Costa Concordia, my take on things

Given my history with opening my mouth before I have fully evaluated a situation, I decided to sit back and let events unfold before commenting on the tragedy surrounding the holing and grounding of the cruise ship Costa Concordia. There have been a multitude of articles and posts on news websites such as Gcaptain and Marinelog, and I happen to value the opinion of industry websites more than the general media with there shorts of events.
First let me say that this whole tragedy could have been easily prevented. It really comes down to putting the entertainment of the passengers over their safety. Showboating is done in all aspects of the passenger vessel industry and in can be done with out tearing the bottom out of a vessel, or getting run down by an inbound tanker. However you must be on top of your game and not checking facebook on your phone! It was the captain’s job to make sure the mate on watch had an approved and safe route during his watch, and it was the mates job to follow that route safely. One of them made a mistake, it will be a while if ever before we know who.
With cruise ships being on the low end of the pay bracket for the industry I find it hard to quite fault the captain for not sending all the passengers to the lifeboats immediately. How is this connected to the pay you may ask? Am I implying incompetence on the part of the captain? Not quite. Unless you have a tremendous relationship with the engineers down in the basement, it might be hard to get get an accurate assessment of how fatally wounded the ship is. An engineer making meager wages might not be real worried about loosing his job if he tells you the ship is going down and there is nothing to stop it, and you then send all the passengers to the lifeboats when you didn’t need to. Personally I would have aired on the side of caution, you’re license is already pretty much forfeit, YOU don’t have a lot to loose at that point.
Now when it became clear Concordia was fatally wounded, the decision to ground the vessel was a sound one, its execution however was piss poor. It would have almost been better to let her sink evenly in deep water than roll on her side like she did.If she had been grounded on an even flat bottom, bow in, things would have been a lot easier with the passenger evacuation.
Don’t even get me started on abandoning ship before every last person was accounted for, while I think a heavily sloping bridge might not be the best place to direct evacuation, a lifeboat most certainly isn’t either.

About newenglandwaterman

1600 Master Near Coastal, Master of Towing Vessels, and a whole binder full of other pieces of paper. You can find me at the controls, hooked up and hard over, when I'm not at home playing with the dogs
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