Monday, January 16, 2012

Costa Cruise Ship Sinking

With Costa Cruise Line's recent accident with the sinking of the Concordia, it reminds me of a post I did way back when the mega ships were first coming out on the scene.  While these ships sound fantastic, I had and still have two concerns about them.  First, getting lost in the crowds and having to deal with long lines on board.  And second, how long would it take to evacuate the ship in an emergency and how well equipped were they to do this.

With the Costa sinking passengers are reporting that many crew members were not prepared for an evacuation and were giving passenger conflicting information.  Some crew members who were assigned to operate the life boats clearly did not know how to properly operate them and actually caused some life boats to be unusable.  Do cruise lines take into consideration that some life boats may malfunction or do they only have just enough life boats to cover the number of passengers and no extra. 

Also as the ship became over run with water is tilted to the side which meant that the life boats on one side of the ship couldn't be lowered so what do the passengers do who were assigned to those boats do?  Do cruise lines ever reviews these conditions when going over their evacuation plans?

Some passengers on the Concordia said some crew members were separating families telling them women and children were being loaded on the life boats and men had to wait or go to other life boats.  One family said it reminded them of the movie The Titanic and were terrified at the thought of being separated.

So many things went wrong during this evacuation.   Not to mention this disaster should have never happened in the first place.  Hopefully there will be some lessons learned from this.  Cruise lines with these mega ships need to take a good hard look at their evacuation plans and crew training.  And make sure they take a variety of situations into consideration.

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