10 June 2005

Semester at sea operators sue University of Pittsburgh


A legal clash between the University of Pittsburgh and the operators of the Semester-at-Sea educational program over a rouge wave rolled into a Pennsylvania courtroom earlier this week. The Semester at Sea operators had launched a lawsuit against the university over the school's removal of its 24-year sponsorship. In defending its decision to abandon the cruise-based educational experience, the university cited substantial damage sustained to the EXPLORER in January when a rouge wave hit the ship during a storm off the US Pacific Northwest.

The university asserts that the school is concerned for student safety. On the other hand, the Semester-at-Sea operators counter that the program's vessels are as safe as any afloat and have been made even safer since the big wave hit the ship. That incident left the EXPLORER adrift for awhile in heavy seas. Preparing to begin this summer's voyage on June 17 from Halifax in Nova Scotia, the ship will have students from over 200 campuses aboard. It will boast reinforced bridge windows and an improved control system, and will avoid the area of the Pacific where the incident occurred. =

End of the day: would I permit my kids to sail on this ship? Answer: yes.

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