Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why the Costa Concordia was not even close to the Titanic



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.
Pretty grim, right?

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:
If I were to guess, a hundred years from now this accident will have been consigned to a sentence in history like "The Costa Concordia was a cruise ship that hit land in the mediterranean, never fully sank and less than 1% of the people on board died".  

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.