Concordia disaster: Should a captain go down with his ship? - Ships Nostalgia
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Concordia disaster: Should a captain go down with his ship?

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  #1  
Old 19th January 2012, 09:51
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Concordia disaster: Should a captain go down with his ship?

Captain Schettino abandoned his ship, but who’s to say how we would behave in a similar situation.

Thought provoking piece here by Theodore Dalrymple in the DT.
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  #2  
Old 19th January 2012, 10:05
jaguar06 jaguar06 is offline
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I'd like to think I'd do the right thing. Some years ago, I wanted an ice cream cone rather badly late one night. I took the XJS coupe, relatively fresh from its rebuild after a rather all-consuming fire the prior Christmas Eve. As I sat at the red signal light, I watched the young couple just ahead in their new 7 series BMW laughing. Suddenly their entire car was engulfed in a huge orange fireball that left them as black silhouettes. I could see in that first second that they were frozen in complete shock. I slammed the gear shift into park and jumped out, rushing to the Beemer to open the door. They made it out in the second that followed, but the car was completely consumed, with body sheet metal totally gone and only the thicker bits of frame remaining. In that second, I knew I could be burned and I'd already been in their very situation not once but twice in my life. I couldn't just sit there and watch those two young people burn. I can't understand not doing what's right, though I can't understand either setting aside personal welfare, in retrospect, not rationally. But emotionally, yes. I've been in other situations in my life even more risky and always somehow managed to do the right thing, always seeming later only by instinct and through no conscious thought process. (Old acquaintances call me a lightning rod for disaster.) I think it's how one's wired to either care about others or not. Criminals frequently have no or low empathy for their fellow human beings or even lesser living creatures. Doubtless many non-criminal individuals have the same difference but only few get involved in or create situations where their character shows.
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Old 19th January 2012, 10:11
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Don't know how I would have reacted but my pride probably would not have allowed me to abandon the ship before everyone else. Not daft enough to steam a large vessel less than 300 meters off a rocky shore though.
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  #4  
Old 19th January 2012, 10:23
jaguar06 jaguar06 is offline
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That author was right about the "Lord Jim". I recalled the musty smell of that ancient first edition I read at age ten as I contemplated the Concordia captain Saturday afternoon. (Maybe the only book I wish I'd kept that I didn't, other than maybe, "Eddie the Dog Catcher".)
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Old 19th January 2012, 10:26
willhastie willhastie is offline  
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british avon 1974 persian gulf caught fire, captain ordered abandon ship and stayed put with about seven crew.very orderly .
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  #6  
Old 19th January 2012, 10:40
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Greetings,

Only if the company provide a string quartet for the occasion!, well that's what I told my boss.
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  #7  
Old 19th January 2012, 10:43
jaguar06 jaguar06 is offline
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(The churchbells nearby frequently play "Nearer My God to Thee". It always stops me in my tracks to listen amid raking leaves or watering roses even though I've made my reservations in the "smoking section".)
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  #8  
Old 19th January 2012, 10:51
david m leadbetter david m leadbetter is offline  
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Jaguar06

What is bravery?
What then is cowardice?
Some philosopher says that we are the sum total of our experiences at this or that time, What then?

As with many others we have to have training for our chosen profession(s) and so we understand the requirements and the risks that are likely to face us. When we do face those risks for ourselves we are left with the descisions and the consequences to go with them. With our training WE think little of what others consider extrordinary. These are what make us professionals, and when we come to our extrordinary even then we respond in keeping. There are many tales of heroism, and just as many on the other side. Shipping logs, war diaries, and newspapers are full of them.

For what it's worth,

many governments and news papers have dictated the values of both. for their own purpose and left many with an unwanted legacy.
If YOU put in a personal effort at your cost YOU know it. It is not for others to praise or deny. There is no more bitter critic than that one inside your head who will persue you and persecute to your very last breath for your percieved failure when you could have made a difference.

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Old 19th January 2012, 11:02
david m leadbetter david m leadbetter is offline  
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Something everyone else thinks.

Why the H### has this man deviated from the proper course and why if he knows company policy, the maritime law, his responsibility, and so on has he kept on doing it.??
Now he's come unstuck in a very big way !! HE who calls the tune pays the piper.

David L.
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  #10  
Old 19th January 2012, 11:05
jaguar06 jaguar06 is offline
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I consider that we leave this world in that last minute only with the last thought and I'd have a hard time facing it if it were not that I did the right thing. (Even if the next second there's nothing but blackness. Better if there's blackness. Otherwise God's got a problem.)
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  #11  
Old 19th January 2012, 11:17
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This thread has provoked some soul-searching, makes one think about attributing blame. There but for the grace of God go I!
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  #12  
Old 19th January 2012, 11:38
jaguar06 jaguar06 is offline
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Ironically, in the background, I'm half-watching a 50-year-old American TV show, generally a comedy, "The Patty Duke Show", and the father just said, essentially, to the daughter, "There's nothing brave about succeeding and doing a thing where there's no risk involved, nor anything cowardly or weak in trying but failing to do the right thing at great risk".
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  #13  
Old 19th January 2012, 11:41
CAPTAIN JEREMY CAPTAIN JEREMY is offline  
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Whereas there is nothing to say that the Captain is the last to leave, he has a moral and a legal obligation to ensure the safety of all on board. I cannot see how you can fulfill that if you have already left the vessel.

Earlier in my career, I was faced with a serious fire. When confronted by flames and smoke my first reaction was that I could not go into the space, but then I told myself that I must, and from then on my training took over and the job was done. The Chief Engineer and myself both went into the burning engine room without fire suits & BA. It was only through our example that the fully kitted fire parties finally decided to enter as well, if only to find out what had happened to us, by which time the fire was under control.

The job of Captain is about leadership, and setting an example. If you don't set an example, how can you expect all those who work for you to carry out their duties? Maybe you are scared s***less, but you don't show it. But that is where training comes in. Lots of it, so your reactions are automatic. However, you should also have an integrated team working with you, to support you. But, at the end of the day, the big decisions are the Captain's and he has to live with the consequences of his decisions and actions.

In similar circumstances, what would I do? My duty I hope.
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  #14  
Old 19th January 2012, 11:44
jaguar06 jaguar06 is offline
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Noting the thread title question, I'd say, "No, he shouldn't go down with the ship. All life is important. If in that final moment he can't save another, but only himself, then he should save himself". The trick is what's the last moment a man can tolerate? If it's well before the final plunge, it says something about the man. Concordia had't made her final plunge when her master reckoned himself that there were 200 people approximate still aboard while he was off. Heck, she STILL hasn't made that final plunge. (Even I can dive and swim a couple of hundred yards.)
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  #15  
Old 19th January 2012, 12:43
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Costa Concordia has not yet sunk. He should still be aboard.
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  #16  
Old 19th January 2012, 13:36
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Remember an occasion at boat drill the crew did not do it properly.
Had them repeat it until they did.
Afterwards I assembled them and spoke about the errors and what not to do.
I reminded them that this captain was not going down with the ship and that I did not anticipate anyone else doing so.
That was why we had drills to ensure we knew what to do when and if the time came to abandon ship.
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  #17  
Old 19th January 2012, 14:57
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Judging by an interview given by a crew member last night on BBC Look North it would appear that JC's assesment of what happened may well be correct, this Ent Crewmember was in his cabin Aft on the Starboad side when he felt a severe and unusual turn to Starboard followed shortly after by a grinding noise
It is an offence in Italy for a Master to leave his ship before the Crew/Passenger's and it carries a 15 year sentence.
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  #18  
Old 19th January 2012, 16:59
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This thread had me look up Captain North of the Atlantic Conveyor, it is a stark contrast! http://glosters.tripod.com/falkland.htm
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  #19  
Old 19th January 2012, 17:24
dundalkie dundalkie is offline  
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I think its from shakesphere's henry 4th and its mister falstaff " Its better being a live coward than a dead hero" self preservation is a strong impulse. who knows how we would behave in a dangerous situation.
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  #20  
Old 19th January 2012, 21:50
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I have a question for the more knowledgeable re large Passenger/Cruise ships.

What would be the capacity of one of those lifeboats, in other words how many bums on seats when properly filled.
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  #21  
Old 19th January 2012, 22:07
CAPTAIN JEREMY CAPTAIN JEREMY is offline  
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Until recently, the maximumm capacity would have been 150, but with the new mega ships they now have life boats with a capacity of 300. However, for the Concordia I am fairly sure that their capacity is 150.
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Old 19th January 2012, 22:53
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Thank you for that Captain.

I note Concordia appears to have three different types and sizes judging by the photos, most of those being the middle size.

So based on 150 capacity and an average range of passengers aged from kids to Granny`s you would be doing well to fill one of those in 10 minutes even in ideal conditions with no panic.
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Old 19th January 2012, 23:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadburn View Post
Crewmember was in his cabin Aft on the Starboard side when he felt a severe and unusual turn to Starboard followed shortly after by a grinding noise
Makes sense..... I have never sailed with azipods but I image than when you alter course ( to stbd in this case) with them the stern would 'kick' a lot more ( to port) than with a conventional rudder... a bit like having a big outboard motor on the back of the boat.....
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  #24  
Old 19th January 2012, 23:14
randcmackenzie randcmackenzie is offline  
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From what I see she has conventional propellers, Cisco.

B/R
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  #25  
Old 19th January 2012, 23:50
jaguar06 jaguar06 is offline
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The dearth of informaton about her technical particulars like compartment arrangements and propulsion and such has rather surprised me as the days have worn on, while every site seems focused on a probably inconsequential Moldavan blonde today. Most aircrashes lead to fairly technical information about systems, even in the more usually popular media. Strange the biggest shipwreck in 100 years yields so little.
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