Satellite photo of Costa Concordia

from Digital Globe:


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  • Hakim of Phut

    Does make any sense how this ship has capsized in this way. The side holed is  now well above water and if it was going to capsize Wahine style you would think it would have gone over to the  side where it was holed. The Wahine had vehicle decks on the lower levels  which of course when flooded can quickly unbalance a vessel. But this was a passenger ship  with its open spaces high up the structure and not running along  most of the length.
    If they can get a plane to float on the surface long enough to get the passengers off after ditching in the water they should be able to have a passenger ship to settle on an relatively even keel when its grounded after being holed.  This is what occurred with the Mikhail Lermontov in the Marlborough sounds.

    • I imagine that Conway Captain will be along shortly to discuss fluid dynamics and modern hull construction to you to explain the problem.

    • EX Navy Greg

      The simple answer is 114,000 tonnes of steel moving sideways takes a lot of stopping.

      • Hakim of Phut

        Ex NG, you should know that 114Kt is NOT the weight of the ship. Its GRT which is based on volume.The weight of water displaced ,( is that DWT?) would be far lower, and could be about 40Kt

      • EX Navy Greg

        Correct Hakum

    • Ploughman

      Free water sloshed to the starboard side when the starboard midships side grounded against the sand bar.  The momentum of the water meant it didn’t stop so it went to starboard and rolled the ship over on it side.  The silly bugger of a captain should have known all this, but what can you say of a bloke who only a few years earlier was a security officer!  Just how much seamanship did he know?
      Had he anchored further out the ship would have stayed upright and made rescue much easier.

      • ConwayCaptain


        On these ships the Security Officer is a senior officer and security inc all safety ie Fi Fighting, Life Saving Appliances etc is his job so he is of Staff Captain Rank and therefore has a Masters Cert

  • Anonymous

    This sinking reminds me of the Mikhail Lermontov one.
    Both sinkings seem to have involved the ships going where they shouldn’t have.

  • ConwayCaptain

    Here I Am!!!!

    Thjere has been a lot of discussion on my Conway chat site about this.  Including input from a Det Norske Veritas Surveyor with a degree in Naval Architecture!!!! 

    When you turn a ship it does not turn in a circle it “skids” around  The rudder is trying to turn her and against this is the forward momentum trying to propel here in a straight line.  This means also that any “free surface” will move towards the outside of the turn thus causing the vessel to list to that side.

    Once she takes the bottom the upthrust of the sea floor will affect her stability as well and cause a loss of GM ( The GM is a nmeasure of her stability and is measured in metres).

    The vessel has a number of compartments which reach up to the  margin deck.  In the bulkheads dividing these are WT doors and these are meant to be kept closed at all tinmes at sea apart from when people can pass through going about their business, these are in crew only areas and these can be closed automatically from the bridge.

    How many of these WT doors were open or why the vessel went over like she did will only be known after there has been an enquiry.  The Chairman of RINA the Itallian CLass Society has resigned.  They approved the plans for the CC + they also certified her Safe SHip Management as well and I would assume ISO.

    • Hakim of Phut

      Whats your blog?

      • ConwayCaptain

        Dont have one

      • This is his blog…regular and intelligent commenter that he is.

  • ConwayCaptain

    Also as this ship hit the reef moving sideways the hull would have stopped but the free surface would have kept moving tghus forcing the vessel to list to that side.  Takbngb the bottom with the resuklting loss of GM, and Free Surface also reduces your GM she could have gone into negative stability and over she went.

  • ConwayCaptain

    The Master of the CC has been reported as saying that the company liked these cruise bys and approved of them!!!~!~!~!~!  The Pax liked them and it was gpopod advertising for the Company.  If this is true and it can be proved that Costa Cruises have a history of doing this with the company’s tacit approval then we may see the insurers take them to court and refuse to pay out.

    • QUintin Hogg

      CC This casualty will end up in the courts whatever happens.

      If what is said about this companies opperating practices is true I would expect that the insurers will decline cover. 

      That will in turn mean the company will take the insurers to court.  Given that there is cover to about $1 billion (according to one of my contacts in the marine insurance world) there is a lot of reasons to sue.

      • ConwayCaptain


        It is US$1BN ++++++++

        If they decline cover then Carnival Cruises could be in deep doo doo.  They are 50% of the cruise industry.

      • Quintin Hogg


        It will definitely end up in Court (or courts) then.

        Carnival can consider itself in doo-doo.  The depth is all that needs to be ascertained.

      • Hakim of Phut

        Even among Costa Cruises the CC will hardly be missed, it was only one of many. It depends on how much money Carnival has borrowed against its ships that will affect how they survive. 
        The passengers will get nix unless they fight in a US  court and with very few US citizens not worth while. The depreciated value of the hull could be about US$350 mill, then theres the salvage costs, as we all  know very well, depending on  Italy signing certain treaties, that could be smaller than the actual costs.
        The ships bunkers mostly contain  diesel rather than the  porridge like bunker fuel that cargo ships use.Perhaps all the Costa Cruise ships have  been re registered in  Greece in the last week to get them out of reach of the Italian courts.

      • ConwayCaptain

        After the Exxon Valdez disaster all the oil majors registered their ships in single ship cos and renamed them so people didnt know who they belonged to ie Exxon ABC.

        Howvere if people want to chase these owners courts have held that the final owner is THE OWNER so they cant hide behind “Oh its not my ships”

        It will be inetersting to seewhat the end result of the Rena is as the ship is owned in Liberia, the beneficial owner is Costmare (no relation to Costa Cruises) and is managed by another Costamare Co.

        They have all the ISO etc etc bullshit

  • ConwayCaptain

    Tonnages exp;lained

    There are two types of tonnages at sea.

    1 Is Weight Tonnes.

    Light displacement is the weight of the ship and machinery and water in her boilers only.

    Deadweight is the weight of the oil, ballast, fresh water and cargo in the ship.

    Therefore LD + DWT is the bdisplacement of the ship at a given moment.

    She can be loaded to a certain draft which you will know as the Plimsoll Line and the lines alonside the circle with the line through it are the drafts she can be loaded to   The world is divided into zones so when you arrive in a zone your draft must not be greater than your draft for that zone.

    These are W = winter, S= Summer T = Tropical  F= Fresh so if you go from Salt water with a SG of 1.025 to water with an SG of say 1.01 then you can only have a draft no greater than your F line.  TF is Tropical Fresh.

    Now if youy are steaming from say the UK to Montevideo you cann go through an area of relatively Fresh water as you pass the Outflow of the Amazon.

    2 Measurement Tonnes

    Thses are Gross Registered and Nett Registered tobnnes and are a volumetric measurement of the ships earning capacity.  Dont ask me to explain how they work it out for pax vessels as it is v complcated. 

    So if someone says that a tanker is 200,000 toness that is the DWT she can carry.  Bit if they say that the Pax vessel is 115,000 tonnes that is usually her GRT.  Her DWT is nmost probvably about 20,000 but her displacement is larger than this.

    The press as usual do no research and dont know the diff between GRTm, BRT, DWT or Displacement.

  • ConwayCaptain

    Thank you WO for your kind comment.

    Like the cavalry I bring decorum to what would otherwise be an unseemly brawl.

  • ConwayCaptain

    When I did my professional certificates at the auckland Nautical School with the great and much respected Captain Macmillan he used to take us for Collision Regs every Friday and also ask oral questions about anything.  It was not unknown for him to chuck a copy of Nories Nautical Tables across the room at you.  If you didnt know your ColRegs or your subject he would vent his wrath.

    I hope you dont end up in front of Hewson J he would say.  Mr Justice Hewson (Old Conway) was on the High Court Bench in the Probate Divorce and Admiralty Division (Wills Wives and Wrecks) and was know to be very useful with the green stripe across an officers certifcate.  He would make Schittoni quake in his boots.

    • Anonymous

      Where were you when we were discussing the Ady Gil bumper boat tactics? :)

      • ConwayCaptain

        I was not aware of this auspicious site at the time.

    • Hakim of Phut

      Judges are often very tough on engineering/nautical professions. Very accommodating  for lawyers who make mistakes though

  • ConwayCaptain

    Go to the other item on thi sw eb site about the CC and look at the article there by Christopher Brooker.

    The Naval Arch experts have been warning about these designs for some time.

    I wonder why there isnt a centre line bulkhead???

    If you divdie a space into two your free surface reduces by 1/nsauared.  In other words you divide it is two your free surface is bow 1/4 divide into 3 it is now 1/9 and so on.

    • EX Navy Greg

      Captain, a claim this size will have implications for the whole marine insurance sector.
      How does the “general averages” principle tie in with this ?

      • ConwayCaptain

        GA does not apply tp pax.

        General Average is bought in on cargo ships and is a very complex exercise to carry out.

        The principal is this.

        All voyages are considered to be an adventure and that everyon involved in the voyage has a stake in that adventure.  That is the owner and the ccargo owners.

        So if a ship breaks down, catches fire etc everyone chips in.

        So we have a ship worth 10 million and 5 parcels of cargp worth 2 million each.  Toatl 20 million.

        Ship breaks down and has to go ingo a port for repairs to continue the voyage and the owner declares GA.

        Total cost of repairs etc is 2 million dollars. 

        Shipowner pays 1 million and each cargo owner pays 200K as tgeir share to progress the voyage.

        That is GA and an average adjustor is a very comple job.  The principles of GA go back to the Phonecians.

  • Hakim of Phut

    Could this be why some punters who had their household goods on the Rena salvaged but then  had to pay up to get their container returned ?
    general averaging
    indemnity value
    floods that arent floods
    and then theres the trouble to get them to pay up at all .
    Gee the system is run for the benefit of the insurance companies

    • ConwayCaptain


      There are tge other punters on the Rena or in ChCh I didnt pay insurance or the full ins then the Shipping co or the govt should pay out

      No Way.

      Read the back of a Bill of Lading and see what “Outs” the Shipping Cos have.

      Also the Ins cos send along a surveyor to a cargo claim.  And I have been a surveyor, and see how the idiots send their caro in the way of securing, packagingf etc.

      Insurance is about something that might happen not that will happen.  I have seen glass sent in cardboard bozes no packaging etc etc.

      I used to do survey work for a bloke who had shipped everything from Ming Varses to heavy machinery.  He never had a claim and his premia were the lowest in the business.

      He was forced ot by the fact that the cheaper people got away with itb until shits happened.

      I have done “opinion” work for a Marine Ins Lawyer and he showed me two caes for an aopinion and he was going with A a nd dropping B.

      I told him that A would not be winnable as the shi[pping Co kept their gear in order and in good condirion but B didnt.  I  Had photos of Bs gear and it was innthe same condition as I have seen in the press from the Rena.  My photios were taken standing on a container crane pedestal as the Shipping Co wouldnt let me on board.  Weon B and eventually this Co went out of business for more reasons than just this.

      I had a manufacturer sending major pieces odf equipment badly packed on this same co and they lost cover,

      I had a “shit fight” on a pievce of marine equipment being sent to japan on a trailer literally on square wheels.  I surveyed this onn theb wharf and phoned the ins co and they removed cover. They goyt oseas cover now what would the Japanes think who put a premium on presentationnsay when this heap of shit turned up.

  • Chuck

    One of the most unexpected events in history. Question goes, what the hell really happened?!

    JBH Worldwide

    • ConwayCaptain

      Not unexpected at all just why didnt it happen sooner.

      If you knew the lack of training and how these people operate you wouldnt be at all surprised.