I just noticed this documentary, alerted by a link on the Naftrade site, though apparently it's been out there for a while. It's an interesting and apparently pretty accurate depiction - so far as it goes - of what happened the night COSTA CONCORDIA struck the rock and sank at Giglio (for a roundup of other news reports made at the time of the sinking, click the series of COSTA CONCORDIA links in the "Categories" listing on the right side of this page).

The documentary was made with the help of officers from Massachusetts Maritime Academy and California Maritime Academy,  and seems accurate with regard to the basic physical facts. As seamen, we have to remember that programs like this one, produced for consumption by the general public, can't delve too deep lest they confuse their audience - an audience that may have seen the movie "Titanic" but by and large knows little about ships and the sea.

One thing I noticed is that the experts in the documentary made no mention of use of the bow thruster to help maneuver COSTA CONCORDIA toward the shore - in their animation, the ship is moved only by the wind. I'd be interested to know whether this is because it has been ascertained that that maneuvering with the bow thruster never took place - or was it just a simplification of the facts for a non-technical audience? 

Here's an analysis by gCaptain's John Konrad, made immediately after the incident using initial AIS data, which would seem to support the idea that the bow thruster was used:
The Discovery documentary leans heavily on interviews with survivors, who describe their own experiences as they tried to board lifeboats or were forced to jump into the sea; it also includes cell phone video taken by the passengers, recording what went on around them at various points. The degree of heel as the ship canted over, and the panic generated among the passengers, are graphically shown in these passenger videos. Also incorporated in the Discovery program are snippets of the video someone had taken of events on the bridge up to the moment of the order to abandon ship (that video had been available on YouTube, but has since been blocked).

You and I - as professional mariners - are more interested in how the navigational decisions were made, how well bridge resources were utilized; and what was done, and what might have been done, after the event to preserve lives. I've also wondered what was going on in the Engineering spaces during this time. Much of this is still under investigation; Captain Schettino is still defending himself in court, and legal issues are still being settled. The Discovery video necessarily skirts most of this; still, it's interesting for what it is.

I'd be interested in your take - and if you know of other resources, especially with regard to the salvage operation, please let us know in the Comments section!
8/30/2013 08:45:12 am

Good job


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