M/S Costa Concordia incidents January 13-14, 2012 caused by ship not being seaworthy - Part 5

The second incident; the sudden capsize at 00.20 hrs, January 14, 2012, killing 32 persons. The ship sank a little


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According Wikipedia:

"According to investigators, Captain Schettino left the ship by around 23:30".

Evidently the above is a typical Wikipedia falsification of events:

"I did not abandon a ship with 100 people on board ... the ship suddenly listed and we were thrown into the water"

(Schettino saying that at 00.20 hrs the ship actually started to heel rapidly ending in capsize) .

During the night the damaged but floating and stable ship with four compartments partly up-flooded (double bottom intact) and partly touching rocks at the starboard bilge in two locations but not aground, which most people had then left, however, trimmed more on the stern, the bulkhead deck aft was submerged, one compartment aft (or forward?) of the up-flooded compartments was apparently progressively flooded and the ship suddenly listed to 90° starboard (as seen on the Italian Coastguard video http://video.repubblica.it/dossier/naufragio-giglio-costa-concordia/la-fuga-dalla-concordia-il-video-a-infrarossi/85900?video) linked to in part 2).

The ship suddenly capsized and then floated high on its side with 90° heel supported by the shore sea floor!

A ship that is aground, i.e. with its flat bottom in contact with an assumed flat sea floor, cannot capsize, as the bottom contact prevents capsize.

The clock came under water early morning January 14 and stopped due to a sudden capsize

Say the capsize started 00.20 hrs the next day. According Italian Marine Casualty Investigation Central Board Schettino was on the ship, when it suddenly capsized, which means that Schettino and crew didn't expect the ship to capsize.
It would appear that the angle of heel was about 45° at 00.28 hrs (the ship was still floating), when Schettino had reached the shore 30 meters away and could witness the part sinking from there.

Evacuation of all aboard was almost completed, when capsize took place. The ship's weak deck house was crushed in contact with sea floor close to shore after capsize. The ship deck house was then resting on the sea floor, while the ship partly sank due to down flooding of all hull compartments.

Source: http://video.repubblica.it/dossier/naufragio-giglio-costa-concordia/la-fuga-dalla-concordia-il-video-a-infrarossi/85900?video

Costa Concordia after capsize but still floating very close to shore say at 01.30 hrs but before sinking 14 January 2012. The port side is horizontal 20+ meter above water. Persons on the port side open deck still trying to get off using lifeboats are trapped standing on the inside wall now a floor. The few persons inside the ship have now no chance whatsoever. At this time starboard deck house top side 10 meter below water had been locally crushed forward and aft. Later the lower starboard part and the hull starboard bilge and bottom were further damaged, when ship displaced say six meters further down and 30-40 meters further away from shore on the rocks on the slooping sea floor, while part sinking ... all the fault of the Master, of course. Plenty of boats are seen around the floating ship ... not yet a wreck. It is at this time Italian Coast Guard orders the Master to return to the ship and upright it. It was an impossible task and the Master refused

Had the sea floor not been there, the ship would have turned 180° and then floated upside down for a while, when air in the hull was compressed a little in undamaged, air tight compartments and some escaped through the damaged port side opening probably causing total sinking as air/water could flow through (open?) watertight doors inside the hull.

Remaining people incl. Schettino aboard - 100, 200, 300? - would have drowned.

(Had the M/S Costa Concordia deck house been built like the M/S Estonia deck house, M/S Costa Concordia would have floated on the deck house! According Swedish experts ships float on their deck houses).

Why is it that the ship capsized? It was a new incident! Media inform that Italian Coast Guard later interfered and hysterically ordered Schettino, on shore or on a boat, to go back to his ship and climb up on some ladder on starboard side (under water), if not, the Italian Coast Guard would take over the command. Such Coast Guard assistance (?) is not very helpful. The damaged ship had been safely anchored with senior officers aboard in command and most people already evacuated.

So what about the capsize recorded on the Italian Coast guard video? We know that the ship's stability was in order after the contact at 21.45 hrs and up flooding of four watertight compartments with undamaged double bottom spaces, e.g. Italian technical investigation report p.156:

"The stability of the vessel is found satisfactory in terms of GM at equilibrium heeling angle, range and area under righting lever curve (representing the residual righting energy of the vessel) from step 1 (representing the vessel situation at 9.45 p.m. of 13 January 2013) to step 9 (representing the vessel situation at 10.31 p.m),whereas at step 10 (representing the vessel situation at 10.54 p.m) the righting lever curve is almost neglectable meaning that the vessel has lost her capability of opposing to healing causes".

We also know that the ship was stable and floating after 22.54 hrs (10.54 p.m), so the damage stability calculations of step 10 are not correct. The capsize (zero righting lever at a certain heel) took place 00.22 - 00.34 hrs the next day - 100 minutes later.

Source: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3544291/Italian%20Maritime%20MSC90%20Presentation%20Costa%20Concordia.pdf

Ships aground do not capsize. And floating ships, albeit with bilge touching a sloping sea floor, do not suddenly capsize unless stability, GZ, righting lever, is lost!

It would appear that watertight doors in the hull aft were opened or not closed, e.g. between watertight compartments #3 (dry and undamaged) and #4 (flooded) and/or #7 (flooded) and #8 (dry and undamaged), water spread from the flooded compartments #4 and "7 to dry spaces #3 aft and #8 forward (progressive flooding) and stability was suddenly completely lost, righting arm GZ became 0 - capsize! - and the ship came to rest floating with 90° heel on the rocks with flat bottom visible as a wall. And first then the vessel started to sink 60-70% as seen on later pictures taken at dawn, etc.

All hull compartments that were still dry were now down-flooded from deckhouse and superstructure. The VDR data would confirm what happened, incl. positions of the watertight doors.

Plans of a passenger ship similar to Costa Concordia can be downloaded here. The STX ship has 15 watertight doors on decks #2 and 3 below bulkhead deck #4 and will capsize and sink like Costa Concordia, when some watertight compartments are up-flooded due to any leakage incident and progressive flooding through open watertight doors aft takes place.

That is why watertight doors are not permitted by SOLAS in crew and store spaces on any ships or from such spaces to engine/generator/motor rooms! If such watertight doors were fitted on Costa Concordia, the ship was incorrectly built and not seaworthy at departure as the open watertight doors and progressive flooding through them caused the capsize and sinking!

video taken by Italian Coast Guard during the night shows that the ship was listing 90° and that the port side was virtually horizontal when some people were still walking on (!) and evacuating from the port, upper(!) side. How and when the ship arrived in this strange, damaged condition on the rocks and still floating (?) must be investigated!

Why/how did the upright ship, trimming on stern due to hull damage, suddenly heel to 90° starboard with port hull damage above water?

How and in what order were the internal hull watertight compartments up-flooded due to external contact or progressively, horizontally flooded due to, e.g. an open watertight door?

Were the hull watertight compartments arranged as per SOLAS ... to prevent sinking after accidents?

Did somebody open a watertight door in one bulkhead ... so that the damaged ship later capsized and then sank? It seems the crew cabins and store rooms are located in watertight compartments below the bulkhead deck, which are interconnected by watertight doors (for dubious reasons as SOLAS does not permit them!). Were these doors closed at sea? And after the incidents?

How could the watertight doors be opened?

Were the 25 watertight doors correctly arranged as per SOLAS at all? Were they working? Are 25 watertight doors even permitted by SOLAS?

What did the bilge alarms of each compartment indicate? What compartments were up/progressively/down-flooded when and in what order?

Were the ship's bilge pumps started ... to pump dry compartments being flooded via watertight doors left open ... and save the ship?

Was the bilge pump system as per SOLAS?

What do the emergency instructions say that Master, officers and crew should do in an incident of this type?

And why didn't all persons aboard get evacuated before capsize?

Why did 12 German, 6 French, 5 Italian and 2 US American passengers and 1 Spanish passenger not understand that they had to go to the muster stations to be escorted by crew to the lifeboats? The passengers spent all their time high up in the deck house of the ship and it was ample time between first contact at 21.45 hrs and capsize early next morning to get off the ship or go higher up. Six other crew members apparently also drowned but maybe they were doing their jobs and were surprised by the capsize down below. Or all these unfortunate persons were high up on the starboard side of the ship, when it capsized, and were pushed down below water and drowned.

Only two complete incident, criminal and safety, investigations will clarify why these people drowned or were killed on 14 January, 2012.

Heiwa Co recommends any investigator not to blame any officer, crew member or office staff ashore for killing people before that investigation is done.

Photo: Anders Björkman xxxxxxxThe ship after capsize and sinking 14 January 2012 resting on two rocky outreaches below water

The result of the capsize and part sinking should have been clear to anybody at once. The weak deck house structure and most passenger cabins, public rooms and wheel house were destroyed at once. Same applied to crew cabins and store and service rooms in the hull. Also engines and generators rooms and all their equipment were destroyed beyond repairs by down flooding water. The ship had not become a wreck at say 03.00 hrs and was not yet a total loss that in principle could have been abandoned, where it was. Insurance was in any event not valid as the ship was not seaworthy at departure nine hours earlier. But the ship could of course be salvaged.

Go to Part 6.

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