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#241758 - 02/24/12 12:57 PM Re: Cruise Ship Disaster - Storys On Television [Re: Frisket]
julie Offline
Stranger

Registered: 02/23/12
Posts: 5
What were the extenuating circumstances that made it much harder than that? Mind you the water would have been cold, but it's only 100 yards or so.

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#241806 - 02/25/12 02:43 AM Re: Cruise Ship Disaster - Storys On Television [Re: julie]
2005RedTJ Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/07/09
Posts: 475
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
Originally Posted By: julie
What were the extenuating circumstances that made it much harder than that? Mind you the water would have been cold, but it's only 100 yards or so.


Exactly what I was wondering.

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#241951 - 02/27/12 08:05 PM Re: Cruise Ship Disaster - Storys On Television [Re: julie]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: julie
What were the extenuating circumstances that made it much harder than that? Mind you the water would have been cold, but it's only 100 yards or so.


Lots of elderly people on a cruise. Right now I might be able to pulling off stunts like 30 feet jumps and 100 yard swims in 59F water, but I'm not sure how well I'll be able to do that in 40 years.

And good heavens forbid I'll spend that kind of money on a cruise when there's some fun skiing to be done! At least not for the next 30 years or so (hopefully...)

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#241955 - 02/27/12 09:37 PM Re: Cruise Ship Disaster - Storys On Television [Re: GarlyDog]
Jesselp Offline
What's Next?
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 262
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: GarlyDog
100 yards in 59 degree water would be a painful swim, but it sure beats going down with the ship.


There's an oft quoted statistic that says a 50 year old man has only a 50% chance of surviving a 50 yard swim in 50 degree water.

Not sure where it comes from, but swimming in really cold water is unbelievably painful - and yes, I do one or two polar bear swims in the Atlantic each winter, so I know what I'm talking about! (This year wans't so bad. But some years, oh boy!) I've gone out in 36 degree water in a drysuit with insulating garments underneath, and that was no picnic to my hands, toes, and face!

I wouldn't be so cavelier about swimming to shore in cold water. . .
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#241970 - 02/28/12 12:04 AM Re: Cruise Ship Disaster - Storys On Television [Re: Jesselp]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6425
Loc: southern Cal
I agree about the hazards of swimming in cold water. Remember that the ship was not in danger of sinking;it was grounded. Jumping into the water would not have been a smart move.

I have done some scuba diving in 36 degree water. I have vivid memories of suiting up in an insulated drysuit. Just before we got in the water, boiling hot water was poured into our gloves which we then donned, plunging into the water immediately. The dive was over when our hands got so cold we could no longer take notes or sketch - typically about 40 minutes. Cold water is not trivial.
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#241972 - 02/28/12 12:22 AM Re: Cruise Ship Disaster - Storys On Television [Re: Frisket]
Meadowlark Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 154
Loc: Northern Colorado
As another diver, I can confirm this. I can't really bear cold water dives. Heck, after an hour or so I can start shivering even in shallow 80F/27C water. There's a lot of variables involved. Age, weight, gear, time, depth, training, fitness level, etc. can all determine if your stay in the water will be somewhat pleasant -- or a miserable bone-rattling shake-a-thon.

So I really can't say that those unfortunate folk should've just struck out in unknown waters in the dark.

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#241973 - 02/28/12 12:24 AM Re: Cruise Ship Disaster - Storys On Television [Re: julie]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1626
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: julie
What were the extenuating circumstances that made it much harder than that? Mind you the water would have been cold, but it's only 100 yards or so.


-Danger of life boats... The life boats had motors, and the many life boats would not see you, nor would they have an obligation to see you.

-Any travel companions? They'd probably need you assuming they won't/can't jump. Jumping and saving myself while my family perished would not be an option for me.

-No turning back once you jump, you're on your own.
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#241981 - 02/28/12 06:39 AM Re: Cruise Ship Disaster - Storys On Television [Re: Frisket]
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Jesselp,

There is nothing cavalier about my comment. Don't assume that others' comments are pulled out of thin air with no experience behind them. If you want to compare cold water dive logs...

I have been a certified PADI diver since 1981. I live in Illinois. I have SCUBA dived under ice many times using dry-suits, and dozens of 7mm wet-suit dives in water where I should have been wearing a dry-suit. Regardless of the time of year, the only kind of water in Illinois for SCUBA diving is cold water.

Cold water = pain, stinging, muscle cramping pain. It literally takes your breath, strength and coordination away almost instantly.

A 100 yard swim in 59 degree water would have been a harrowing ordeal. I would bet it would have been nearly impossible without life jackets for most people, even under age 50, had there been any sort of cross current. Cold water is a real killer.

I would have been terrified to jump, just worrying about landing on a rock, and breaking bones, let alone dealing with the cold water.

But given the alternative of waiting on a rolling/sinking ship, with no prospect of lifeboat rescue, I probably would have reluctantly opted for the water, given close proximity to shore.

BTW, I logged about 10 hours of diving in Turks & Caicos last week. The water was a balmy 79 degrees. I was shivering cold after each dive even wearing a wet suit. I was happy to be back on the boat in the warm sun after each dive.

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#242001 - 02/28/12 03:20 PM Re: Cruise Ship Disaster - Storys On Television [Re: GarlyDog]
Jolt Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 90
Loc: Maine
Another thing is if you didn't know the water temperature you might not want to risk it not knowing how cold it was. Now, if I had been in that situation and knew the water was 59 degrees I probably would have gone for it (assuming I was traveling by myself) unless the current looked strong or there was no safe way to get to the water without risking serious injury...I swim in low 60s water (no wetsuit) pretty regularly in the summer, up to a mile or more (parallel to the beach, not very far out) so I would be pretty confident of my ability to make a 100 yard swim in those conditions. Not knowing the water temp would be different.


Edited by Jolt (02/28/12 03:21 PM)
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#242019 - 02/28/12 05:52 PM Re: Cruise Ship Disaster - Storys On Television [Re: GarlyDog]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: GarlyDog
But given the alternative of waiting on a rolling/sinking ship, with no prospect of lifeboat rescue, I probably would have reluctantly opted for the water, given close proximity to shore.

Actually, if shore--and a coastal town/village--was so close by like the Costa Concordia case, I think waiting for rescue onboard the ship would maximize your survival chances even if the ship were slowly sinking/listing. If things were happening much faster--including a fast moving onboard fire--well, then things get complicated in a hurry and getting into the water could very well be the safest place.

Remember that with such massive cruise liners nowadays, they are designed so that the first/best option in a shipboard emergency is to use the ship itself as the lifeboat. If they can, they want to keep everyone onboard because the overall risk and difficulty in moving that many people will "likely" result in more injuries and deaths--in general--than if they simply stayed on the ship.

One thing I've been curious about is whether the Costa Concordia would have turned on its side if it had been in deeper water? I thought that normally, a hull breach and the arrangement of the watertight compartments shouldn't cause the ship to turn dramatically on its side like that. So maybe the shape of the bottom of the hull pressing on the shallow reef is what pushed it over? I have no idea, but I was just wondering if proximity to shore was actually unlucky in this case because it flipped the ship and forced everyone to abandon ship instead of staying onboard? Just some idle conjecture.

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