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#239553 - 01/17/12 07:44 PM Re: Italian Cruise Ship Disaster [Re: Dagny]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Dagny
It is looking worse and worse for the captain. I've read elsewhere that the 1st officer is also under arrest.

The captain certainly doesn't sound like someone who takes his responsibility seriously. I wouldn't be surprised if the 1st officer strongly disagreed with the captain's actions, starting with steering the ship closer to the coast, but the command culture may not really allow him to do anything but accompany the captain as he left the ship. That's the same kind of culture that resulted in the horrible collision of two 747's on the runway at Tenerife that killed almost 600 passengers. The co-pilot had reservations before the crash but had to follow the pilot's orders to take off in the fog.

An American couple who just returned to the US was interviewed. They had disembarked the ship before the disaster, however, they dined at a table near the captain's table and the husband remarked at the time to his wife that the captain looked like someone who only cares about himself. Guess that guy is a pretty decent judge of character.

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#239554 - 01/17/12 08:10 PM Re: Italian Cruise Ship Disaster [Re: Dagny]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1238
I am amazed by "it's dark." Of course it was dark, but it was also dark for the hundreds, if not thousands of people stranded on the ship. The captain sounded like a weak man, almost a child, pleading to be let out of a chore because he was scared. Did he lack the mental fortitude to execute his duties in a ship wreck? Was he so shocked that he was basically useless? Did he lack a sense of responsibility towards his passengers?

Apparently he did not return to the ship even after being so harshly scolded by the coast guard.

Very sad. The whole disaster sounds avoidable.

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#239556 - 01/17/12 08:42 PM Re: Italian Cruise Ship Disaster [Re: Dagny]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Interesting. International maritime standards only require lifeboats for 75% of passengers. Puts a new twist on the saying, "You buy your ticket, you take your chances".

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#239557 - 01/17/12 08:53 PM Re: Italian Cruise Ship Disaster [Re: Arney]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2652
Originally Posted By: Arney
Interesting. International maritime standards only require lifeboats for 75% of passengers. Puts a new twist on the saying, "You buy your ticket, you take your chances".


Cite? I was under the impression that this was fixed after the Titanic. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifeboat_%28shipboard%29, merchant vessels must have lifeboats sufficient for all the people on board.

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#239561 - 01/17/12 09:37 PM Re: Italian Cruise Ship Disaster [Re: Bingley]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1473
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: Bingley
I am amazed by "it's dark." Of course it was dark, but it was also dark for the hundreds, if not thousands of people stranded on the ship. The captain sounded like a weak man, almost a child, pleading to be let out of a chore because he was scared. Did he lack the mental fortitude to execute his duties in a ship wreck? Was he so shocked that he was basically useless? Did he lack a sense of responsibility towards his passengers?

Apparently he did not return to the ship even after being so harshly scolded by the coast guard.

Very sad. The whole disaster sounds avoidable.


I wonder if it has anything to do with how computerized and sanitized, for lack of a better term, those positions have become. Those ships are modern engineering marvels where everything is geared for absolute comfort. I imagine it would be easy to forget you were even at sea. Those running the ship probably never entertained the idea that such a catastrophic failure could occur, which could partially explain their reactions. That combined with lack of training is a recipe for failure. Not excusing their behavior in any way, just trying to understand why they would react that way.

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#239564 - 01/17/12 09:47 PM Re: Italian Cruise Ship Disaster [Re: Dagny]
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
It is my understanding that once a ship lists past a certain degree there is a good chance the lowering mechanisms won't work properly if you can even get into the lifeboat.

But why would you need lifeboats? Didn't you know that cruise ships are nearly 100% safe.

Also, as someone astutely pointed out, when things start going wrong it can be all over quickly. Lowering enough lifeboats to save everyone on board quickly is probably pipe dream. The logistics of mass exodus would be hard to manage under the best circumstances.

I wonder if anyone has conducted a test to determine how long it would take to disembark a super-cruiser full of passengers into life rafts under ideal conditions. I suspect it takes much longer than would be acceptable in a crisis.
_________________________
Gary








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#239565 - 01/17/12 10:30 PM Re: Italian Cruise Ship Disaster [Re: GarlyDog]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2652
Originally Posted By: GarlyDog
I wonder if anyone has conducted a test to determine how long it would take to disembark a super-cruiser full of passengers into life rafts under ideal conditions.


I'm pretty sure the US Coast Guard has.

Quote:
I suspect it takes much longer than would be acceptable in a crisis.


They had time, in this case, and squandered much of it.

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#239567 - 01/17/12 10:52 PM Re: Italian Cruise Ship Disaster [Re: chaosmagnet]
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
I'm pretty sure the US Coast Guard has


Are you speculating or do you know for sure? Not trying to be argumentative just curious where you would get 4,200 volunteers with a population that matches the demographic of an average passenger list for that test. And as a regular cruiser, I would like to know those results.
_________________________
Gary








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#239568 - 01/17/12 11:07 PM Re: Italian Cruise Ship Disaster [Re: chaosmagnet]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
Cite? I was under the impression that this was fixed after the Titanic.

I was reading this news article. It states:
Quote:
The Concordia was not able to deploy all its lifeboats, leaving passengers jumping into the sea. Interestingly, maritime law only requires lifeboat capacity for 75% of passengers – 50% in traditional boats hanging off the side, 25% in inflatables on board – a fact that might see fewer orderly queues at the next evacuation.

However, maybe that's sloppy research being reported? I found one informative slide at International Maritime Organization website that compares the safety standards when the Titanic sank to current standards.

That slide indicates that a passenger ship must have enough lifeboats for 100% of passengers plus enough liferafts for 25%.

Furthermore, the IMO explains the safety philosophy of regulations for ever larger cruise ships going forward here. The ship itself should be the primary lifeboat in case of disaster.

Quote:
What became clear from the initial work was that concern over large passenger-ship safety would be centred on the difficulty in safely evacuating some passengers, such as the elderly and injured, from lifeboats to rescue vessels. It is clear that the difficulties would not end, even with successful evacuation. Thousands of people, unfamiliar with ships and the sea, crowded into lifeboats and liferafts, would present a unique search-and-rescue challenge.

Fire also represents a particular vulnerability for large cruise ships. Every passenger is a potential ignition source and the hotel services have an inherent risk.

The MSC has agreed that future large passenger ships should be designed for improved survivability based on the time-honoured principle that "a ship is its own best lifeboat".

This approach envisages that passengers and crew should normally be able to evacuate to a safe haven on board and stay there. In addition, this envisages that a ship should always be able to proceed to port at a minimum safe speed.

It reminds me of the fire safety philosophy of one of the newer mega-skyscrapers. I forget if it was the Taipei 101 building in Taiwan (an impressive view from the top!) or one of the buildings in Shanghai. Anyway, that building has fire-resistant floors interspersed throughout the building where occupants will shelter inside in the event of fire, instead of trying to evacuate the building. Instead of walking down dozens or even a hundred floors to reach safety from fire, they just need to move a few floors to reach shelter. I'm not sure if that is a fire code or just applied to that one building. Makes a whole lot of sense to me, though.


Edited by Arney (01/17/12 11:30 PM)
Edit Reason: Added material

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#239569 - 01/17/12 11:20 PM Re: Italian Cruise Ship Disaster [Re: Arney]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4434
Loc: SOCAL
It seems there is in fact a difference between requirements specified in maritime law and those specified in SOLAS, with SOLAS being a higher standard.

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