Pere Artist was the Captain of HMS Endurance from 1978 to 1980 (and thus had a very interesting seat for the Falklands invasion thirty years ago).
On ocean passage in the South Atlantic they were carrying out regular soundings to add to the chart data already held, and as they steamed along the depth under the keel suddenly started reducing rapidly, then leveled off, dropped slightly, rose again and then decreased as rapidly as it had first climbed. They had gone straight over the top of an underwater volcano that had never been charted before. At no point was there any danger of grounding, but it would have surprised a submarine at depth.
I understood that when a Pilot is on board, he assumes the role of Master and the Captain hands control to him.
This is a common misconception, however the pilot is simply in an advisory role. A pilot maybe a qualified Master Mariner with high level pilotage qualifications or a local fisherman with knowledge of the sandbars, either way he has no authority on the bridge. It would take a fool to blindly disregard a pilots experience though.
The only exception to this is in the Panama Canal, the pilot takes full responsibility and signs for the ship.
On ocean passage in the South Atlantic they were carrying out regular soundings to add to the chart data already held, and as they steamed along the depth under the keel suddenly started reducing rapidly, then leveled off, dropped slightly, rose again and then decreased as rapidly as it had first climbed. They had gone straight over the top of an underwater volcano that had never been charted before.
There are lots of unchartered rocks in the south Atlantic, particularly around the Cape Horn archipelago (I've hit one myself - luckily with a lifting keel yacht so no harm done). There are also many unchartered reefs in the Pacific, and new ones are being created continuously by either coral growth or volcanic activity.
However, I will stick my neck out and say that there are absolutely no unchartered rocks anywhere in the Western Med. There is just too much human aquatic activity over several centuries for any to lie undiscovered. The waters off Giglio are criss-crossed by thousands of small boats every summer - a submerged rock at 5m depth would have several dive boats visting it per day, and fishing boats on it most nights.
However, the incident took place about 200 km West of the very substantial earthquake that hit L'Aquila in April 2009. It's possible that there was movement on the seabed. There were >20 aftershocks > Richter 4.0.
Was thinking that meself,a geologically active area,perhaps the seabed gained a wrinkle in it recently or a underwater landslide has piled a few rocks up Just watched the Captain interviewed he seemed adament there should have been no rock there.
I have just had a look at some cruise review sites and there seem to be a fair number of gripes about the food, service and the attitude of the staff. I could only find one comment about safety, which has been repeated in the press, that the safety and evacuation drills were carried out on the second last day of the trip.
I was shipwrecked on the Yangzte River. This was before the Three Gorges Dam was built. We had finished the gorges bit and were sailing for Chongqing. The river was about 2 kms wide and I was wondering why all the rest of the river traffic was on the other side of the river, on the outer side of the curve. Looking down I saw these enormous rocks passing underneath the hull. Somewhat concerned, I went down to the cabin to tell the wife. Whilst I was down there was a growling noise that went right through the ship. We went up on deck just in time to see the bow run up a small sandbar where the captain was beaching it.
No panic; no air-conditioning; no running water; no power apart from emergency lighting and no rescue services. Lunch and dinner were on time and all drinks were free
Next morning we were picked up by a hydofoil and taken to the next city for lunch.
starboard-side towards the island, whereas it should have been passing port-side towards land according to the 'maps'.
Just supposition but if the list was to starboard would it not make sense to try to ground that side of the ship to bring it upright?] Admittedly there is a risk that if the list was too severe it could worsen the situation by providing a "pivot" point
Strange how we are in the anniversary year of the sinking of the Titanic and having brought into sharp focus the truth about supposedly unsinkable ships.
Fortunately for the 4,000 souls on the Costa Concordia [twice the number that sailed on the Titanic], the vessel was able to run itself aground close to land before it turned on its side so catastrophically. It is all too clear that adding a few nautical miles to the distance the vessel had to travel before being able to beach itself would likely have been a stretch of sea too far.
The passengers were distracted by the range of entertainments and food they had paid good money for and crew were clearly as unaware or blasé about the growing danger - just as the crew of the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic had been a century ago. Even after the wine glasses, forks and plates smashed to the ground, and the ship tilted it seems no-one was putting the passengers into lifeboats. For so long indeed that the tilt of the vessel meant the numbers of lifeboats available diminished. Insufficient lifeboats killed thousands in 1912 and it was in imminent danger of killing twice as many in 2012. Fortunately in this case the vessel did not sink into the depths.
This was one of the most dramatic cruise ship accidents in recent memory and it raises many obvious questions - mostly aired here - but the major question that has so far been in the background is how many would have died if the situation had arisen 5 miles off the coast? Like the Titanic this vessel was doomed from the start – arguably the Concordia’s situation deteriorated at a faster rate than that of Titanic, but we do not have an exactly timescale - and yet the crew were stopping the passengers taking to the only hope they had of survival – the boats.
It may be that the industry advice on best practice that the best place for that many passengers is aboard the ship was adhered to too long but the effect was the same.
Just how many helicopter sorties would it have taken to rescue those without lifeboats? This sinking was nearly the cruise industry’s worst case scenario come true. How many helicopters were available?
The Titanic sailed in April 1912 with a mere 2,200 passengers and crew, 1,500 people died and 700 survived. There are plenty of cruise ships out there now with double the capacity of the Concordia.
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That Telegraph article was bizarre!
The first pictures on TRAB show a red track going between the land and the island. This can't be correct . . . can it? 72m width, I think I mentioned.
I assume she was further out, but still way too close. Something happened, but if the crew tried to make a left 180, they wouldn't have had anywhere near the space needed. Having said that, it is pointing south-ish
Even with a multiplicity of small driving pods, I imagine they would still need some speed for proper control. If this were the case, there would be a very real inertial force on the bulk of the mass when the keel hit the final resting place. That may well have given the roll needed to put it partly over to starboard. The water flowing across would no doubt do the rest.
I read that somewhere too: the captain claimed the reason they were so close was because he made for shallow waters as soon as he got hit.
The photos and AIS track bear that out: It approached the island heading 278, made a turn to the North, hit something, and as it slowed, continued its starboard turn away from the island. Yet its final position is right up against the rocks, facing South.
One of the quotes (CNN):
"On the nautical chart it was marked just as water," Francesco Schettino said, insisting that his ship should have been more than 100 meters from the rocks.
Is he being misquoted, meaning that his 8.2-m draft ship should have been in water over 100m deep, or does he mean that he meant to pass rocks at a comfortable separation of 1/3 of a shiplength?
If the latter is the case, then he took the turn slightly wider than he planned.