A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2014 Jul 23, 11:21 -0700
The corpse of the Costa Concordia is "sailing" for Genoa today. Via the gCaptain site, you can track its progress live here.
For a little NavList nostalgia, I wrote, on January 13, 2012:
"There are bound to be interesting discussions of navigation after this astounding event. Apparently the Costa Concordia with thousands of passengers and crew aboard has run aground on the rocks off the island of Giglio, roughly forty miles south of Elba. The hull was ripped open. The vessel is listing, perhaps sinking. It is reported that at least eight people are dead. How does a ship like this end up on the rocks?"
And a day later:
"Modern cruise ships usually have flat-bottom hulls. Once the ship took on enough water, assuming there are not sufficient bulkheads to prevent it, it would be prone severe rolling and then listing either to port OR starboard if there's enough of a "free surface effect". The massive damage is on the port side while it settled on it starboard side. By the way, I think they were sailing northbound (they had left from Civitavecchia and also it's consistent with the damage on the port side) so they may well have had time to come about. There's a major rocky reef about half a mile south of the village that juts well out to the east. If they struck there, the little harbor may have looked like a good target for a grounding after they realized that the vessel was sinking. At least they could have jammed the bow in there.
There were early reports that they struck an unmarked rock which, I think, is preposterous. That region is one of the best charted in the entire world. There's no way they should have been that close to shore. Either the captain was doing something stupid, maybe for a nice "photo opp", or he and his officers were focused on some minor problem while the vessel plowed towards the rocks. It wouldn't even surprise me to learn that the captain was navigating visually.
It will be interesting to see what happens to the wreck. It's sitting on a rather steep slope. It may slide deeper, especially if there is a severe storm soon. I can't imagine that it could be re-floated for any reasonable price. The scale is hard to appreciate. That enormous gash in the port side is 300 feet long, but that's less than one-third of the ship's length."