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Date: Sat, 23 Dec 2017 16:05:32 -0500

One can only be astounded that it was apparently possible to hack a container ship such that the captain lost control completely. It is analogous to being unable to disconnect the autopilot in a manned aircraft. Such a scheme would fail certification for good reason.

Not even considering hacking, a major electrical power fault in a ship, especially in concert with fire, could disable the computer systems of the ship. The possible results would include stranding, collision, and pollution. I should expect that like for aircraft, low probability events with with possibly disastrous consequence would require preventive measures but am not conversant with the relevant design rules.

In the days before automation, ships' engines had a so-called maneuvering platform from which the engine could be controlled by hand through mechanical connections. Similarly, at least the tiller flat, the space that houses the mechanical actuation for the rudder, had a second ship's wheel that was connected mechanically to the rudder actuation mechanism.

Providing such a backup system would be straightforward engineering.

Lastly, one is puzzled by the fact that the chief engineer did not close the emergency or other fuel valves for the main engine. One wonders if the
&quot;vessel not under command&quot; signals were shown during the incident. If piracy is suspected, a call to the nearest warship on the international distress frequency might give the pirates pause.

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