Well, partially submerged anyway. It appears she ran aground off Tuscany and all 4,200 passengers had to be avacuated. The Captain brought teh ship into shallow water where she has partially sunk. Six fatalities reported. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012...d.html?_r=1&hp
The ship is now laying on it's side, just a few hundred feet off shore. Reports are 8 dead now. This ship is the sister ship to the Carnival Splendor (Carnival Corp owns both Carnival and Costa, as well as several other lines), which was the ship that lost power off Mexico in the fall of 2010.
I don't cruise very much. i was on a Costa ship about three years ago and the boarding process was a shambles. People were crammed into a small building for check in. At one point, the first floor was so congested that people couldn't get off the down escalator from the second floor (where all the check in procedures were). People were falling into each other. And people were still getting on the escalator because they couldn't see what was happening at the bottom. I was not impressed and decided never to get on another Costa ship.
My condolences to the families of those who didn't make it. I hope that those who are missing are just unaccounted for.
Before the crew is condemned, I find this most interesting:
An explosion heard by some of the passengers on board may have been caused by a phenomenon known as “harmonic interference”, according to Malcolm Latarche, the editor of the global shipping magazine IHS Fairplay Solutions.
Mr Latarche said that the ship was powered by a bank of six diesel-electric engines which effectively worked as an on-board power station designed to supply electricity to all parts of the vessel.
But like power stations on land, the engines are prone to electrical surges and troughs caused by “harmonic interference”.
Mr Latarche added: “From the reports I have seen it seems there was an explosion followed by a blackout which could have been caused by a power surge. There are various back-up systems in place on all ships but they may have failed also."
Mr Latarche said it was possible the cruise ship experienced the same problem that saw the Queen Mary 2 (QM2) lose power in September 2010 as she was approaching Barcelona.
He continued: “Once you have a problem with the electric supply to the ship’s main propulsion motors that could lead to a problem with steering. Once you are in a position where you cannot control a ship's speed and direction you have a problem until you can get those systems back on line. It seems that this may have happened quite close to land, in shallow water. When you can’t steer you are going to run aground and hit rocks at some point.”
There is lots of speculation about stuff like that, because as I mentioned above, this ship is the sister ship to the Carnival ship that had some sort of explosion/fire, and lost power in the fall of 2010 and had the US Navy provide assistance.
I'm at a complete loss for how this could happen! With all the sophisticated navigational equipment, really, how? Absolutely horrifying.
Automation can actually make things worse if no one is minding the store and if there is not sufficient training and practice on how to accomplish graceful degradation when there is a glitch or something goes haywire.
Some years ago there was a cruise ship that ran aground around Martha's Vineyard. After leaving the Bahamas or Bermuda, the crew set the autopilot on a course direct to their destination. Sometime later, a painter inadvertently busted the connection to the satellite antenna on the mast. The ship could longer do real time position updates so reverted to dead reckoning. The crew did not notice the glitch. Over time the course was off enough to create the grounding.
When marine radars that could see through fog became commonplace, maritime accidents increased since the crew thought they were always safe.
Today, the ship’s captain, Schettino, was detained and accused of manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship, Italy’s Ansa news service reported, citing Francesco Verusio, the prosecutor in the city of Grosseto.
The accident was due to a “reckless maneuver” as the ship was too close to the island, Ansa reported, citing Verusio. A Costa Crociere spokesman didn’t answer calls to his mobile phone and didn’t respond to a text message by Bloomberg News seeking a comment on the Ansa report.
Which may or may not be true, Italian news agencies print first, verify later.
Antonio Belardo, a local official, said the ship deviated from its "usual" route in order to give passengers a view of Giglio's port. That meant navigating a strait, so that the ship could skirt a stretch of the small island's coastline that faces mainland Italy.
Gianni Onorato, managing director of Carnival Corp.'s Costa Cruises, which operated the ship, told reporters on Saturday that the course taken by the ship Friday evening was "not a defined route for passing Giglio." However, Mr. Onorato said it would be "incorrect to say the ship was off course," adding that he was unaware of all of the possible routes available to the captain at the time.
Over on CruiseCritic I read that international cruising regs require only that the lifeboat drill happen within 24 hours of setting sail. The ship sailed at 7:30 pm and lifeboat drill was set for 5pm the next day.
I have not cruised a lot, but on each one, lifeboat drill has occurred prior to sail away. There was a roll call, and those who did not attend reportedly had to go to a "make up class." For good reason, obviously.
From the Left Coast to the Blue Ridge
I question the idea that they intentionally went close to this island for the view, only because it was already dark when they left Civi, and the accident happened a couple hours later.
What I am curious about, and haven't seen anything said about yet, is where did the accident happen in relation to where the ship is now resting. If the captain, as reported, delayed the evacuation in order to head closer to the port, I wonder how much time was lost for that? I know there's precedent with the Monarch of the Seas grounding in St Maarten after hitting the reef, but it seems that was valuable time lost for an evacuation when that manoever is basically made to attempt to save the ship itself. Also, I'm no physics major or anything, so I wonder why it is that the ship had the hole in the port side and ended up listing and ultimately capsizing to the starboard side?