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  #1  
Old January 25th, 2012, 04:00 PM
lweber40 lweber40 is offline
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Unhappy Costa Concordia - Why People Died near Muster Station

Hi all. Like everyone here I am an avid cruiser and have never been afraid on a ship. However, after this tragic accident I find myself a little scared and I know that fear will only grow the next time I step on a ship. So I'm trying to work out in my mind why the sixteen people (so far) died.

The majority of them (maybe all?) were found in or near their Muster Station areas. And, they all had life preservers on. So, why couldn't they have gotten off. What happened to them? What could they have done to save themselves? Will we ever know?

I guess I want to know what went wrong so I can put my fears at ease. If I can understand why they died even though it appears they did all the right things.

Please help me wrangle with this. What are your thoughts?

Next cruise in less than 130 days.

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  #2  
Old January 25th, 2012, 04:08 PM
NancyJewel92 NancyJewel92 is offline
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I've been wondering the same thing. I'm sure other have too. Hopefully, details will be released to the public as the investigation continues.
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  #3  
Old January 25th, 2012, 04:12 PM
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Smurfette&Trojan Smurfette&Trojan is offline
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I think some of the deceased may have been hit with falling
furniture or other heavy items once the ship hit that final steep
angle.
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  #4  
Old January 25th, 2012, 04:14 PM
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I don't know why they died....but, statistically speaking, what are the chances of something major happening again in the next 130 days?

Considering this was an accident that was 1000% human error....every captain and every cruiseline will be "super safe" for the immediate future.

Enjoy your trip..........!
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  #5  
Old January 25th, 2012, 04:18 PM
bbwex bbwex is offline
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Default Why

I'm not sure that we will ever know. Yes a couple of people so far have been found near the muster stations. How or what exactly happened is not clear yet, and may or may not ever be. At some point, the ship likely tipped over to where it is resting now. Any number of things could have happened: they were hit and knocked unconscious by debris; they were trapped by something; they were elsewhere, but the bodies floated to where they were found, etc., etc.

When the final investigation is finished, they may make some educated guesses, they may not. What they say may be pure conjecture, or they may take the time with respect to each body, and try to figure out what went wrong for each of them.

At this point, there is a lot of chatter, but no specific data that I have seen as to the final few minutes before the ship came to rest. If we could have more information about the last critical moments, we might (emphasize "might") have a clue.

It was indeed unfortunate that the passengers were at the mercy of a captain who did all of the wrong things. They likely would have all be OK had they been ordered to abandon ship immediately. They might have had more chances if the captain had issued an immediate mayday to get extra assistance. They might have been better off if they had not been sent to their cabins at 10:25. They would have had better odds if the captain had not denied to the port authorities/coast guard that the only problem was an electrical failure.

The chances that there will be an accident and a captain this incompetent and negligent are, thankfully, very, very slim.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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Default why people died in 'safe zones', muster areas:

*** Some answers so far are these:

We are learning form our research that it is NOT the actual muster stations that were what may have killed the passengers, it had to do with their immobility or being possibly injured along route, and then when the ship listed-shifted more, they were a) trapped and b) they had NO ONE there to help them, as crew and other passengers left those areas quicker. We are still working on that. c) There we NOT enough escape routes and rope ladders also.
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  #7  
Old January 25th, 2012, 05:22 PM
Enigm@ Enigm@ is offline
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I have no idea either & I don't think we'll ever know, but remember this was the side of the ship that was submerged.
When the rescue began, from pictures we can see the side of the ship, the lifeboats etc etc..now all that part appears to be underwater.
The ship was moving all the time. I would guess the rescue just didn't come quickly enough to evacuate all passengers, the ship moved & they were perhaps thrown underwater & drowned. They may of course also have been trapped under tables, chairs etc, which later floated away.

Remember the later people to be rescued had to climb down the rope ladder from what became the top of the ship if you like, but this was originally the side. By this time, the muster station areas would already be under water.
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  #8  
Old January 25th, 2012, 05:43 PM
lweber40 lweber40 is offline
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Default Safest Side Vs. Muster Station

So, in an emergency such as this, should people ignore their muster stations if it is on the low side of the ship?

Is this a fairly reasonable conclusion???
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  #9  
Old January 25th, 2012, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigm@ View Post
I have no idea either & I don't think we'll ever know, but remember this was the side of the ship that was submerged.
When the rescue began, from pictures we can see the side of the ship, the lifeboats etc etc..now all that part appears to be underwater.
The ship was moving all the time. I would guess the rescue just didn't come quickly enough to evacuate all passengers, the ship moved & they were perhaps thrown underwater & drowned. They may of course also have been trapped under tables, chairs etc, which later floated away.

Remember the later people to be rescued had to climb down the rope ladder from what became the top of the ship if you like, but this was originally the side. By this time, the muster station areas would already be under water.
We'd probably never know.

This is just an educated guess....but if you're wearing a flotation device in an enclosed evacuation area such as the one their bodies were found in, and the ship suddenly keels over, with the muster station now under water, it is inevitable that the buoyancy of the life-jacket itself would make escape impossible as the pax would now be trapped between the waterline and the ceiling/wall/floor as the case may be. It also doesn't help if you are infirmed or have mobility issues.

You can experiment by placing a foam pad in a transparent box floating in a tub of water and and quickly tipping the box underwater. The foam will be trapped against the bottom of the box!

It is my view that future regulations will ban muster stations in enclosed spaces such as lounges, theatres etc.
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  #10  
Old January 25th, 2012, 06:30 PM
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It is my view that future regulations will ban muster stations in enclosed spaces such as lounges, theatres etc.
Yep! That makes perfect sense to me.

Have to admit I couldn't understand the logic in mustering in enclosed space. I mean, at least it should be on an open deck so if the ship sinks, SOME of them will be washed away. And with life jacket on, may even survive!
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  #11  
Old January 25th, 2012, 06:30 PM
DFD1 DFD1 is offline
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They died at the muster stations, in my opinion, because no staff or crew ever came to lead them totheir lifeboats. The crew, as a whole, lost all decipline (sp) and those passengers who did what they were told to do...many were just left behind.

IMO
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  #12  
Old January 25th, 2012, 06:44 PM
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On all the cruises I have been on, the muster stations have all been outside on deck. Do you mean that sometimes they are inside closed rooms? I haven't been on as many cruises as many of you and not lately but this does not seem right. I haven't been lately on CC and couldn't remember my CC name so even though this looks like my first post it isn't. It's been a long time but I seem to be getting in the mood to cruise again but it looks like safety awareness will be foremost in my mind when and if I cruise again. Lack of money might stop me but not being more cautious.
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  #13  
Old January 25th, 2012, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFD1 View Post
They died at the muster stations, in my opinion, because no staff or crew ever came to lead them totheir lifeboats. The crew, as a whole, lost all decipline (sp) and those passengers who did what they were told to do...many were just left behind.

IMO
While I doubt all the crew acted perfectly, the majority must have followed their training since there are 4000 survivors.

As far as why some were inside, we have all seen many pictures of people crowded on deck in the cold. Some people might have stepped inside for a second just as the ship listed and then could not get back outside. I really doubt we will ever know exactly what happened to them.
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  #14  
Old January 25th, 2012, 06:58 PM
Enigm@ Enigm@ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De La Cruise View Post
We'd probably never know.

This is just an educated guess....but if you're wearing a flotation device in an enclosed evacuation area such as the one their bodies were found in, and the ship suddenly keels over, with the muster station now under water, it is inevitable that the buoyancy of the life-jacket itself would make escape impossible as the pax would now be trapped between the waterline and the ceiling/wall/floor as the case may be. It also doesn't help if you are infirmed or have mobility issues.

You can experiment by placing a foam pad in a transparent box floating in a tub of water and and quickly tipping the box underwater. The foam will be trapped against the bottom of the box!

It is my view that future regulations will ban muster stations in enclosed spaces such as lounges, theatres etc.
You've explained that very well. It's more or less what I had in mind but you've made it clearer.

If I remember correctly, the muster stations on the Concordia are on deck...at least that is where the drill is carried out. But of course from the deck there are doors to the lounges. perhaps with the long delays in the evacuation being given the go ahead, the crowds & maybe noise out on deck, the cold etc etc, they may have decided to wait inside for a little while.

Remember too, the ship was initially listing towards the other side. It was only after the turn it changed, & then from what I can gather it listed up to 60 degrees very quickly.

As you say though, once this movement took place, the wall (with doors out to the deck) would become the (submerged) floor, your floor would now be the wall & the only other doors out to a deck area would virtually be on the ceiling. We know how heavy these doors are & they would be impossible to open from such an angle, even if the water level allowed you to reach them. They would be trapped.
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  #15  
Old January 25th, 2012, 08:03 PM
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Many possibilities to consider, any of which or any combination of which may have played a part:

The age or mobility of those who died - could they have had great difficulty trying to walk on tilted decks, or even been 'trapped' in a lounge or room because accessing the room's entrance door would require ascending a steep slope with the angle of the deck? Consider that often lounges' entrance doors are inset a bit from the sides of the ship, and when a ship tilts would not be accessible by simply walking along the low side of the ship - at some point it would require ascending the sloped floor. A 20 or 30 degree list wouldn't make this too difficult for a healthy middle-aged or younger person, but could be very difficult to impossible for those with any mobility impairment or degradation.

The flooding of the room might have been unusually sudden in a closed lounge. Consider that with the ship tilting and promenade deck being relatively low on the ship, the side of the lounge(s) they were in may have actually become fully immersed - but the windows holding out the vast majority of the water until pressure caused them to break - this could result in a very sudden flooding of the lounge or that section of lounge.

The tilt of the room might have caused some folks to become trapped by the moving furniture, or struck by it, causing them injury or unconsciousness.

I offer these as mere possibilities, just to show that there could many many variables that might have resulted in these unfortunate deaths.

As for worrying about the danger of cruise ships, evacutation procedures, or muster stations, consider this - despite several apparent critical mistakes, several apparent critical delays in informing/announcing the issue, and apparent critical delays in beginning the evacuation procedures...the number of dead compared to the total number on board is quite low, even in one of the worst possible sequence of events and mistakes. Which doesn't even consider how many passengers were aboard cruise ships at that very moment - ships which had no incidents...and the number of passengers who cruise in a given year. When you play the odds on how many passengers unfortunately died during a year vs how many passengers cruise in that period of time, there are probably a littany of very strange and exotic-sounding deaths which are more likely to happen than dying aboard a cruise ship.

Also consider that the delay between the initial incident of striking the rock and the full evacuation orders likely played a very big part in the deaths - those interior muster stations on some ships are not likely statistically dangerous in a vast majority of cruise evacuation emergencies that can occur, given most cruise ships are afloat for hours even when doomed - the crew reacting quickly and calmly to the evacuation order is more important than the location of the muster station, and the call to evacuate in a timely manner also vitally more important than the muster location.

All of the above is simply example, opinion, theory, and attempt at rationale and reason for those who might find themselves fearful of cruising or muster locations because of this incident. A similar barrage of threads arose after the Princess fire incident, and a few rational heads took the approach of reasoned and rational analysis to help explain the realistic risk and relative unlikelihood of dying from a fire at sea. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not. Fears are real, and not to be belittled - and noone is in the wrong for having fears from incidents such as this - but it can help some folks allay their fears by taking a step back from the incident and considering the bigger picture.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De La Cruise View Post
We'd probably never know.

This is just an educated guess....but if you're wearing a flotation device in an enclosed evacuation area such as the one their bodies were found in, and the ship suddenly keels over, with the muster station now under water, it is inevitable that the buoyancy of the life-jacket itself would make escape impossible as the pax would now be trapped between the waterline and the ceiling/wall/floor as the case may be. It also doesn't help if you are infirmed or have mobility issues.

You can experiment by placing a foam pad in a transparent box floating in a tub of water and and quickly tipping the box underwater. The foam will be trapped against the bottom of the box!

It is my view that future regulations will ban muster stations in enclosed spaces such as lounges, theatres etc.
Interesting visual, thank you.

Costa musters outdoors on the decks, though, so they shouldn't have been trapped in an indoor muster station with a lifejacket on, And ships that use indoor muster stations normally instruct passengers to carry them to the muster, not wear them.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by april47 View Post
On all the cruises I have been on, the muster stations have all been outside on deck. Do you mean that sometimes they are inside closed rooms? I haven't been on as many cruises as many of you and not lately but this does not seem right. I haven't been lately on CC and couldn't remember my CC name so even though this looks like my first post it isn't. It's been a long time but I seem to be getting in the mood to cruise again but it looks like safety awareness will be foremost in my mind when and if I cruise again. Lack of money might stop me but not being more cautious.
Yes, some lines muster inside the midship loungers. Passengers carry their vests to the station and wait to be led to an available lifeboat, if that becomes necessary. This prevents mustering in bad wearher conditions and being outdoors for extended periods until it is known that taking to the lifeboats is necessay. In my opinion, it is easier to manage crowds there than on the open deck.

But, Costa musters AT the lifeboats on the deck.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 08:30 PM
Lakeport2739 Lakeport2739 is offline
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Thank you for explaining what could have gone wrong.We cruise on Feb., 18 and I have also been a little worried and you helped put my mind at ease. Thank you!!! I am sure the drive to Florida will be more risky than the cruise itself!!
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  #19  
Old January 25th, 2012, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
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But, Costa musters AT the lifeboats on the deck.
I didn't know that! Then I guess they weren't necessarily at their muster station.

I think the most likely explanation is that people were being told to go to the other side of the ship when the lifeboats didn't launch. I read at least one survivor account that talked about how extremely hazardous this was when the list was so severe. The poor victims inside the ship might have run into problems the way the purser did. It was reported that he was able to climb onto some furniture, but he had sustained a broken limb. I imagine others might have sustained more dire injuries or been trapped by debris.
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  #20  
Old January 25th, 2012, 09:14 PM
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I don't think the deaths from the Concordia sinking have anything to do with the location (indoor or outdoor) muster stations. In my opinion, the loss of lives is directly attributable to the failure of the captain and top officers to: a) correctly assess the damage and its impact on the seaworthiness of the ship, and b) delay sounding the call to muster stations and the order to abandon ship.

For those who are worried about an inside muster station, remember that the vast majority of emergencies at sea don't require passengers to abandon ship. In fact, most of the time you are safer on the "mother ship," especially if you're far from shore.

I remember reading after the fire on the Star Princess that they didn't want passengers out on the open deck...especially on the side where they were fighting the fire. Every circumstance is different. Ultimately we as passengers have to have faith in the people in charge. In the case of the Concordia, that leadership was sadly absent.
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