"Survey" means that the vessel must meet a whole host of detailed safety criteria, have regular evac drills, safety inspections, etc. etc. It is a very expensive process, but has been a part of commercial shipping for as long as I can remember.
Well, Hartley, the USA has really screwed this one up, if it is as we have been reading over the past few days.
The tall ships get around the passenger regulations by calling passengers volunteer crew, or similar.
Means the ship doesnt have to Survey, in Australian parlence.
The difficulty is going to be quite remarkable when the enquiry is held:
1) will the Coast Guard brush it under the carpet?
2) will the Coast Guard start requiring propper inspections of all tall ships, thus making them all unviable finacially?
3) will the government do some trick to save the tall ships?
One thing that might not be obvious in Australia is that there are a LOT of tall ships in the USA and people treat them with remarkable affection.... Vastly more affection than some would think justified.
Some might say this overly affectionate treatment is just not worth the lives put at risk.
The world has quite a few tall ships and they are astronomically expensive to keep up. Remember that story only a few months ago of the Argintinian navy tall ship that was commandeered by creditors when it arrived in Europe? The Argentinians couldnt pay!