that tours go ahead at GNS risk level 2.
    Last edited by Beagle; 16-12-2019 at 11:20 AM.
    No butts, hold no mutts, (unless they're the furry variety).

  11. #41
    ShareTrader Legend Beagle's Avatar
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    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/new...ectid=12294146

    Lets do that "All we could do was pray for all these poor people, and keep praying for them."
    No butts, hold no mutts, (unless they're the furry variety).

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
    From my point of view what gets under my skin a bit is that visitors are entitled to be fully briefed on the risks of visiting the Island and entitled to be able to rely on operators to cancel tours when it isn't safe. They should also be entitled to have full safety equipment supplied to them. I don't think that's happening at present.
    I saw the gear the military search team had to wear. A cotton underlayer to wick away the sweat (except the personnel would sweat so much it would be ineffective after a short time). A fireproof nomex second layer, especially made to filter out the sulphuric acid precursors that that were floating around in the atmosphere. An unbreatheable waterproof outer skin. On top of that each island lander had to wear breathing equipment including a 15kg Oxygen tank. Once suited up visibility was limited. Not sure how many tourists would be prepared to go under those conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
    A potential $50,000 fine is a slap over the back of the hand with a wet bus ticket as helicopter operators would make that much profit in a couple of good weeks in Summer and the boat operator is reported to be making $4.5m per annum, which is ~ $87,000 per week. Look at the cost to visit the Island in the story linked below.
    Very fat profits are at stake here, who really dutifully cares about visitors safety at present ?
    Max fine should be $5m...that might get them thinking a bit straighter and more compliant.
    $50,000 was the starting point of the fine for simply not responding in good time to a Worksafe request. I would envisage other fines to be levied on top of this. $5m might be enough to bankrupt the shell company doing the tours. The operator would have to set up a new shell company to avoid the fine!

    SNOOPY
    Last edited by Snoopy; 16-12-2019 at 07:00 PM.
    Industry shorthand sees BNZ employees still called 'bankers' but ANZ employees now called 'anchors'. Westpac has opted out of banking industry shorthand...

  13. #43
    ShareTrader Legend Beagle's Avatar
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    Does look "a little" arduous. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/a...ectid=12294356
    Pretty good chance tourists wouldn't have to wear the heavy breathing apparatus once its back to stage 0.
    As for the rest of it, you might be surprised, some people might enjoy the dress up and it might add to the drama and theatre of the occasion.
    You could offer them cups of tea to ensure they stay hydrated.

    Anyway...Snoops, me ol mate, my sense is its been a week now since this terrible tragedy and you and I have been gnawing on this bone for quite a while and I've certainly enjoyed the robust debate, (good that I can count on another Beagle to gnaw away at length on a bone), but I'm going to leave it there in the spirit of the season and all.

    Hopefully common sense prevails with the authorities and some much tighter regulations are placed around any possible restart of tourist trips to the White Island.
    Last edited by Beagle; 17-12-2019 at 08:32 AM.
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  14. #44
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    https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/natio...cid=spartanntp

    Wake up to a new nightmare. Very sad.
    No butts, hold no mutts, (unless they're the furry variety).

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