Sunday, 4 March 2012

Costa Concordia

Just watched a DC4 doc about the sinking of Costa Concodria. I still can't believe 35 people were lost over such a stupid accident. None needed to die and I hope this updates some of the rescue protocols, like the gentleman at the end of the documentary said.
              The list of idiotic things regarding the accident. 

1.       1.    The captain. What. A. Friggin’. Snotball. Okay, anyone can understand the accidental part – how the ship came to close to a poorly charted shoreline, that happens. But the man had three compartments flooded – and that’s more than a ship like that can carry – and he a) kept going there and back; b) never warned the people; c) LIED to the coast guard about what was happening and d) managed to run aground the second time, on the same shoreline. And let’s not even go into the part where he was told that passengers are getting into the lifeboats and he commented: “Whatever.” Or that he never issued an evacuation protocol but instead fled with the earliest lifeboat (that actually happens quite often), and would not return to the ship even after a coast guard officer was ordering him to do so and coordinate a helicopter rescue from inside. It was dark and the rescuers had no way of knowing where to look for people, as nobody told the people where to go or counted how many were still there or already rescued…
2.       2.      The ship. Zero rehearsal frequency, zero rescue coordination, outdated lever system for rescue boats and nobody trained to lead the confused passengers.
3.      3.       The passengers. OMG we are all going to die, this is a Titanic, there is no hope!!?? … Dudes. Seriously? The ship didn’t SINK, it LISTED. As if, RAN. ASHORE. By definition that means it can’t go any deeper. Second: The SHORE was, like, a 10 meters away. On a clear night. In Mediterranean. I swam distances greater than that in a bathtub. If need be, really, someone could just lead and ant-chain of people towards the shore where someone would try to signal them by light. Villagers were already helping. But there was no need, because boats were coming back. It wasn’t really much of a distance. Really, really no need to do a whole Kate and Leo thing and climb on top of the ship, like someoe people dangerously did. You could simply sit it out. 

I’ve been on many ships in my life. I’ve been on some that ran ashore. None that actually literally sank, but one that did get flooded and listed. It was an incredibly boring night, as we then had to wait several hours to be helped off and then another several to get our things. It’s one of the reasons why I never get go of my bag, ever, and why I often, when travelling, pack things such as a Mag Lite (which is fucking heavy and can also serve as a maul) and rope, and why I always check evacuation routes and, if possible, sleep on decks. Not that that really changes anything, I just like being paranoid.
The Costa Concordia crew never instructed people (because supposedly that causes panic) to put on life-belts precautiously and just stroll towards the life-boats, just in case. Just as a drill, if need be. In fact, not only they didn’t mention they have a fifty meter gash in their engine deck, they never sent out a mayday to the coast guard. Even after all power ran out and the boat began to tilt, and passengers themselves would call 911, crew lied that it’s nothing, nothing to worry about at all. Everyone could have been safely, quietly evacuated until then. But, as per usual, they were left in ignorance on a sank ship and the crew fled. 

I have listened to the conversation between the messed up gigolo captain Schettino and a coast guard officer De Falco, in which De Falco instructs the captain to return to the ship and help assess who is still on and how disabled are they (kids, elderly…), which Schettino didn’t do. The line from De Falco: "Vada a bordo, cazzo!" is especially famous by now. Get the fuck on board!

So, I don’t think it was terrible that the ship struck shore at all. That happens. Nobody died from that. What they died from was being ignored, lied to, not led and left behind. You would think with all the air precautions and marshals someone would at least think to have a rescue coordinator on ships. Everyone knows number one killer is a hysterical mass of sinking people – if no one tells them the water is not going to come up any higher than their knees.


Brgnalf said...

HAHAHA, PaperKay. You rock. I was thinking the same thing... Bouchebags all of them :D

Pix said...

Haha, thanks! Though, I've been wondering... Is it possible the ship ran aground the second time on purpose? So that it really wouldn't sink any further than it did? Or was that just a seriously dumb luck on the 'driver's part?