Ask anyone about the Titanic disaster 20 years ago and they'd rattle off a few key facts such as a ship crossing the Atlantic on it's maiden voyage hit an iceberg, sank out in the middle of the ocean and loads of people died.
Using some exact figures, we can paint the following situation:
- Over 1500 people died - over half of the 2224 on board.
- The water temperature was -2C.
- The life expectancy of people in the water at that temperature is 15 minutes.
- The ship was 400 miles from land.
- The nearest rescuers (The Carpathia ship) was 58 miles away at the time of the distress call.
- It took 160 minutes from hitting the iceberg to being totally sunk.
So this morning I spotted something rather jarring in my twitter stream, namely this tweet.
Let's look at the Costa Concordia disaster for a second:
- Out of the 4252 people on board, only 32 people died, representing 0.75% of the people onboard.
- The water temperature was a bit over 12C to 13C (mid to upper 50s).
- How does this compare to the 400 miles from land that the Titanic was? Well, this image answers that. (http://static6.businessinsider.com/image/50cf5bd569bedd4c09000010-650/costa-concordia-salvage-operation-60-minutes.jpg)
- The time to sink? A year later, it's still not fully submerged, and they're talking about refloating it in 8 weeks, which is a century quicker than it's taken the Titanic.
Comparing the Costa Concordia accident to the Titanic disaster is bordering on vulgar, especially when we've seen bigger incidents in recent decades like the Doña Paz (over 4000 dead), the Estonia (850+ dead), the Princess of the Stars (690 dead), the Rabaul Queen (321 dead), and so the list goes on, where the news is far more important from a humanity standpoint. Even the Indian Ferry disaster of 2012 had over 100 people dead, but we don't hear about these being compared to the Titanic disaster.
If you understand the point I'm trying to get across, this final set of clips taken from Entertainment Tonight should be the icing on this cake.