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captainmcd

Hole on Port side, capsized to Starboard?

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As a ship captain myself, I wonder how that happened. Damage stability is taught in all maritime academies, and on all license exams. Free surface could have done it, but would require partial flooding of damaged compartments, and with a hole that size, I would think that the compartments would have fully flooded almost immediately. When the ship listed to port initally, was there intentional flooding of starboard ballast tanks? If so, that was a mistake. Lowered stability (GM) requires you to flood the bottom tanks evenly. I have been waiting to hear an explanation of this.

 

Also, officers on all passenger vessels are required by international convention (STCW) to take courses in crowd control and crisis management. The thrust of those courses is that communication (preferably from the Captain) be timely, concise, believable, and as accurate as possible, and if you don't know, you need to say so.

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Would you risk turn turtle?

 

I think he chose to bring her portside alee and shift ballast to bring the breach above the surface while "beaching" her.

 

Crisis management training.. yes. However, ask any shrink what happens during a serious emergency. There's theory.. and there is reality.

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Lack of water under the Keel and loss of Stability! not Rocket Science really.

 

"There's theory.. and there is reality" How true that is ...amen.

Edited by sidari

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There is two basivc possiblities:

 

1. The cross flooding of the tanks with the damage of the port side extending to the starboard tanks and /or cross over valves were open causing overall flooding.

 

2. I really think there is more bottom damage on the starboard side, causing more of the the starboard tanks to flood., thereby letting her flop to starboard.

 

We will see as the salvage and inspections continue.

 

AKK

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In light of the ship rolling and not sinking do you have a guess as to which cabins will likely be the least desired on future cruises. As in lowest deck cabins which are always suggested for passengers who have not cruised before. Just wondering?

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Tonka .... Have you seen the Night Vision Video from the Coastguard Helicopter? the ship is totaly on its side and you can see the Keel, it may well be that they were trying to list the ship enough as you say to get the damage out of the water which is what i think they were trying to do but were unable to stop it going over due to lack of water under the Keel! i believe a Draught of around 28 feet needs something like 26 feet of water under it to keep it stable.

 

JT .... if you were in an Outside and saw the sea getting closer and the ship at an angle believe me any sensible person would be out like a shot!

Edited by sidari

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In light of the ship rolling and not sinking do you have a guess as to which cabins will likely be the least desired on future cruises. As in lowest deck cabins which are always suggested for passengers who have not cruised before. Just wondering?

 

I'd prefer to be up as high as I can afford to be. Empress and higher.

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There are some animations posted and a explanation of the reason for the ship going over 'the wrong way'. The accident occurred quite a bit south of where the ship ended up. The ship was apparently being navigated closer to shore at the end to make it easier for the passengers to reach shore. But it apparently was being brought in closer sideways (like they come into the piers). The underwater wash from this huge ship moving toward shore sideways hit the shore and rebounded, creating a backwash that hit the keel and pushed outward, causing the top of the ship to fall towards land. Imagine a running back in football being hit from the side at the ankles with a crossbody tackle. He falls back over the tackler.

 

I've seen so many posts and links on the whole thing that I can't remember where the animation of this is shown.

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Tonka .... Have you seen the Night Vision Video from the Coastguard Helicopter? the ship is totaly on its side and you can see the Keel, it may well be that they were trying to list the ship enough as you say to get the damage out of the water which is what i think they were trying to do but were unable to stop it going over due to lack of water under the Keel! i believe a Draught of around 28 feet needs something like 26 feet of water under it to keep it stable.

 

JT .... if you were in an Outside and saw the sea getting closer and the ship at an angle believe me any sensible person would be out like a shot!

 

 

 

you raise a very good point.........and are correct.the lack of floatable water depth or less then 28 feet as you say......could indeed have flopped her over.

 

We will see as time goes by!

 

AKK

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I read very early on that they flooded the starboard side to even out the flow of water from the port side... dunno if it is true or not.. but it that is the case they over compensated and that caused the major list to the starboard side:confused:

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Jackofhearts ... I refer you to my earlier post re lack of water under the Keel ... :) the wash you talk about had nowhere to go.

 

The 1st time Oasis of the seas tried to dock at St Thomas in the Caribbean it took them an age, it was only when they realised that there was a lack of depth under the Keel to the sea bed and that the water being pushed into the pier as the ship got close had nowhere to go! eventually and by moving very slow they managed to tie her up.

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As a ship captain myself, I wonder how that happened. Damage stability is taught in all maritime academies, and on all license exams. Free surface could have done it, but would require partial flooding of damaged compartments, and with a hole that size, I would think that the compartments would have fully flooded almost immediately. When the ship listed to port initally, was there intentional flooding of starboard ballast tanks? If so, that was a mistake. Lowered stability (GM) requires you to flood the bottom tanks evenly. I have been waiting to hear an explanation of this.

 

I am a retired US Naval Officer with some background as a Damage Control Officer. I agree that free surface effect can easily explain the starboard capsize. Looking at the gash photos, I think it probably crossed several water tight compartments. The forward end of the damage may have been intact enough that only partial flooding occurred--leading to the free surface CG shift as the Concordia was steered back towards shore. Any wind that evening, if on-shore, could also have contributed to the shift.

 

It's frustrating to watch how one man's ego, ineptitude, and cowardice created this tragedy.

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I am a retired US Naval Officer with some background as a Damage Control Officer. I agree that free surface effect can easily explain the starboard capsize. Looking at the gash photos, I think it probably crossed several water tight compartments. The forward end of the damage may have been intact enough that only partial flooding occurred--leading to the free surface CG shift as the Concordia was steered back towards shore. Any wind that evening, if on-shore, could also have contributed to the shift.

 

It's frustrating to watch how one man's ego, ineptitude, and cowardice created this tragedy.

You've managed to sum it up ... ego, ineptitude and cowardice. Has anyone heard a 1st hand account of whether the ship first listed to port and then to starboard? The suggestion that it was going sideways hadn't occurred to me and does make sense. Have you seen the video of the cook who says the Captain ordered dinner?

Everytime I read one of these outrageous accounts, I say "that can not be true ..." And, then it is.

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I am a retired US Naval Officer with some background as a Damage Control Officer. I agree that free surface effect can easily explain the starboard capsize. Looking at the gash photos, I think it probably crossed several water tight compartments. The forward end of the damage may have been intact enough that only partial flooding occurred--leading to the free surface CG shift as the Concordia was steered back towards shore. Any wind that evening, if on-shore, could also have contributed to the shift.

 

It's frustrating to watch how one man's ego, ineptitude, and cowardice created this tragedy.

 

Yes, OldSeaDog, I think that may have done it, free surface in one of the partially flooded compartments, maybe some heeling effect caused by the 180 degree turn to port after the grounding. Of course I had not considered the wind factor, which on those ships is large.

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Would you risk turn turtle?

 

Crisis management training.. yes. However, ask any shrink what happens during a serious emergency. There's theory.. and there is reality.

 

Better to ask a sergeant than somebody who deals in theory. The principles of leadership in a crisis are very simple - take charge, be direct, be clear, be decisive, be visible, and require that people do as you say. When you tell somebody to do something - address them by name. Use the 'command voice' so your words cut through the crown noise, and don't be afraid to hurt people's feelings.

 

Everybody is going to be looking for somebody in a uniform to tell then what to do - even if they already know what they should be doing. Take advantage of that and you have a huge advantage in terms of getting people to do what they are supposed to.

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What must have been going on on that bridge? Maybe we will find out when the investigation is done, maybe not. Every officer must have been on the bridge, alarms must have been going crazy. They were dealing with more emergency situations, all at once than any other cruise ship in history. All at the same time and many of the things they tried weren't working. All the while knowing that human error caused this and it was the end of many of their careers, possibly even their lives.

 

I read a book about an airline pilot once, he said when he thought the plane was about to crash, he thought " how did my Mom's little boy grow up to get himself in this impossible mess?"

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Regarding the damage and flooding, another point is it remains unclear how much damage there is on the starboard side. In one of the underwater photos, it appeared there is significant additional damage to the hull, but it was not clear to me just where it was located.

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Yes, OldSeaDog, I think that may have done it, free surface in one of the partially flooded compartments, maybe some heeling effect caused by the 180 degree turn to port after the grounding. Of course I had not considered the wind factor, which on those ships is large.

 

It may just be the angle of the photograph, but it also appears that the stabilizers were attempting to correct for the initial port list. This may also have contributed the the capsize.

 

Concordia_stabilizer_untouched.jpg

 

I would expect damage on the port side caused by grounding as she capsized. Ships are not designed to lay against hard objects.

Edited by OldSeaDog

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i guess a 9 ton rock wasn't good for balance either......

 

Miniscule compared to the ship's 114,500 ton displacement.

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Other things to consider are how much headway did the ship have after the initial grounding? Were the azipods or thrusters used in turning around, and why was there a need to turn in the first place? She could have been placed alongside the shore port side to. The VDR will provide those answers. Not having a good plan of the ship makes speculation difficult. For example the hole in the port side may have been in a ballast tank, the engine or generator room, and that would have allowed cross flooding to starboard.

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One question I have after seeing the ship apparently resting on its starboard side. Would it have rolled over completely if it were not resting on the bottom? Looking at how tall (and getting taller) cruise ships are today, have we reached the point where even a slight loss in stability, or a bit too much list, can quickly lead to the ship turning turtle? Or, did it turn over because it was resting on the bottom and would not have done so in deeper water?

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Cruise ships have steel hulls and aluminium upper decks to keep the centre of gravity a low as possible. That why they can have so many upper decks.

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I think it would have sunk. Say what you will about Capitano Codardo, but he saved lives (which he shouldn't have had to), and possibly the ship by making this maneuver close to land.

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Cruise ships have steel hulls and aluminium upper decks to keep the centre of gravity a low as possible. That why they can have so many upper decks.

 

Concordia is all steel. I think you will find that there are no ships in service of her size that use the combination of aluminum uperstructure and steel hull. Arguably, the most noteable ship with this construction is QE2. Her successor, QM2, is all steel too.

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Concordia is all steel. I think you will find that there are no ships in service of her size that use the combination of aluminum uperstructure and steel hull. Arguably, the most noteable ship with this construction is QE2. Her successor, QM2, is all steel too.

 

Sorry to disagree but Independence of the Seas definitely uses aluminium for its upper decks. A documentary on the ship build explained the reason why.

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Other things to consider are how much headway did the ship have after the initial grounding? Were the azipods or thrusters used in turning around, and why was there a need to turn in the first place? She could have been placed alongside the shore port side to. The VDR will provide those answers. Not having a good plan of the ship makes speculation difficult. For example the hole in the port side may have been in a ballast tank, the engine or generator room, and that would have allowed cross flooding to starboard.

 

The ship has conventional shafts and rudders, but is supplemented with bow AND stern thrusters. From the captains own statements, he mentions that the engine room was flooded. Was this the case for the second engine room? Did they still have partial power? There were other statements that the emergency generator had kicked in, which would explain how the ship was still lit up as we saw her sink. If the second engine room was down too, the ship would have essentially been dead in the water, coasting if you will, which the last AIS report showed about one knot of speed. Would/could they have used the thrusters to rotate the ship around to the present orientation with emergency power only? Would dropping the anchor at any time, generated the rotation, which could have had the disastrous result of the free surface effect that might have destablized the ship? Was the ship in danger of heading right into the shore eventually, if the manuever on the part of the captain did not take place? If the ship stopped, due to lack of power, off the coast without hitting anything further, I would think it would have been far easier to evacuate the ship if it was in a more vertical position, despite being farther from shore. The judgement call from the captain to do whatever he did to turn the ship may have sealed her fate and that will continue to be debated until we see all the facts, including whether the damage might have extended to the other side. I wonder if anyone who was onboard can confirm whether the ship listed to port initially and then when it changed course, the list shifted to starboard. I might have missed this in all the numerous reports since this tragedy if that was already discussed.

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Other things to consider are how much headway did the ship have after the initial grounding? Were the azipods or thrusters used in turning around, and why was there a need to turn in the first place? She could have been placed alongside the shore port side to. The VDR will provide those answers. Not having a good plan of the ship makes speculation difficult. For example the hole in the port side may have been in a ballast tank, the engine or generator room, and that would have allowed cross flooding to starboard.

 

There's already too much speculation by people who know nothing about ships and damage control. :) Close-up photos of the rock appear to show machinery visible forward of it, so probably not a balast tank, rather it was probably either an engine room or auxilliary space (I sure would like to see hull plans). The Concordia has conventional shafts/screws rather than azipods, with bow thrusters.

 

With no power, I don't personally believe the good captain Cazzo was maneuvering the ship after the impact. If he was, my opinion is that he did absolutely the wrong thing by turning in an attempt to ground the ship. Generally, modern ships have sufficient reserve bouyancy to survive even this much damage--though it's admittedly impossible to know without the hull plans.

 

As far as steel vs. aluminum for the superstructure, it's really pretty irrelevant. The issue for a naval architect involves the relationship between the roll center, center of bouyancy, and center of gravity. Their relationship to each other determine the "righting moment" and "stability curves." Without these data, it's impossible to determine whether the ship would have capsized or recovered herself absent grounding.

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I read that an order was given to drop the anchor or anchors in order to effect an emergency stop. If so, that alone could cause the ship to heel hard over to port or starboard, depending upon the anchor's position relative to the motion of the ship. It is fortuitous it ended up this way, exposing the gash above the water line which kept out more flooding, prevented bunker oil and other pollutants escaping, and will make making watertight the gash easier.

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I've been waiting & wondering if a topic like this would open. As one who's sat in the Captain's chair for a few years and has the experience of schooling in Naval Architecture {both theory and practical} I'm dumbfounded about how the ship rolled so as to have the hole end up on the high side.

 

As previously noted 'free surface effect' comes to my mind but that depends on what compartments of the ship were breached. If the hole was into the engineroom and it flooded immediately then the Captain's decision to turn the ship about to approach the harbor was A fatal mistake. A sharp 180 turn sent the free water to one side and the ship went hard to that side - end of story. My opinion . .

 

If the ship was not breached in the engine room then SOLAS requirements call for side to side water tight compartmentation and I'm really confused as to how the ship rolls so as the hole is UP. {the ship only lists in this situation due to weight transfer and if there are compartments to prevent the transfer . . .}

 

With regard to anchors: 1) pictures do not show the exposed side exhibiting a dangling chain. and 2) the displacement of this ship is WHAT? The anchors are akin to swatting a fly.

 

Yes a last ditch effort - but akin to dragging your feet out of the door of a car going 100 miles an hour.

Edited by Capt_BJ

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CaptBJ .... the ship had sailed beyond the island and was listing to Port, the ship was turned around on its Starboard side according to the Captain using an Anchor(s) so that the ship could be stopped close to the island which would allow passengers easy egress to giglio.

 

Lack of Depth of water under the Keel along with the amount of water pouring in when the ship stopped and the fact that the ship was going sideways because they were using bow Thrusters is probably what contributed to it Listing the way it did!

 

Look at the early pictures of the ship, the Lights are still on but the ship is Listing to Starboard and is low in the water to the Aft.

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and your basis of ship damage control procedure is?

 

Mine is specialized training in these very things as was required b4 I assumed command of an armed combatant

 

with regard to the Captain search my posts on other threads here . . . .

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My opinion - 15 years in command - 3,000grt to 156,000grt

 

After hitting the rock - how long? - water floods engine room.

Lights go out - ALL power is lost including rudder - port list.

Em.generator starts up - em. lights come on.

Ship was doing 15 knots - coasts on - drops stbd. anchor to stop going into deeper water.

Vessel swings to port as anchor runs out.

Free surface in flooded full width ER caused vessel to take up angle of loll to starboard. There is just not time or ability to flood ballast tanks.

Vessel continues to flood & list more - eventually grounding & capsizing - ending up as it is.

A time line would help but we will have to wait until inquiry I expect.

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My opinion - 15 years in command - 3,000grt to 156,000grt

 

After hitting the rock - how long? - water floods engine room.

Lights go out - ALL power is lost including rudder - port list.

Em.generator starts up - em. lights come on.

Ship was doing 15 knots - coasts on - drops stbd. anchor to stop going into deeper water.

Vessel swings to port as anchor runs out.

Free surface in flooded full width ER caused vessel to take up angle of loll to starboard. There is just not time or ability to flood ballast tanks.

Vessel continues to flood & list more - eventually grounding & capsizing - ending up as it is.

A time line would help but we will have to wait until inquiry I expect.

 

All very plausable. My question is was it in the end the wrong thing to do to deploy the anchor and further destabilize the ship? Lifeboats further out at sea would really not be an issue. Plus, if the mayday had been issued earlier, perhaps additional ships would have been able to catch up to the ship. Food for thought. If the ship was coasting to a stop on her own anyway, and in no danger of coming up against the shore, wouldn't it have been safer to keep the ship more upright, let her go down at the stern, and have greater ability to load and launch lifeboats on both sides. I guess we will find out eventually how the ship flooded and how the starboard list developed, but it is puzzling.

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My opinion - 15 years in command - 3,000grt to 156,000grt

 

After hitting the rock - how long? - water floods engine room.

Lights go out - ALL power is lost including rudder - port list.

Em.generator starts up - em. lights come on.

Ship was doing 15 knots - coasts on - drops stbd. anchor to stop going into deeper water.

Vessel swings to port as anchor runs out.

Free surface in flooded full width ER caused vessel to take up angle of loll to starboard. There is just not time or ability to flood ballast tanks.

Vessel continues to flood & list more - eventually grounding & capsizing - ending up as it is.

A time line would help but we will have to wait until inquiry I expect.

Agreed with Sea Dog . Look on video http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/video/106870/kabayanihan-ng-mga-pinoy-crew-ng-tumagilid-na-barko-kitang-kita-sa-video?ref=related_video_title on min 0:32 you see crew in galley loosing his stability and dishes falling , most probably is when the ship grounded on the present place. We are talking of 114,500 GT ship that went on ground at that point , because of the ship movement sideways toward the island the underwater section stayed on the rocks and the top continued the slow movement. I am sure this will be a good subject for Ship Sim fans to try to re-make the last moments.

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I am a retired US Naval Officer with some background as a Damage Control Officer. I agree that free surface effect can easily explain the starboard capsize. Looking at the gash photos, I think it probably crossed several water tight compartments. The forward end of the damage may have been intact enough that only partial flooding occurred--leading to the free surface CG shift as the Concordia was steered back towards shore. Any wind that evening, if on-shore, could also have contributed to the shift.

 

It's frustrating to watch how one man's ego, ineptitude, and cowardice created this tragedy.

 

Given the number of lives at stake, and the failure at the top, one wonders why some of the other officers did not step up, remove the Captain and take charge of rescue operations. No tribunal in the world would have faulted him or her. Discipline is fine but in this rare case some one else should have stepped up. If some one had done so earlier a lot of people would still be alive. Even on a warship, malfeasance of the type that occured here would have justified action.

 

 

Costa Riviera, Emerald Seas, Caribe II, Norway, Nieuw Amsterdam, Grand Princess, Norweigen Dawn, Constellation, Queen Mary 2, Norweigen Jewell

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I think if the ship had not landed on rock, wouldn't it have turned totally over (like in Posedian)?

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I think if the ship had not landed on rock, wouldn't it have turned totally over (like in Posedian)?

 

Ships are not designed with enough weight above to turn it upside down. I think it would have turned on its side, flooded the ship through the openings above the waterline and slipped under the water surface.

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I think if the ship had not landed on rock, wouldn't it have turned totally over (like in Posedian)?

 

I wondered about that. Three things I have heard about crusie ships. 1.) There are water tight compartments, in case of a collision, the boat won't sink. Clearly, this didn't happen. 2.) Cruise ships are very stable, dispite they are can be 100 feet above the water line at the top deck. So, I guess my question is did the ship tilt over because it hit bottom or did it just lose it's stability by having too much water in the ship? 3.) Crusie ships have enough space in a life boat for every passenger and crew member. Well, after seeing the ship lose it's stability, I now realize that the life boats may be useless.

 

I will be interested to find the findings of any court findings. I have been on three cruises and my feelings of thier safety has been somewhat shaken.

Edited by peter78

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