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-   -   Costa crash (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/all-things-cruising/387078-costa-crash.html)

MercedMike January 16th, 2012 11:37 AM

Costa crash
 
Wow.

Ship hits a rock close to land. Passengers panic. Captain deserts ship. Lives lost.

What a story. All those lifeboat drills we attended don't mean a thing?

Do they in fact create a false sense of security? I wonder if the crew actually receives any training in dealing with panic on board, or if they just think they put on their hat and stand at the stairway directing people into the lounges?

And what in the world could the Captain have been thinking?

Lakers Fan January 16th, 2012 02:44 PM

I was a Fire Warden and during a fire people chose not to listen to me or my fellow wardens .

colorcrazie January 16th, 2012 03:53 PM

I used to be a Water Safety Instructor, meaning I could train and certify lifeguards. One of the first lessons is that people panic. Adrenaline kicks in and very, very few will even try to keep a level head.
From what I read, the Costa captain was sailing much closer to land than he was supposed to. They had not had their lifeboat drill yet, either. But, in truth, I doubt the crew would be any less prone to panic than anyone else. Chaos was almost unavoidable. And my impression from the news is that the crew was not informed properly anyway. I think that the captain panicked, jumped ship and did not initiate even standard life saving procedures. A horrible situation all around and I pray for those involved. At least the people who lived on the island tried hard to help the survivors.
Marty

johnthed0g January 16th, 2012 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MercedMike (Post 1410094)
Wow.

Ship hits a rock close to land. Passengers panic. Captain deserts ship. Lives lost.

What a story. All those lifeboat drills we attended don't mean a thing?

Do they in fact create a false sense of security? I wonder if the crew actually receives any training in dealing with panic on board, or if they just think they put on their hat and stand at the stairway directing people into the lounges?

And what in the world could the Captain have been thinking?

Mike, yes I do think most of the staff have NO IDEA what to do other than go to where they are supposed to go & await instructions. Without being patronising I don't think they really understand & just follow parrot fashion...

green_rd January 16th, 2012 05:24 PM

You can drill and drill but it the real thing is always different. How do you simulate passenger panic? Can you imagine the complaints if they interrupted dinner for "just a drill"

Manuel January 16th, 2012 05:49 PM

I agree that no matter how much you drill, people are never ready for an emergency situation.

TM

Fern January 16th, 2012 10:21 PM

I agree. We always go to the Muster Drill, but really, when it comes down to sinking or swimming everything's up to us. The crew are trained to go to their Muster Stations. That's great if the ship is upright and has lights! Otherwise, I think the crew will panic along with the passengers.

For instance, a man on the Costa Concordia was quoted as insisting that the lifeboat's be launched when the crew had no idea what to do.

JMHO,

Lakers Fan January 16th, 2012 10:28 PM

I personally do not pay attention to the muster drill as I do not believe I would exit the ship under free will .

green_rd January 17th, 2012 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fern (Post 1410206)
For instance, a man on the Costa Concordia was quoted as insisting that the lifeboat's be launched when the crew had no idea what to do.

JMHO,

If I heard the same interview, the man said they (passengers) wanted to launch the lifeboats but the crew had to wait until the captain issued the Abandon Ship command. The inmates do not get to run the asylum.

ruthlessboss January 17th, 2012 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fern (Post 1410206)
I agree. We always go to the Muster Drill, but really, when it comes down to sinking or swimming everything's up to us. The crew are trained to go to their Muster Stations. That's great if the ship is upright and has lights! Otherwise, I think the crew will panic along with the passengers.

For instance, a man on the Costa Concordia was quoted as insisting that the lifeboat's be launched when the crew had no idea what to do.

JMHO,

I think they'd be panicked too, it's for real. People certainly panick, rush to a boat, many in an uncontrolled way like in a drill. There are multiple reports of people shoving others out of the way in order to get on a lifeboat.
So many say "they didn't know what to do", what does that mean? Who was at the boat? Was it the trained personnel, was it language barrier, was it not all of a launch team there with each his own duty to perform, was it related to panicked uncontrolled passenger behavior?

kaneals January 17th, 2012 07:35 PM

I'd love to think I'd be calm and collected, but I think the reality would depend on the circumstances. Big difference once the ship started listing to one side. I know I would be wondering if it was going to turn upside down. Plus what if that's where my lifeboat was. Something else that would make me nervous would be if I was seperated from family.

I think in most cases that's where people start to panic. On the other hand, I think that's where hero's are born. Some people always seem to rise to the occasion. Just not the captain of that ship.

MercedMike January 18th, 2012 01:04 PM

Emergency
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kaneals (Post 1410386)
I'd love to think I'd be calm and collected, but I think the reality would depend on the circumstances....
I think in most cases that's where people start to panic. On the other hand, I think that's where hero's are born. Some people always seem to rise to the occasion. Just not the captain of that ship.

A well trained and competent officer should indeed stay calm and collected in an emergency. Airline pilots are well known for this, and presumably many many ship's captains have also done that.

But one circumstance that makes a big difference, land or sea, in any situation, is when you are trying to cover up your own guilt. It appears from the fragmentary reports that the Captain was instantly aware of his huge mistake and did his best to try to somehow minimize what he had done. Rather than contacting the Coast Guard right away and giving the Abandon Ship order in a timely fashion, he seems to have hoped that things would "work out" somehow and let him off the hook.

Bruce Chafkin1 January 18th, 2012 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fern (Post 1410206)
I agree. We always go to the Muster Drill, but really, when it comes down to sinking or swimming everything's up to us. The crew are trained to go to their Muster Stations. That's great if the ship is upright and has lights! Otherwise, I think the crew will panic along with the passengers.

For instance, a man on the Costa Concordia was quoted as insisting that the lifeboat's be launched when the crew had no idea what to do.

JMHO,

Yes, the crew are often very well trained in crowd control measures. We also know that the vast majority of passengers will panic in a situation like this. But they are not the dangerous ones. The passengers we really worry about are the ones who believe thay know more than we do about how to save lives. These people insist on doing things (like prematurely launching lifeboats) that could get everyone killed.

So the crew panicked and didn't help the passengers??????
How did those 3,200 passengers all get to shore within 2 hours from a ship that was laying on it's side?
Most of them didn't swim.

The CREW managed to organize boats and rafts for most of them, despite the chaos and panic - and the apparent lack of a Captain to help organize this.

With no upper management to organize this, how do you think that you would have performed, in a space the size of the Empire State Building, laying on it's side, half-submerged, with very little light, in the middle of the night, cold and windy, no direction or supervision, no communication, with 3,200 people running and screaming (and speaking 5 different languages), and you trying to get them to safety?

Under the circumstances, the Costa crew performed a miracle out there.

MercedMike January 20th, 2012 11:01 AM

Chaos
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 (Post 1410524)
These people insist on doing things (like prematurely launching lifeboats) that could get everyone killed.

From the admittedly fragmentary reports on the disaster, it appears that the crew were waiting for the order from the bridge to ABANDON SHIP. This is precisely what they were trained to do.

It also appears that the Captain who was responsible for making a calm judgement for the safety of the passengers based on his training and experience was, instead, trying to cover his ass and somehow salvage a destroyed career. It is very probable that he failed to give the ABANDON SHIP command when it should have been given.

It also appears that the First Officer who might have had a chance to recognize the paralysis of the Captain failed to act (there is another thread on this very topic) for the safety of the passengers.

The best laid disaster plans depend on people at the top making calm reasoned judgements and communicating them to others. When that fails chaos is the inevitable result.

From my experience as a military officer I know what is necessary to take command, even of a group of panicked people. A huge presence, a strong voice, and a series of sharp simple commands will go a long way. Having been trained to be polite and respectful to passengers has to disappear immediately. I really am not at all sure that any ship has sufficient officers well trained in command to serve as lifeboat commanders. Usually during a drill some peach fuzz third officer, or even a junior purser, is introduced as the boat commander.

I would like to know whether the designated lifeboat commander has the authority, or the guts, to launch his own boat in such an emergency.

colorcrazie January 21st, 2012 05:00 PM

I have to agree with Bruce on this. There were thousands of people on board. While I grieve for those who were lost, the number who made it through alive and most of them okay (well, other than emotional trauma) was amazing. Definitely some unsung heroes among the crew.
Marty

Spartan kent January 21st, 2012 05:13 PM

Fear is contagious when it comes to getting out you don't know how you will react until you have been there.
Men will drag their best friend off a ladder to get out from below decks.

johnthed0g January 21st, 2012 05:49 PM

I do wonder how some people who are so brave snuggled up at home would react in a crowded corridor of a ship that they think may sink any minute...
If it wasn't for the leaving the ship thing I would be waiting further evidence on the Captain's actions too.


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