How does a Modern cruise ship hit a charted reef


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Profile Bob DeWoody
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Message 1185418 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 7:28:57 UTC

In this day and age how does a ship with every nav aid hit a reef leaving port? There were no reports of fog or bad weather. Sand bars drift around a bit and in the Carribean I can almost understand an occasional grounding and a ship having to be tugged off a sand bar but to hit a charted reef and tear a 100 meter long hole is a case of gross negligence. I wonder what the Captains excuse is going to be.
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Message 1185474 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 13:26:32 UTC

I assume Bob that you are talking about the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia.


Concordia

Concordia 2

The hull damage has been estimated to be about 50 metres long, and the rock is claimed to be uncharted. Also it wasn't leaving port it was well under way on a planned course.

Whatever, it is unlike the ship will be able to be righted or salvaged, so I guess it will be dismantled bit by bit for scrap. The Captain and First Officer have been arrested. And yes, questions need to be answered.

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Message 1185479 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 14:03:12 UTC - in response to Message 1185474.
Last modified: 15 Jan 2012, 14:04:05 UTC

I've asked my brother, a seaman with a 40 years sailing experience, who was the Chief Mate of the Michelangelo liner and has commanded container ships and he told me he had sailed that passage hundreds of times always keeping off coast. You don't bring a ship of that size close to a coast. Why was it done? Incompetence and lack of common sense,he said. Hubris, I would say. This is a sad day for all Italian seamen and for Italy, because of a single man's folly. The officer on duty is not guilty, he had obeyed his captain's orders.
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Message 1185502 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 15:59:46 UTC

One word answer: Testosterone.

Refusal to obey safety regulations for the purpose of thrill.

The captain didn't intend to hit the reef and kill people but he is guilty of manslaughter and should spend a lot of time behind bars. As the ship wasn't a naval vessel I don't know if the crew can get charged with following an illegal order. The owner of the ship should be responsible for allowing this and not having in place a system to know it was going on. News reports said it was common practice to get too close. Why wasn't the liner company looking at the black box to see that the captain wasn't on the right course? Every time this idiot sailed her too close his crew should have reported him, if they didn't they are as guilty as the captain. Intentionally hazarding a vessel.

As to the reports that the crew had no clue what to do in an emergency, well, the liner company should spend time behind bars. There is no excuse to not train your employees and drill them regularly.

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Message 1185506 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 16:19:26 UTC

By tradition, the Captain is the ship's master after God. I agree that at least the Chief Mate should have protested seeing a dangerous route being followed. But not all men are willing to risk their careers. Think of the Starbuck/Achab confrontation in Moby Dick.
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Message 1185511 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 16:53:55 UTC

I think it is too early yet to pinpoint blame, and place accusations. At the moment there is claim and counter-claim as to what may have caused the accident and what unfolded afterwards.

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But Capt Schettino told Italian TV that the rock was not marked on his nautical chart.

"We should have had deep water beneath us... We were about 300 metres (1,000ft) from the rocks more or less, we shouldn't have hit anything."

He also also denied claims by prosecutors that he left the Costa Concordia before evacuation was complete. "We were the last to leave the ship," he said.

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Message 1185513 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 16:59:30 UTC
Last modified: 15 Jan 2012, 17:30:28 UTC

I know only this: had my brother been on that deck, the ship would be safe. But he is now a pensioner. Today's seamen and pilots rely too much on their electronic gadgets and lack common sense.
Tullio
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Message 1185517 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 17:23:38 UTC

The black box will tell the truth. Intentional hazarding of a vessel.

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Message 1185546 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 20:10:14 UTC

Carnival seems to have a lot of problems running into things ...
http://www.cruisebruise.com/Carnival_Ecstasy_Severe_Listing_April_21_2010.html
http://www.cruisebruise.com/Mike_Groves/Costa_collision_costa-alot_of_money.html

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Message 1185553 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 20:39:38 UTC
Last modified: 15 Jan 2012, 20:40:32 UTC

One of the questions that will have to be answered is.Why did it roll over so quickly.
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Message 1185559 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 21:27:11 UTC

The odd thing is that it appears to have been damaged below the waterline on the port side, yet it has toppled over onto its starboard side......

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Message 1185562 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 21:45:25 UTC

A bigger question to ask is how much can she list and still operate her lifeboats? That was one of the issues with the Titanic so there is no excuse to not abandon ship before she reaches that point. It sounds like from some media reports some of the lifeboats did tip enough from scraping the sides to put people in the water.

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Message 1185563 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 21:50:39 UTC - in response to Message 1185559.

The odd thing is that it appears to have been damaged below the waterline on the port side, yet it has toppled over onto its starboard side......

After "the oops" the Captain intentionally beached her. An uneven bottom and/or an incoming tide is the reason she rolled that direction. Unless the Captain ordered too much counter flooding ...

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Message 1185607 - Posted: 16 Jan 2012, 2:34:01 UTC - in response to Message 1185563.
Last modified: 16 Jan 2012, 2:34:38 UTC

looks like a healthy dose of incompetence all around.
norwegian cruse lines where were the norwegians ?? lifeboats could have been launched in a matter of minutes ??

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Message 1185616 - Posted: 16 Jan 2012, 5:03:04 UTC

I can't believe they didn't have operating depth finding gear on board that would warn of a rising bottom. On the sailboat I used to crew on we sailed fairly close to the shore but my eyes were always checking the depth finder to be sure no surprizes met us suddenly.
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Message 1185645 - Posted: 16 Jan 2012, 10:34:13 UTC

Apparently the Dutch salvagage firm Smit has offered to salvage the whole vessel, but no contracts are signed yet. How on earth are they going to re-float that one wonders?

@Gary - Apparently a list of 25 degrees is the point of no return for a ship, so I assume that lifeboats are designed to be launched at up to that figure. But I am guessing, I don't know.

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Message 1185752 - Posted: 16 Jan 2012, 17:35:19 UTC - in response to Message 1185645.
Last modified: 16 Jan 2012, 17:36:36 UTC

... Apparently a list of 25 degrees is the point of no return for a ship...

That depends on what vessel. The "25 degrees" is likely more a 'convenience' for assuming people will not be still standing if the decks are tilted any steeper, and also for easing (making cheaper) the lifeboat launch design.


Looking at the ship's course, a good question is whether the ship started listing first, or whether the captain's turn to port to go towards the coast caused the flooding to slosh over to starboard to then cause the listing... An English Channel ferry famously rapidly capsized due to a turn causing a flooded deck to slosh to one side to then heave the boat over within seconds (ferry design was changed afterwards).

Do passenger ship designs include watertight compartments to protect against severe flooding?


Also note for this story that passenger ship captains have to be almost superhuman to juggle safety versus schedule politics... The gash looks like the ship was running at full speed...

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Message 1185784 - Posted: 16 Jan 2012, 19:46:49 UTC - in response to Message 1185752.

Also note for this story that passenger ship captains have to be almost superhuman to juggle safety versus schedule politics... The gash looks like the ship was running at full speed...

That applies to airline pilots too...

I am sure she was at full speed. And the cruise company now says intentionality off the pre-programmed course. Question, was someone trying to save time and fuel, or was it sheer idiocy?

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Message 1185809 - Posted: 16 Jan 2012, 21:02:08 UTC - in response to Message 1185553.

One of the questions that will have to be answered is.Why did it roll over so quickly.


These type ships have very shallow drafts, this particular one has a draft
of only 25 foot. So once it sank down 25 feet it then was resting on the
shallow sea bed, the depth here was only around 50 foot. So on touching
the sea bed it then rolled over on it's side.
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Message 1185815 - Posted: 16 Jan 2012, 21:38:05 UTC
Last modified: 16 Jan 2012, 21:43:08 UTC

An English Channel ferry famously rapidly capsized due to a turn causing a flooded deck to slosh to one side to then heave the boat over within seconds (ferry design was changed afterwards).

I assume you are referring to the car ferry Herald of Free Enterprise that capsized off Zeebruggee in 1987.

Herald

That was mainly due to a "negative" reporting procedure that was in use then. It was commonplace for car ferries to leave the front and rear doors open for 15 mins or so after leaving port, to allow the offshore breezes to clear the car deck of exhaust fumes. The captain would assume that the bow doors were closed unless told otherwise. Nowadays the bridge will use "positive" reporting, where it is assumed the doors are still open until told they are closed.

That does not seem to apply in this case. The latest news is that apparently the captain did a U turn and tried to make to the nearest port, but ran aground, where it capsized some 30 minutes after hitting the rocks. Lives may have been saved by being so close to the shore. They have retrieved the black box so we will know more in due course.

The Smit Tak company righted and salvaged the Enterprise, but this is rather larger ....

cause?

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