A Significant Casualty
"In a perfect world a story such as I am about to relate could never have happened and would never have needed to be told; but this is not a perfect world and life does not always treat us in the manner to which we feel we deserve. We have become accustomed to accepting mediocrity and bureaucratic incompetence. Indifference and ambivalence are becoming the accepted norm. We live in a democratic society where less than half the eligible members actually participate and as a result the officials we elect owe more allegiance to the special interests that fund and support them than to the constituents they purport to represent.
As a result we have enabled a system to exist where the interests of business overshadow the rights of the individual; A system where we permit industry to write the regulations intended to control their activities. We live in a society where human life is measured and analyzed compared and evaluated against the cost of doing business; where litigators feed on the misery of others while doing little to prevent the carnage on which they feed and depend. While a ""kinder and gentler"" government stands idly by protecting the special interests that feed the political system while hiding behind “cost to benefit” studies to justify their inaction.
Under current United States Coast Guard policy a “Significant Casualty” is one that may involve multiple deaths, the loss of a ship of 500 gross tons or larger or one that if properly investigated could lead to the implementation of changes in current standards of safety. And it is only these “Significant Casualties” that by regulation merit proper investigation.
The following is a story of a young man who went off to work one morning never to return. But mostly it is the story of a man who like all men should never be allowed to be remembered as only another statistic. This is the story of one such Significant Casualty.