Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chaos on a Cruise! It sounds like something of a book title or a new movie but it was real and we saw it in the news and it was frightening. Weeks latter we all ask, the terrified passengers and maritime investigators alike, What happened to the Cruise ship Costa Concordia? We were told that it ran aground and capsized near a small island called the Isola del Giglio off the Italian coast north of Rome.
Stories have emerged where more than a few days pass and the rescuers find people still trapped in their cabins like the crewman found with a broken leg or the Korean newlywed couple just glad to be alive 24hours later and finally rescued. There were still more than 3,000 passengers who managed to get off the ship who also had their own awful stories of how they feel luck is the only reason they survived.
No one told the passengers what to do. The evacuation drill was only scheduled for the day after the ship left the Italian port of Civitavecchia. Some families were able to get out with nothing on their backs that local stores gave the children shoes. More shouting and shoving broke out from panicked unsupervised guests of the ship. The power was out and people climbing to the top seeking light.
The luxury liner ran aground during supper a few hours later after it sailed. Mark Rosenker, a former National Transportation Safety Board Chairman, was shocked that they did not hold a muster drill as soon as setting sail is beyond his comprehension. Passengers likened the day as a scene from the movie Titanic. Glasses and furniture was fling around and the lights flickering in and out. Chaos everywhere. Mostly every man for himself.
Before long the boat was tipping so much the upper decks were taking on water. The boat’s hull has a 160 foot long gash in it. The 114,000 ton ship was doomed even though the state of the art liner shouldn’t have hit the reef. It should have been able to handle the damage. The vessel according to the Safety Board Chairman, have water tight safety precautions built into them. There will be questions as to why the lower decks were not sealed off to prevent the upper decks to take on water. Shut the doors!!!
The situation was so dangerous that the possibility loomed that the ship could have changed into the movie, The Poseidon Adventure where the liner turned upside down thus making getting off even harder. Once on the life boats, passengers were given blankets and something warm to drink but no one had a passenger list or even detained the people to identify themselves. The list included people from 12 nationalities who just wanted to leave.
It was reported, that about 200 people including some Americans jumped into the sea and swam to rocks off the island. Mark Platz , he and his wife Sara and brother Justin Bains were lucky that they were all good swimmers. He noticed that the ship started moving not forward but sideways very fast, so they knew they had to get off the ship quickly. They estimated that the swam 100 meters to rocks.
If you believe in maritime superstitions, this vessel was doomed. When christened , the champagne bottle never shattered and it was involved in a previous incident. The Captain is being held on multiple charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his vessel and passengers.
He took off the navigation systems that would have reported the boat too close to the shore and manually drove the ship close to the shore in an attempt to show his skills at driving. Apparently, he wasn’t a good judge of things. Then he said he “Fell into the life boats and a cab took him away.”
This all proves to me that it is safer and more entertaining to stay home, read a good adventure book , eat a good meal, take some sun in and you have enough of an adventure because there are a lot of uncaring people out there even when you pay thousands of dollars to go somewhere you should be cared for and where safety should be of the utmost concern.

No comments:

Post a Comment