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Costa Concordia sinks off the coast of Italy

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Fishtigua, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Picture of the damage from a lifeboat.

    Attached Files:

  2. paulgd

    paulgd New Member

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    My thoughts are with the relatives of the dead and missing and the survivors; but how can such an event like this still happen with all the technology that these ships possess. To hit a reef in an area so well documated is surely down to human error bordering on criminal negligence.
    Apparently this is a regular trip for this ship.
    I suppose in a couple of years a board of enquiry will report on this.
    Paul
  3. Yacht News

    Yacht News YF News Associate

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    Yeah I first heard of it yesterday but I didn't think the list was so bad and I kind of forgot about it, thinking that it would be resolved. Then this morning saw it on CNN with the ship sitting on its side. Sad!
  4. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    She has five sisterships too. They may be looking very closely at the design.
  5. Yacht News

    Yacht News YF News Associate

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    I know! Also remember she has sisterships across brands. That design started with the Destiny Class of Carnival Cruises. Of course Costa cruises is now controlled by Carnival Corp so the designs of Costa's newer ships stem almost directly from Carnival's successful ships, for example the Destiny Class. The Concordia is basically an enlargened version of Carnival Destiny, Triumph and Victory.
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    My sympathies go out to those who lost family members, and the passengers who must have been terrified.
    The last sentence in that article caught my attention:
    combined with paugd's comment:
    It got me thinking about some of the other incidents I've been hearing about, and it seems to be getting more often that we do. It got me wondering if we have so many cruise ships and cargo vessels cruising the waters that the odds are just catching up or is there more going on? The ships are getting continually larger and more sophisticated. Every industry has been cutting corners. Many are now complaining that they can't find adequately trained personnel. Is this a problem in the maritime industries? Has the equipment gotten so sophisticated that crews are relaxing watch standards? Are we hiring crews without sufficient experience to properly maintain or man these vessels? Again, I'm only going by perception, but I wonder if, along with investigating these incidents, it might not be time for someone to do a study of the industry to see if we might be exceeding our capacity to run what we're putting on the water.
  7. colintraveller

    colintraveller Senior Member

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  8. lobo

    lobo Member

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  9. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Yes on all counts, in my far-from-humble opinion.

    Training requirements are higher than even imaginable a few years ago but performance standards are far lower. Flag and Port State Control only pretend to care and owners increasingly look at crew as an unpleasant expense - not necessarily for imagined reasons.

    There really is a shortage of experienced and qualified personnel. Young people are not interested in a career where they are increasingly treated as potential terrorists and their professional performance is more and more often criminalized. Look up "criminalization of seafarers" if you want examples.

    Previous generations of seafarers spent years as junior officers or unlicensed crew before moving into higher positions.They learned through performing the job under the supervision of superiors with decades of experience. We now have a "zero to hero" culture that is actually promoted in at least one sector of the maritime business by what used to be the premier seafaring nation as a means to generate cash and to defend its market share of the vessel registration and seafarer certification business.

    "Is this a problem in the maritime industries?" Absolutely, it is a huge problem and getting worse. It is costing vessel owners a fortune. Increased automation, remote monitoring, and more sophisticated equipment exists in large part to reduce the potential for error in the human/machine interface because we can't find or keep many good people.

    The pay rate is high enough now that quantity is not a problem for the most part but qualified and competent in the same body is incredibly difficult to find. Attempts to automate the human out of the equation has actually contributed to to many incidents and accidents attributed to inattention and complacency.

    I wish I could write about some of the problems this creates in our business every single day and what it costs our clients and the industry in general. Because none of us involved in trying to correct the problems are permitted to talk about it and the regulators who are in a position to actually do something about it choose not to for political and economic reasons, the situation simply spirals downward. I would be fired in a heartbeat if I told you what I would like to.

    We are truly racing for the bottom as far as seafarer competence is concerned. Each event that becomes public only results in increasing the burden of regulations and paperwork that drive experienced and competent people away.

    There isn't enough space on this site to go into the kind of detail that should be included to answer your question. There have been volumes data and hundreds of feet of bookshelf space dedicated to academic studies and official reports that contain the diagnoses and solutions but until the body count rises sufficiently to attract the "wrong kind" of attention, nothing will change and the talented young people we need to recruit and retain will stay away because of what you will read in the press over the next week or so.
  10. airship

    airship Senior Member

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    IMHO, Costa Cruises have been most fortunate insofar as the location of "the accident" is concerned. And the very limited loss of life.

    But someday, one of these gigantic cruise ships (of whatever cruise line) will require assistance when they're far from shore. Most of us manage to throw a few coins into the boxes of local RNLI or SNSM agencies. I ignore whether or not the operators of such large cruise ships similarly donate funds in the areas they operate. Whatever, these agencies would not be of much real assistance when faced with anywhere between 3 and 5,000 persons requiring urgent rescue...?!

    The obvious question perhaps, is "what and how" do all these operators of huge cruise ships actually contribute towards life-saving infrastructures in the numerous areas where they operate, in case of "accidents"...?!

    A little less than a century after the RMS Titanic, cruise ships still sink.

    Personally, I'm looking forward to reading all about:

    1) The individual lawsuits from the passengers who preferred to swim ashore from the stricken vessel.

    2) How the cruise ship company involved somehow endeavours to shift the blame to the class authority.

    3) How the class authority involved somehow endeavours to shift any responsibility to the builders and/or operators.

    4) How, if such a cruise ship found itself in a similar situation tomorrow (ie. sinking) in an area even just 50-100 nautical miles offshore, just "who and what" do they expect to be available in terms of coming to their aid in distress (or do they simply expect the government/s in the areas they cruise to be sufficent in supplying all necessary efforts?)

    5) But I'm already gearing upto the cruise ship operator blaming the whole episode on the watch crew - the watch officer obviously fell asleep, perhaps after consuming a little too much alcohol the previous afternoon or an overdose of flu medicine. The lookout was unqualified - the cruise ship operator will sue their crew agency.

    Cruise ship owners and their operators currently escape from and perhaps unduly benefit from this treatment, from a huge array of national taxes on their operations etc.

    What I would suggest to all the builders / owners and operators of these huge cruise ships which accommodate thousands of passengers and crew, is that it's high time they financed their very own network of rescue resources.

    Most local rescue resources, financed by voluntary contributions, would be able to cope with your average yacht, even superyacht. Even the quite gigantic modern container vessels could be handled.

    If you choose to operate cruise ships which carry 3-5,000 persons, the rescue infrastructure just isn't there. Please be kind enough to adequately ensure that your passengers are fully-informed before booking their cruises...?!
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Beyond the obvious "rocks don't grow overnight", I can't help wonder if the stability of the ship was affected by the height of the superstructure. These new cruise shi... Hmmm... Boxes... are very top heavy and can't possibly have the stability of more traditional ships

    I wonder if they didn't pass close to the island to give pax a good view... Wouldn't be the first time a professional captain (or pilot) pushes things a bit too far
  12. Kevin

    Kevin YF Moderator

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    This article (LINK) is constantly being updated. There's new info since I last looked at it an hour or two ago.

    As of right now there are still 69 people missing.
  13. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Nor the last ...

    This is an article I wrote 15 years ago.

    "Just after sunrise on February 10, 1994, the Bahamian flagged Starward with 680 passengers onboard called the Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, to report a spill of hydraulic oil into the sea. A mate reported by cellular-phone that the the ship, some five miles offshore, also suffered damage to her propellers.

    The Starward's captain told Coast Guard officers that his ship had struck a
    submerged object while drifting offshore awaiting a daylight arrival in St.
    Thomas. After several interviews by Coast Guard accident investigators, and even then only after passengers and shoreside witnesses came forward, did the captain admit to running his ship aground several hours before calling to report the oil spill.

    While the attempt to conceal the grounding demonstrates, at the very
    least, a complete lack of professionalism on the part of the ship's officers,
    the circumstances leading to the event, and its subsequent handling by United States Coast Guard authorities speak to a much larger issue.

    Coast Guard accident investigators found the ship's bridge to be very well
    equipped. Like most modern cruise ships, no expense was spared in fitting the
    latest electronic navigation and radar equipment including multiple digital
    radars, satellite global positioning systems (GPS), and fathometers. The only
    component missing on the Starward's bridge that morning was discipline and
    professionalism.

    The Starward ran aground at the base of a 150 foot cliff at the end of a
    half-mile long peninsula. That feat was somewhat akin to accidentally driving a car into the side of a barn in the middle of a wheat field. Vertical rock walls
    usually provide a distinct radar picture but, evidently, no one was watching.
    The last position plotted on the Starward's chart was made some 30 minutes
    before the grounding. No calculations were made to determine where the ship was going or how fast it was moving. No one looked at the radar or, apparently, even spared a glance out the bridge windows.

    The Starward's bridge crew relied entirely on GPS for positioning. They ignored all other information available to them. A Coast Guard investigator said of the Starward grounding in Professional Mariner magazine, " Looks like pure human error; there were no equipment malfunctions or exceptional circumstances. They (cruise ships) all navigate with just GPS these days."

    The Starward is not an isolated case, last year the Panamanian registered Royal Majesty ran aground 10 miles off Nantucket Island because the bridge watch relied entirely on an autopilot guided by a GPS receiver that failed some hours earlier."

    What makes it all the more interesting, since this grounding occurred on a reef on a National Park in US waters, the USCG had oversight.

    "Even though the ship operated routinely from American ports, and carried, almost exclusively, American passengers and grounded on American coral, the United States Coast Guard reported they would do nothing more than forward results of their investigation to Nassau."

    The CG eventually fined the ship's operator $7000 for the oil spill.
  14. travler

    travler Senior Member

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    marmot

    you and a lot of others know what the problems are but as you said the reasons we can't express our selfs are long and pain full i feel for the grieving familys but not the people in charge , we but the bottom line (money) before any thing else we are all guilty by association for not taking a stand , but on the other hand if we doe we are out cast for doing the right thing and haveing a moral compass that leads us diffrent that the system allows

    just a thought

    travler
  15. colintraveller

    colintraveller Senior Member

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    Like how the USN Cruiser that ran aground within touching distance of an Island in Hawaii taking a shortcut
  16. MountainGuy

    MountainGuy Member

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    Rocks & Maps?

    Following the accident I wonder about 2 things:

    1) Refering to the picture of the ship, how cann it lean to one side and the rocks be visible on the other side? It somehow looks like the ship either ripped the rocks off and lifted them (unlikely) or the go through the ship???

    2) As there are some professionals on this forum, what map did they use and is or is not the rock on this map?
  17. Innomare

    Innomare Senior Member

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    Mountainguy,

    To answer your question 1)
    This would be my reading of the events:
    After the hull was ruptured, entering water gradually reduced the stability of the (then still upright) ship. This is in large part due to the free-surface effect of the water. At a certain time, the upright ship reaches a point of negative stability and will tilt either to port or starboard to a point with positive stability again (apparently 20 degrees list in this case). You can compare the state of negative stability with a stick that you're trying to balance on the palm of your hand.
    So it's basically a matter of randomness that the hull tilted so that in the end, the rupture would come above water (at 20 degrees, the opening was still below the waterline, and stability further decreased with incoming water, until full capsize resulted).

    Bruno
  18. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I got this from an ex shipmate on another ship.

    ....... Looking at the chart, it is 80m between the two rocks and only 30m between the 5m contours.
  19. airship

    airship Senior Member

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    According to this BBC report:
    And here I am, thinking that the "Master" was always the "Master of his own ship", have thought that for decades...?! :confused:

    According to Mr. Foschi, CEO of Costa Cruises, Capt. Francesco Schettino was in breach of company rules obliging him (presumably) to submit to head office, in triplicate, (during normal office working hours), any deviations to company rules, including course changes for almost any reasons...?! :D

    There are still many ambiguities to be resolved. The 1st one is to establish exactly the geographical position where the vessel was actually holed. Another to establish if the vessel was indeed trying to take a shortcut in the very narrow and shallow channel that some have pointed at.

    In other forums, people have been already been trying to establish similarities between Capt. Francesco Schettino and his crew having left the vessel before most of the passengers / crew had been saved (P/V Oceanos). I very much doubt that this was the case.

    Finally, it looks like Costa Cruises are indeed abondonning "ship", at least so far as the Master, Capt. Francesco Schettino is concerned:
    FWIW, it would be nice to believe, that the Master, once in full control and fully-aware of the circumstancesas it were, decided to "beach or otherwise ground the vessel" close to shore so as to facilitate rescue efforts etc.

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