Costa Concordia Disaster - What happened?

I’ve started this thread to gather thoughts and information about the Costa Concordia disaster. It’s still entirely to early to know exactly what happened but we know that the vessel capsized after hitting rocks on Friday night. We also know that the captain has been arrested and the incident has resulted in the loss of life. What we don’t know is why the vessel went off course. Was the captain or crew negligent in any way? Were SOLAS procedures followed and/or did they fail? Did the vessel lose electrical power?

Does anybody have any updates or possible scenarios to consider?

Mikey, from looking at the pictures in the national media, it wasn’t like the ship hit an uncharted reef or rock offshore. They hit a freaking island! The latest scuttlebutt is they had a power failure. If you lose power you drop anchor’s. The whole thing is a mess and salvage companies are thrilled.

We all don’t know more than what is reported in the news media.
But one question strikes at first glance:
When you look at the AIS track published in the 2nd posting (with the Video and AIS track) on gCaptain you don’t have to be an expert to ask:
Why on earth was the ship travelling so dangerously close to the island?
Obviously, the track was laid down like that with intent.
From a navigational point of view, there seems to be no reason why the ship had to come that close to the island - being on a trip from Civitavecchia (near Rome) to Savona (near Genova, in the north).
When you look at the extract from the chart (the 2nd image with the red line) it seems the track was running between the island’s coastline and a tiny little islet just off shore, perhaps only 150 yards or something away.
If that really was the intended track - actually I just can’t believe it! - then the navigators were acting more than careless.

Reports have said that the captain had stated that they were 300 meter from the rocks and that they hit a rock that was not marked on nautical charts. This hasn’t been confirmed.

The captain, Francesco Schettino, has been arrested for manslaughter and abandoning ship. Officials are trying to determine why the ship did not issue a mayday and why she was navigating so close to the coast. Officer Emilio Del Santo of the Coastal Authorities of Livorno said “At the moment we can’t exclude that the ship had some kind of technical problem and for this reason moved towards the coast in order to save the passengers, the crew and the ship. But they didn’t send a mayday. The ship got in contact with us once the evacuation procedures were already ongoing.”

//youtu.be/hvSrOaoMlco

[QUOTE=Mikey;60920]Reports have said that the captain had stated that they were 300 meter from the rocks and that they hit a rock that was not marked on nautical charts. This hasn’t been confirmed.[/QUOTE]

WOW !!
Mama Mia

[QUOTE=Mikey;60920]The captain, Francesco Schettino, has been arrested for manslaughter and abandoning ship. Officials are trying to determine why the ship did not issue a mayday and why she was navigating so close to the coast. Officer Emilio Del Santo of the Coastal Authorities of Livorno said “At the moment we can’t exclude that the ship had some kind of technical problem and for this reason moved towards the coast in order to save the passengers, the crew and the ship. But they didn’t send a mayday. The ship got in contact with us once the evacuation procedures were already ongoing.”[/QUOTE]

WOW !!
Mama Mia

I have to ask Mike is that screenshot the actual track as recorded by AIS transmissions?

We don’t have soundings of that passage but there is prima facia evidence that the ship must have actually breached both sides of the underwater hull as it passed between the islets. The port is to the north of the islets and the wreck is north of the port so the ship had to turn around in order to be pointed bow to the south which is how she lies. Added to the fact that the high portside is so badly damaged clearly indicates that the submerged starboard side must be much more damaged.

WHAT THE EFF WHERE THOSE CLOWNS THINKING?!?

One of the most surprising things is this kind of idiocy is not unheard of:

[B]Ferry System Fires Elwha Captain
[/B]
By Dee Norton
Seattle Times Staff Reporter

Saturday, August 10, 1996

[U][I][B]The skipper who took the state ferry Elwha 15 miles off its designated route[/B][/I][/U] in the San Juan Islands, nearly running it aground, was fired yesterday by the Washington State Ferries.

An investigation by the ferry system following the July 25 incident found that Capt. Charles Petersen violated four sections of the system’s Code of Conduct.

Those sections deal with alcohol or drug use, neglect of duties, failure to follow applicable regulations, and testing positive for alcohol or drugs while at work although not under their influence.

Evidence of marijuana use by Petersen was found during a urine test after the July 25 incident, according to the Coast Guard. Petersen has been on paid administrative leave since the incident.

Under the Code of Conduct, a positive test for illegal drugs is grounds for immediate firing, a system spokeswoman said.

Petersen “used extremely poor judgment, putting his vessel, passengers and crew in jeopardy” when he took the Elwha “into an area where he did not possess pilotage or experience (local knowledge)” for operating a vessel of that size, said Princess Jackson-Smith, the ferry system’s public-affairs director.

oh well, Costa is owned by Carnivore Cruises so it couldn’t have happened to a nicer company but we do need to pray for those who died and people need to go to prison if gross negligence was the cause!

Not much doubt about what happened:

http://gcaptain.com/cruise-ship-cost...a-sinks/?37456

[QUOTE=c.captain;60922]I have to ask Mike is that screenshot the actual track as recorded by AIS transmissions?

[/QUOTE]

Im not positive but it appears it could be. Marinetraffic map shows something similar. Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Sinks off Italian Coast [VIDEO, AIS Track]

[QUOTE=c.captain;60923]One of the most surprising things is this kind of idiocy is not unheard of …

Costa is owned by Carnivore Cruises so it couldn’t have happened to a nicer company but we do need to pray for those who died and people need to go to prison if gross negligence was the cause![/QUOTE]

It is kind of refreshing to see that Italy at least has a Coast Guard with some balls and apparently hasn’t been bought by the cruise industry. Here is an article I wrote 15 years ago.

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.

As much as I detest the “criminalization of seafarers” I am glad to see one of the truly deserving clowns finally nailed and I hope this puts Carnival into bankruptcy court.

[QUOTE=c.captain;60922]I have to ask Mike is that screenshot the actual track as recorded by AIS transmissions?

We don’t have soundings of that passage but there is prima facia evidence that the ship must have actually breached both sides of the underwater hull as it passed between the islets. The port is to the north of the islets and the wreck is north of the port so the ship had to turn around in order to be pointed bow to the south which is how she lies. Added to the fact that the high portside is so badly damaged clearly indicates that the submerged starboard side must be much more damaged.

WHAT THE EFF WHERE THOSE CLOWNS THINKING?!?[/QUOTE]
[I]Mistakes were made[/I] from
[I]Son of Morning Star[/I]

[QUOTE=Mikey;60925]Im not positive but it appears it could be. Marinetraffic map shows something similar.[/QUOTE]

Something doesn’t match the story here. The track shows the ship nearing the island from the east then turning north and finally back to the northeast. The Gemitrafik charts show the ship turning northeast after passing through a narrow cut south of Giglio. Marine Traffic puts it nowhere near Giglio at any time much less near the area where other reports place the wreck.

Look at the satellite pictures on Google Earth and try to make sense of what those two sources are saying. They simply don’t match and neither of them match what media says the captain claims.

Looking more closely at Google Maps satellite, it looks like maybe they tried to “thread the needle” south of the port of Giglio, struck, then ran to Giglio and turned back toward the shore just north of the harbor entrance. ?? I think there is a great deal of information yet to be released and so far it looks like nobody with that information is sharing it.

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When I was at Kings Point all Deck Cadets were required to read this book, Engine Cadets were encouraged. I, an Engine Cadet, read it.
[I]Collision course: the Andrea Doria and the Stockholm[/I]

[QUOTE=Steamer;60929Looking more closely at Google Maps satellite, it looks like maybe they tried to “thread the needle” south of the port of Giglio, struck, then ran to Giglio and turned back toward the shore just north of the harbor entrance. ?? I think there is a great deal of information yet to be released and so far it looks like nobody with that information is sharing it.[/QUOTE]

It will come out, Steamer, It always does.
Without a doubt “something” happened and “they” tried to save their ass.

And most likely the attempt at covering up whatever stupid thing they did will get them in far more trouble then the initial error…
Seems to be a common event with industrial accidents, but yet people still think covering stuff up is a good option.

Apparently no may-day - wrong thing to do.
Apparently no abandon ship drill - wrong thing to do
Apparently general alarm was not sounded and people not sent to muster stations - wrong thing to do.
Eventually people were told to go back to their cabins - wrong thing to do.
Apparently officers lied over the intercom about the nature of the problem and lost credibility - wrong thing to do.
Apparently they loaded lifeboats women and children first - wrong thing to do.

Isola del Giglio is Giglio island.

Gemitrafik and MT’s tracks are broadly consistent with each other. They’re not consistent with what the media is saying the captain is claiming, but that’s another matter.

Something interesting on the MT track is that the Concordia was still heading directly towards Giglio at 15 knots even at 1.5nm/~10 ship lengths. Would they have had enough maneuverability to miss the island completely–rather than attempting to thread the needle as a desperation move–at that range and speed?

Additional personal photos from somebody in the area:

https://plus.google.com/photos/115893768571611039178/albums/5697479271862536705

Quick update of todays events from what is available in the media.

Costa Concordia Update: Italian Captain Detained as Probe Into Crash Goes On

[QUOTE=Observer;60938]Isola del Giglio is Giglio island. [/QUOTE]

The port of Giglio is where the wreck is located, just outside the breakwater. It is the spot on that map at the island end of the Isla del Giglio - Porto Santo Stefano ferry track.

The track shown on that picture is nowhere near the location of the wreck, or the rocks south of the port of Giglio. Nor does it show a course reversal that would explain why the wreck is lying on a southeasterly heading.

I stand by what I posted.