Monday, September 16, 2013

They're raising the Costa Concordia


It's been a while since I last commented on the Costa Concordia, and now they're trying to raise it, it seems like a good time to come back to it.  

I like boats.  I like big boats, little boats, liners, and commercial boats.  But, I'm not a fan of cruise ships. The Costa Concordia is a great example of why I'm not a fan.  

Here, you have a ship that capsized in such a way as to indicate that below the waterline, it was probably breached badly or just incorrectly compartmentalised (because how else would it capsize with the hole out of the water, if not being pulled over by rampant water running about in the hull).  

Next. modern cruise ships have electrical powered propellers, not the traditional mechanical prop-shaft driven propellers, so they put the generators in this same area where water is first likely to go.  Unlike tankers, where we know to use double-skinned hulls and appropriate reinforcements, it's apparently still quite alright to put 4,000 people on a boat with just a single skin between the these generators and the water that will stifle them and as shown in this case, cause them to lose all control of the vessel and it's sub-systems.

Of course the shallow draft (how far the boat goes into the water, or in the case of cruise ships, doesn't) is a cause for concern too.  Whilst arguments can be made that an unbreached hull will sit safely in the water, once breached, does the same hold true?

Hopefully, this accident will prove to be productive in the long run, by changing standards and safety.