Update 15 Jan 2012 11:49AM - Map of AIS-tracked course data pings laid over map of intended coarse may show turn made 15 minutes late took Costa Concordia into reef.
Update - 15 Jan 2012 3AM: Statement from Carnival Cruise Lines (owner of Costa Cruise Lines) below.
Via www.boatdesign.net/forums - http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/open-discussion/last-voyage-costa-concordia-cruise-ship-41313.html#post518059
In comments I wrote:
Apartment Building Boats.
A warning to all those who love the spectacle of vacationing on these hedonistic, money machines. The hull on one of the lowest decks is opened and it lists immediately. So quickly they couldn't get life boats off either side.
They are top heavy and rely on massive ballast tanks keep them up-right in heavy weather. As well they have huge thrusters that shoot massive amounts of water a right angles to the keel to help keep them into the wind.
(Youtube: I ran out of room)
The ship is 3 football fields long with 10 passenger decks - room for 3,700 passengers and 1,100 crew.
Passengers who made it off the ship early in the disaster indicated the crew weren't able to tell passengers how to exit (language barrier? Ignorance?),
That emergency preparations were so badly executed, and that passengers had no idea what they were supposed to do in case they had to abandon ship, tells me that there were no emergency drills held. On such ships these should happen with-in 24 hours after each and every departure from a port where new passengers have been boarded.
Tourists on near-by island check out re-arranged deck chairs...
(Image from Global News slideshow (4 of 7) - http://www.globalnews.ca/6442559698/story.html?utm_source=facebook-twitter&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=community)
Update 15 Jan 2012
Some reports said the cuise was in it's final leg (The Independent's travel editor, Simon Calder in BBC interview - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16560617) Cardinal Cruise Lines said the Ship was two hours out of port on it's initial leg. No emergency drills had been done as the general protocol these days seems to be the, with-in 24 hours of departure meme I guessed at, above. Many think the drills should be done before the ship leaves port ("Costa Concordia: Are ship evacuation drills too lax?" by Dave Monk - Metro News - 14th January, 2012).
After this incident, pre-departure drills sound right to me. Also better training of ALL crew (including entertainers, service personnel etc.) need to be made a priority. There should be a military precision meme around these protocols.
Carnival Corporation & plc Statement Regarding Costa Concordia
MIAMI (January 14, 2012, 3:45pm EST)
This statement is from Carnival Corporation & plc in Miami, FL. Carnival Corporation & plc is the parent company of Costa Cruises.
On January 13, 2012, Costa Cruises’ vessel, the Costa Concordia, departed from Civitavecchia, Italy with approximately 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members on a seven-day voyage. At approximately 10:00pm CET, the vessel struck rock off the coast of Isola del Giglio, Italy and sustained significant damage causing the ship to list severely. The order was given to abandon ship and deploy the lifeboats.
Tragically, there are reports of some deaths and injuries. This is a terrible tragedy and we are deeply saddened. Carnival Corporation & plc offers our sympathies and heartfelt condolences to all of the Costa Concordia guests, crew members and their families. Carnival Corporation & plc and Costa Cruises are committing our full resources to provide assistance and ensure that all guests and crew are looked after.
We want to express our deep gratitude to the Italian Coast Guard and local authorities and community members who have gone to extraordinary lengths to assist in the evacuation of the ship and provide support for our guests and crew. We are working to fully understand the cause of what occurred. The safety of our guests and crew members remains the number one priority of Carnival Corporation & plc and all of our cruise lines.
Costa Concordia was sailing on a Mediterranean cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome) with scheduled calls at Savona, Italy; Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; Palma de Mallorca; Cagliari and Palermo, Italy.
Friends and family members may use the following country-specific contact numbers to reach Costa Cruises:
Italy 848505050 U.S. 800-462-6782 Austria 00438109006565 Germany +4940570121314 France +33155475554 Spain +34934875685 Portugal +34914185951 UK 08453510552
Carnival Corporation & plc is the parent company of ten cruise lines including Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and P&O Cruises (Australia).