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

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  #51  
Old 21st January 2012, 11:06
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Salvage?

How would the rules of Salvage affect all of this?

Could it be that the reason the Captain did not go with a full scale abandon ship was that he was thinking about the salvage?

What would his bosses by telling him to do, via his mobile?

No, no one would put that kind of priority on the potential finacial loss to salvage!

Might just explain some of the words used in the communications though!

Perish the thought!

(removes deep cynic cap!)
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Last edited by tedc; 21st January 2012 at 11:10.. Reason: spelling
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  #52  
Old 21st January 2012, 11:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsell View Post
A fine example of a captain remaining on his ship to the last:http://www.deepimage.co.uk/wrecks/fl...-in-camden.htm
Incidentally, I was in the same storm, but we made it home with lots of damage and a heavy starboard list.

Taff
Taff
I remember the event very well he was a very brave man and admired by many
Tom S
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  #53  
Old 21st January 2012, 12:10
Piero43 Piero43 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gollywobbler View Post
.........I've also been reading about a man called Mario Pellegrini. According to several of the newspapers, he was one of the ship's officers. According to Sgr Pellegrini himself, he's the Deputy Mayor of Giglio and nothing to do with the ship! So are there two Mario Pellegrinis or are there journos who have not been bothering to get their facts straight before publishing their latest stories?.....
Mr Pellegrini is the Deputy Major and delegated to the Civil Defense at Giglio. He was involved in the coordination of the evacuation of passengers from ashore. I think I heard in the interview (but I'm not sure), that he boarded the ship after the final grounding at Gabbianara to contact the ship's staff, and this could have create the msunderstanding about his charge. I haven't heard of a Mr Pellegrini among the officers of Concordia.
Piero
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  #54  
Old 21st January 2012, 18:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedc View Post
How would the rules of Salvage affect all of this?

Could it be that the reason the Captain did not go with a full scale abandon ship was that he was thinking about the salvage?

What would his bosses by telling him to do, via his mobile?

No, no one would put that kind of priority on the potential finacial loss to salvage!

Might just explain some of the words used in the communications though!

Perish the thought!

(removes deep cynic cap!)
You see it all the time with operators of ships and rigs - the assessment of risk as:

'It'll be okay - it will never happen'

Al
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  #55  
Old 24th January 2012, 04:45
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I think the Captain should be there to make sure everyone is safe and off in a disaster, If that means that he's the last one then so be it, I also think it's a matter of honour, and lets face it there's not much of that left today.
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  #56  
Old 24th January 2012, 05:16
looneylectrics looneylectrics is offline
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I think the tradition of the Captain going down with the ship comes from the Royal Navy. As anyone who has been in the Armed Forces knows if you lose it you pay for it.

I think it comes from the Reader's Digest "Humour in Uniform" Circa 1960's.
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  #57  
Old 25th January 2012, 11:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedc View Post
How would the rules of Salvage affect all of this?

Could it be that the reason the Captain did not go with a full scale abandon ship was that he was thinking about the salvage?

What would his bosses by telling him to do, via his mobile?

No, no one would put that kind of priority on the potential finacial loss to salvage!

Might just explain some of the words used in the communications though!

Perish the thought!

(removes deep cynic cap!)
I think that as a one time salvage lawyer acting for, amongst others, Smit, I can take a stab at answering that.

It is a red herring. It would have no effect at all, unless, like the San Demetrio, the ship was abandoned by the entire crew "sine spe revertandi" (without a hope of returning), in which case the salvage award might have been higher.

You'll recall that the SAN DEMETRIO was the only case where a crew got an award for salving their own ship and that was because their contracts were terminated at the point where they abandoned a blazing hulk in mid-Atlantic, expecting her to go down.
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  #58  
Old 25th January 2012, 11:49
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I have been racking my brain to try to remember a remark by a Cunard Commodore who had command of one or both of the "Queens" in WW2 to the effect that having to be the last man of twelve thousand or so to leave the ship was not an encouraging prospect! Can anyone remember?
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  #59  
Old 25th January 2012, 13:27
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Said with a North Country accent (faint) however like you I cannot remember who............which I must admit I should.
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  #60  
Old 25th January 2012, 13:37
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Was it Sir James Bisset.........or Sir Cyril G Illingworth?
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  #61  
Old 25th January 2012, 14:34
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What has happened to the BBC? For some reason there are only "about 2500 tonnes" of fuel onboard instead of "in excess of 2.4 MILLION Litres"!

Does the usual psychological inflation only occur when it is in contact with seawater or associated fauna? or is it that nice clean passenger vessel fuel is different from a tanker's dirty crude?
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  #62  
Old 25th January 2012, 14:47
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Only if you throw in a few birds.
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  #63  
Old 25th January 2012, 16:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike S View Post
Was it Sir James Bisset.........or Sir Cyril G Illingworth?
Sir James Bisset had a very faint North Country accent - what I might call a Wirral accent - plummy Liverpool! If you did not know where he came from you might miss it. He seems a likely candidate...

Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 25th January 2012 at 19:49..
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  #64  
Old 27th January 2012, 19:27
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On a luxury cruise ship there are many incidents (apart from fires, collisions and groundings) every day requiring the urgent, personal attention of the Master! The cargo, i.e. the passengers, are never happy. The ship is rolling and the cabin is dirty, noisy, vibrating, the shower or air.con too hot or cold, toilet/TV/radio not working, which must be brought to the attention of the Master as Chief Purser or cabin staff is incompetent. Same in the restaurants and bars! Cold food, lousy service, staff negligent. It is always the fault of the Master! And the Master must fix it! Never a quiet moment. Complaining passengers just want a free cruise as compensation. So the Masters were happy when I was aboard residing in the Owner’s suite! OK, OK, I was not the Owner, just his representative, but I always told complaining and curious passengers that YES, I am the Owner(‘s representative). How can I help? A free bottle of champagne? Caviar or lobster?
Otherwise a problem for the Owner’s representative was cruise ship officers getting crazy over daily complaining cargo (read passengers). Many officers wanted to go back to a peaceful oil tanker or bulk carrier with … no passengers!

BTW - navigation on a cruise liner is generally done by a 2/O and safety is in the hand of 1/O so the Master's most important function is to keep the passengers happy ... to spend as much money aboard!
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  #65  
Old 29th January 2012, 20:22
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I cant see any real reason for a master to go down with the ship, although I could see it happening, on a cargo ship.

Do these ships have a floating command centre, after all trying to get 4000 souls off a ship, and to safety, as the ship starts to list and systems fail, must be some job.
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  #66  
Old 29th January 2012, 20:40
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I don't think that anyone was suggesting that the master should perish.....

But, with PA still available, and radio comms to the outside world - I do expect him to remain as long as he can be effective.

And, in the event of him taking an alternative option............

I expect him to be able to justify his actions.

Al
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  #67  
Old 30th January 2012, 05:51
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Reports in the papers here in Aus. say the Captain "fell into a lifeboat", clutching a laptop and mobile phone, where he found the Second officer and one other officer already in the boat.
The actual launching of lifeboats on these passenger ships has always fascinated me given the very few numbers of actual Seamen onboard these ships. I'm sorry, but to entrust a barman or cabin steward to lower a lifeboat safely, fully loaded seems rather a dangerous practise.
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  #68  
Old 30th January 2012, 12:58
CAPTAIN JEREMY CAPTAIN JEREMY is offline  
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Originally Posted by umtali View Post
Reports in the papers here in Aus. say the Captain "fell into a lifeboat", clutching a laptop and mobile phone, where he found the Second officer and one other officer already in the boat.
The actual launching of lifeboats on these passenger ships has always fascinated me given the very few numbers of actual Seamen onboard these ships. I'm sorry, but to entrust a barman or cabin steward to lower a lifeboat safely, fully loaded seems rather a dangerous practise.
The launching of modern boats is not so difficult. We have the boats prepared by the preparation party in advance of the abandon ship, so they are at embarkation level and bowsed in in advance. The boat preparation party is a mixture of seamen, engineers, but mainly hotel crew under the direction of the bosun.

Each of the boats is under the command of a seaman (officer or rating) but the crew again may be hotel. When fully loaded, the boat is lowered remotely by the boat commander from inside the boat. the boat has both "on load" release and remote "off load" release and the painter can be released remotely. The part which concerns me most is their getting away from the ship's side, as invariably the crew forget about the boat hooks.

The bulk of the crew are evacuated using life rafts. This allows the passengers to be evacuated in good time (in theory) while the crew can still carry out their tasks to the end, be it evacuation, fire fighting, containment or whatever.

Whether everything goes to plan in a real emergency remains to be seen, but with lots of training and regular certification by US Coastguard etc, I hope that they will be able to do their jobs when the lights go out!! If not, I have not done my job properly!
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  #69  
Old 7th February 2012, 15:46
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Testing for moral fibre and judgement...

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Originally Posted by NoR View Post
The fact that Captain Schettino lacked the courage to deal with a catastrophic situation isn't his fault. This doesn't mean he shouldn't be punished. The real question is that he shouldn't have been in command at all. He carried out a crazy manoever with his ship and was then incapable of dealing with the consequences.

Is there any way of establishing whether a person has the necessary judgement and moral fibre before given command?

Bad though this incedent is, it is nowhere near as bad as the Herald, which was truly disgraceful.
Hello NoR,

You raise an interesting point about selection processes. Post-MN career I have worked in human resources for 38 years. I'm not aware of any specific psychometric instruments, but I think that there are some useful tools that could play their part.

There is a questionnaire which explores honesty, developed for the retail industry in an attempt to reduce staff theft. I'd want to explore that one as it might provide some useful insights into morality and attitude to risk.

An even more interesting one, which I use regularly for senior management development, is the FIRO-B (fundamental interpersonal relationships orientation - behaviours). This was originally developed by a child psychologist, Schultz, in the USA around 1940. It was adopted by the US Navy and formed part of the selection process for putting together the officer team for their submarines. Personality and behaviours are critical for effective close cooperation, exacerbated by combat pressures. One of the aspects it measures is the personality type of Control (and by implication, whether or not the individual's default mode of leadership will be Autocratic...a bit like Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny).

I suspect that this will be an aspect of the incident that will be explored by the Italian board of inquiry. Why do I think that? Well, in articles I've read about the Capt and his team, there is a reported incident of him ignoring/going against his officers' advice and taking his ship out of Miami in high winds. This leads me to wonder about the dynamics of his team, and there attitude to the ships master. If he doesn't listen (and maybe even dishes out rollickings) then do I speak up and contradict him in future situations?

There was an officer of the watch on the bridge when Schettino took command and acted both foolishly and dangerously. Did the OOW raise his concerns or not? If they were, clearly they weren't acted upon.

I am minded of the concept of Cockpit Resource Management used for training the flight crews in commercial airlines. It is reckoned that something of the order of 70% of critical incidents and crashes are actually caused by human error in systems failures (as opposed to technical/hardware failures). And the human failures are not the sole responsibility of an individual but are the result of ineffective relationships of the cockpit team. If you care to google "cockpit resource management" you'll find some really enlightening info, with lots of training material on YouTube. The lessons apply to the bridge of a ship, as well as to the Boardrooms of organisations (as I've experienced in my career!).

When I took my tickets forty years ago there was nothing in the syllabus about people management and leadership, and maybe things have moved on since then - I hope so. I'd be really interested to know if CRM is now used in the training of ships officers.
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  #70  
Old 7th February 2012, 16:42
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There has been some discussion on the adjacent thread which concludes that, as you so rightly say, the initial grounding in this case is essentially an MCRM issue

CRM, in its seagoing form as Bridge Resource Management, has been around in shipping for twenty five years or so and, as Maritime Crew Resource Management, is about to become mandatory.

Interestingly, a correspondent in that thread points out that Carnival do all their simulator work at their Dutch facility, and training is all "in house".

That seems to me to be not the best idea; I believe very firmly in using third party training. In house training can reinforce corporate bad practice. There have been other cases of Carnival's Italian officers choosing to "do it by eye" rather than using all available means of fixing position and becoming aware of other vessels.

Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 7th February 2012 at 16:48..
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  #71  
Old 7th February 2012, 16:46
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Thanks, that's really interesting to know. I'll do some googling to learn more!
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  #72  
Old 7th February 2012, 17:11
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Thanks, that's really interesting to know. I'll do some googling to learn more!
A quick plug for my own outfit's MCRM provider here - their website includes reference to the mandatory Leadership and Management training.

http://www.oaa.com/pages/training_courses/maritime

Oxford Aviation took over SAS Training who were the people who introduced CRM into the shipping world.
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  #73  
Old 7th February 2012, 18:46
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Further to that - I did point out, on the said adjacent thread, my observations of the command hierarchy on the two Costa ships on which I have travelled.
It seemed to be a rigid top down, almost military, set up - Not at all conducive to Crew Resource Management principles.
Questioning one's line manager would probably be considered a bad career move, but I might be wrong.
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  #74  
Old 7th February 2012, 19:32
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I'm way out of date on this but can I infer from the previous couple of posts that it is a democracy on the bridge these days ?
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  #75  
Old 8th February 2012, 12:41
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Not democracy....but listening skills coupled with a touch of humility!

I think what we are looking at is "situational leadership" in management development jargon.

In an emergency situation it will be appropriate for a leader to be directive/autocratic; a consultative style would be inappropriate as the situation calls for quick, firm action. Similarly, where a subordinate is inexperienced, this style will be appropriate where errors are likely to be made or the subordinate simply hasn't got the requisite skills.

In all other situations, the leader should recognise that s/he may not have all the answers or may even be 'in error' in their judgement if they are not aware of all the relevant facts that have a bearing on the situation.

Their decision/interpretation of the situation needs to be challenged so that a review of all the facts is taken into account.

That, in my book, isn't about democracy on the bridge, in an aircraft cockpit, in the boardroom, or in any other leadership situation. It is about making the best use of the talents and experience of all involved.....but ultimately it is the leader (in this particular instance, the Captain) who decides and carries the can for the consequences.

Hence my comment about listening, and having a touch of humility to recognise that we are all fallible.
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