As the planned sailing of the 1,000-passenger cruise ship Crystal Serenity through the Northwest Passage draws closer, coverage of the voyage has increased -with a focus on whether the infrastructure currently in place could handle a disaster, should one befall the ship.
– If the entire ship -all 1,000 passengers, all 600 crew – require search and rescue, for instance, if the ship sinks, then that would actually break the Canadian search-and-rescue system,” a University of British Columbia researcher told CBC News.
In the U.S., a disaster training exercise will be conducted at Nome, one of the ship’s early ports of call – but scheduling problems prevented it from being conducted before the ship arrived. It’s not only questions about rescue readiness that are getting attention. NPR asked Nome Mayor Richard Beneville about the prospect of the ship’s crew and passengers temporarily boosting the population of the town by 50 percent (he welcomes it).