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Sinking Of Superliner Costa Concordia

  • January 16th, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

costa-3.jpgBlack Friday’s sinking of the huge cruise liner Costa Concordia (picture) off the Western Italian coast brought wonder that it happened, and wonder that the great majority of people on board survived.

costa-2.jpgThe ship was close to land, far too close passing the small island of Giglio, passengers assembled for dinner, when it struck rocks and was badly holed, suddenly healing and left half-submerged.

Amid reports of panic, people jumping  into the sea and swimming ashore,  a rescue operation that appeared prompt, caring and efficient saw emergency workers combing through the hull, on the weekend releasing several people trapped below becks.

Some of a small number of Australians among the passengers said there’d been confusion , with crew members initially denying there was a problem or not knowing what to do.

Out of some 4200 on board, by late Monday six were known to have lost their lives with 15 still not accounted for, over 60 with injuries. (Later reports said that on a recount, 29 might still be unaccounted for).

Winter seas began to build up in the area of the wreck by Tuesday, hampering rescue efforts, and raising fears that the ship could begin to slip, or would start discharging oil.

The Costa Concordia is listed as the property of Carnival Corporation and operated by Costa Cruises, which quickly blamed the captain, who faced charges for the wrecking of the vessel and loss of life.

costa-concordia-1.jpgOn one compilation, at 114.500 tonnes, 290 metres in length, it was the 26th largest liner in the world, completed five years ago as one of a generation of very large ships transporting holiday crowds on wandering courses around most parts of the globe.

concord-allure-of-seas.jpgThe biggest of the floating cities, Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas (picture), is 225.282 tonnes, 360 metres long, able to carry 6360 passengers and 2300 crew.

Compared to famous liners from times past:

The ill-fated Titanic at 53300 tonnes, and 269 metres, carried 2224 people on her maiden voyage just under 100 years ago, (of whom 710 survived after the ship’s collision with an iceberg on 15.4.12, and sinking in the North Atlantic).

The Queen Mary, 1936-67, 81.961 tonnes, 294 metres, had comfortable accommodation for over 2000, many more during service as a troop ship during the Second World War.

France’s great rival of QM, Normandie, completed in 1932 and destroyed in a fire ten years later, was 79.2980 tonnes, length 314 metres, carrying 1972 passengers and 1345 crew.

Reference, Bern, “Rescuers search stricken Italy cruise ship”, 14.1.12., (16.1.12).

Wikipedia, SF, List of the world’s largest cruise ships., (16.1.12).

Pictures,, wikipedia