Yulai – The number of people estimated to have been killed or reported missing due to the loss of space vessels has increased substantially, according to a joint report presented to the CONCORD Assembly by the Aidonis Foundation and Sisters of EVE.
The report notes that a significant portion of the "large increase in crew losses" is due to the destruction of capsuleer vessels in unknown regions of space. The new analysis includes the first few months of capsuleer expeditions into Abyssal Deadspace, in addition to the regularly assessed casualties suffered in Anoikis, commonly known as "W-space".
In a supplementary note for the attention of the Assembly, the Aidonis Foundation drew attention to an additional "rise in incidents of loss with all hands of civilian shipping along the less secure routes of security-rated space, particularly in a broad swathe of regions, including Aridia, Khanid, Tash-Murkon, Devoid, Derelik and Molden Heath."
The Aidonis Foundation noted that the number of ship losses in the category of unexplained disappearances had increased three-fold in the last year, and urged an investigation into possible causes, such as increased pirate activity and the emergence of Drifter, Sleeper and Triglavian threats.
When asked about the figures for capsuleer-piloted vessels, which estimate the rate of crew losses in terms of millions, SOE spokeswoman Aitiri Kudash said: "The numbers of non-capsuleers lost every day in New Eden is already staggering. But unlike crews in known space, those lost in Anoikis, or now in Abyssal Deadspace, are almost impossible to find and safely recover. It is simply too difficult for search and rescue teams to reliably track escape boats and survival pods in Anoikis. It is impossible in Abyssal Deadspace."
The dangers of serving as crew aboard capsuleer-piloted starships are well documented as a "less than safe" career choice. Even so, the high demand for skilled crews and support staff keeps billions of people employed. While smaller capsuleer-piloted starships require very limited numbers of crew, most of the larger vessels require crews numbering in the hundreds to thousands.
"There are just too many moving parts or complex systems that you can't trust to computers and drones," said Dejan Mendelli, a veteran of six tours of duty aboard capsuleer starships across the cluster. A propulsion systems engineer, Mendelli went on to describe how he had survived the destruction of an Obelisk-class freighter he had served on for several months:
"It's really just a split second difference between life and death out there. Sometimes the pilot makes the right choice and your armour or shields are holding just fine, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Next you hear automated sirens telling everyone the ship's at three-quarters hull strength and everyone needs to get to their escape pods. Big ships like freighters give you a few seconds more to get out, but if you're deep in engineering or an interior maintenance bays it can be dicey. I've just been lucky, to tell the truth."
Provisions for crew safety on capsuleer vessels include numerous safety features, such as small boats, escape pods and long-term survival suits. The SCC also makes available life insurance and financing of static backup clones for space crews on highly favorable terms. Despite these measures the SOE believes not enough is being done to prevent crews losses aboard capsuleer ships.
In closing her presentation, SOE spokeswoman Aitiri Kudash said: "We at the SOE encourage capsuleers to think about their actions and consider their crews when they make their voyages into the unknown. We believe that capsuleer pilots should be held more accountable for their duty of care to ship crews. There are men and women on those vessels who have families that rely on them and are waiting for their return home. We should think of these families, and CONCORD should address the needless risks that are taken by capsuleers when they travel into unknown regions such as Anoikis and Abyssal Deadspace."