Sunday, January 15, 2012

Italy cruise ship Costa Concordia aground near Giglio

The Independent's travel editor Simon Calder:
''It is unbelievable ... that this should happen to a 21st Century ship"
(other video)

>>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<
From BBC

Italy cruise ship Costa Concordia aground near the Island of Giglio.
A 291 m cruise ship with over 4-thousand people on board has grounded off Italy's north-west coast.
At least 3 bodies have been recovered, with more than a dozen others still missing.
Most of those on board the Costa Concordia were evacuated from the vessel after it hit a reef near Punta del Gabbianara, late on Friday (pictures 1/2/3).
Passengers reported a loud bang during dinner, and were told the ship had stopped because of electrical problems.

just close to the Giglio harbour (webcam / map)

Costa Concordia last AIS track (MarineTraffic)
( pictures : 1/2/3 )
Last AIS positions :
21:02 GMT 1.1 kn / 13°
20:58 GMT 1.4 kn / 7°
20:53 GMT 2.9 kn / 351°
The ship starts to list.
The captain steers a course for shallow water, lowering anchors as he does so.
The vessel moves beyond the entrance to the port of Giglio and starts a turn of 180 degrees.
(explaining why the grounded ship has the bow towards Giglio harbour (at South).
(source : TheGuardian)
Note : no MarineTraffic AIS message available during 16 mn from 20:37 GMT to 20:53 GMT
(20:45 GMT crash)
20:37 GMT 15.3 kn / 285°
20:33 GMT 15.4 kn / 276°
20:29 GMT 15.4 kn / 278°
20:24 GMT 15.5 kn / 278°
see Google Maps track (from Brian Fitzpatrick) & Farevela GE picture

AIS replay (Astra Paging VTExplorer) with historical data from VesselFinder

Concordia GPS route and speed data (from AIS) near impact
(source : unknown)

Concordia had begun its voyage from the port of Civitavecchia,
en route to its first port of call, Savona, in north-western Italy.
(source Gemitrafik)

Costa Cruises has temporarily suspended real-time data
on its ship "Costa Concordia" online

Three people are confirmed dead after a cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 people ran aground off Italy.

The vessel's operator, Costa Crociere, a unit of Carnival Corp & Plc, the world's largest cruise company,
said the Costa Concordia had been sailing on its regular course when it struck a submerged rock.
(source Reuters)

There were scenes of panic as the Costa Concordia hit a sandbar on Friday evening near the island of Giglio and listed about 20 degrees.
People reached land by lifeboats but some swam ashore.
Rescue teams have been going from cabin to cabin, searching for survivors.

Geoportale Nazionale (non marine map)

extract from the NGA 53135 chart Porto Santo Stefano & approaches (1995)

C-Map CM93 chart (zone 2 /area 5)

 Isla del Giglio - IIM 1883

extract from Istituto Idrografico della Marina (IIM) map 5 (1982)
dal Canale di Piombino al Promontorio Argentario
(scale 1/100,000) - other map : 6 -

extract from Istituto Idrografico della Marina (IIM) map 122 (1994)
dalla Foce dell'Ombrone al Promontorio Argentario
(scale 1/50,000)

extract from Istituto Idrografico della Marina (IIM) map 119 (1994)
Isola del Giglio
(scale 1/20,000)

extract from Istituto Idrografico della Marina (IIM) map 74
Porti dell'Argentarion e Dell'Isola del Giglio
(scale 1/5,000)

IIM maps for Isole del Giglio :
map 7018 (1/100,000) May 2007 /
map 7338 (1/30,000) Sept. 2007

ENC digital map for ECDIS (IIM)
IT400122 Ombrone River to Argentario Promontory (scale 1/45,000)
- with zoom on the Island of Giglio, with depths in feet -
IT400119 Giglio Island
(scale 1/12,000)

Nautical map (extract from Nauticard 4002) showing the Island of Giglio

In a television interview, the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino
said the rock was not marked on any maritime charts of the area.
(source Reuters)
Schettino said that the ship had struck rocks "which were not indicated on maps".
He denied allegations that he was sailing too close to the coast.

"We were 300 metres from the rocks and that outcrop should not have been there," he said.
(source TheGuardian)
NR : additionnaly to official paper maps, it seems the ship like other sister-ships of the Costa company is fitted with some Multipilot 1100 ECDIS from Sam Electronics

According to Gemitrafik source,
with ship's AIS Vessel Traffic records released by Turkish Maritime News web ,
Le Scole place,
hypothesis of the geolocalization when the ship hits a submerged rock on her port side

(hypothesis of a passage between the two main rocks rather unlikely :
see simulation with dKart ECDIS simulation and C-Map chart)
NR : more probably, the ship hit the Eastern small rock
(vessel beam : 38 m / draught : 8.2 m
and passage between the two rocks width : 55 m / depth : 10.3 m)

source : (cartography Navionics) (zoom Isole Le Scole)

zoom (other source for Navionics :

 Transas chart

>>> geolocalization (Le Scole) with the Marine GeoGarage <<<
The configuration of the shoreline and seabed off the entrance to Porto Giglio,
where the vessel finally stranded, suggests that the initial and causative impact
was probably a glancing collision, possibly at passage speed,
with the underwater extension of the shore rather than with an isolated danger.

Italians, Germans, French and British were among the 3,200 passengers.
There were also 1,000 crew on board.
Helicopters evacuated the last 50 people on the deck who were in a "worsening" situation.
Three people were confirmed dead, Italian coast guard officials said on Saturday morning - fewer than the six or eight deaths reported by Italian media earlier.

Mediterranean cruise

The Costa Concordia had sailed earlier on Friday from Civitavecchia port near Rome for a Mediterranean cruise, due to dock in Marseille after calling at ports in Sicily, Sardinia and Spain.
Some "tens" of British passengers are believed to have been on board, said the UK Foreign Office, which is sending a team to the scene.

Some passengers told the Associated Press the crew had failed to give instructions on how to evacuate the ship.
An evacuation drill was scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
"It was so unorganised, our evacuation drill was scheduled for 17:00 (16:00 GMT)," Melissa Goduti, 28, from the US told AP.
"We had joked what if something had happened today."

An aerial view of the cruise ship (YouTube)

'Groaning noise'

Passengers were eating dinner on Friday evening, when they heard a loud bang, and were told that the ship had suffered electrical problems, one passenger told Italy's Ansa news agency.
"We were having supper when the lights suddenly went out, we heard a boom and a groaning noise, and all the cutlery fell on the floor," said Luciano Castro.
Passenger Mara Parmegiani told Italian media there were "scenes of panic".
"We were very scared and freezing because it happened while we were at dinner so everyone was in evening wear. We definitely didn't have time to get anything else. They gave us blankets but there weren't enough," she said.

The 290-metre (950 ft) vessel ran aground, starting taking in water and listing by 20 degrees, the local coast guard said.

Orders were given to abandon ship, Deodato Ordona, a cabin steward on the Costa Concordia, told the BBC.
"We announced a general emergency and took passengers to muster stations," he said.
"But it is hard to launch the lifeboats, so they moved to the right side of the ship, and they could launch."

Italian Coast Guard personnel recovered the VDR (Voyage Data Recorder)
- black box - located at the top of the ship
(Remo Casilli/Reuters)


Elderly passengers were crying, said Mr Ordona, adding that he and some others jumped into the sea and swam roughly 400 metres to reach land.

Rescued passengers were accommodated in hotels, schools and a church on Giglio, a resort island 25km (18 miles) off Italy's western coast.
Most have now been moved to the mainland, Elizabeth Nanni from Giglio's tourist information service told the BBC.
"Usually there are 700 people on the island at this time of year, so receiving 4,000 and some in the middle of the night wasn't easy," she said.
"Some people jumped in the sea so they had hypothermia."
Searches are still going on for "possible missing people", regional official Giuseppe Linardi told the Italian broadcaster RAI.

Once the search of the cabins above the waterline has been completed, scuba divers will then check the decks which were submerged by the crash.

Huge rock embedded in the hull located after the vessel's mid point. (other pictures)
Note : the fwd stabilizer fin seems to not being damaged : probably the vessel was in a "crabbing" move as she turned.
When the stern swung to port, the vessel struck a glancing blow
It's also possible she almost completed it past the "located rock" of the map.
Coast guard official Francesco Paolillo, a local coast guard official, told the AFP news agency there was a 50m hole in the ship but that it was too early to say what exactly had happened.
"We think this happened as a result of sailing too close to an obstacle like a reef," he said.

Costa Cruises, the company which owns the ship, said it could not yet say what had caused the accident.

"The gradual listing of the ship made the evacuation extremely difficult," a statement said. "The position of the ship, which is worsening, is making more difficult the last part of the evacuation.
"We'd like to express our deepest gratitude to the coastguard and other emergency services, including the authorities and citizens of the island of Giglio, who did their best in saving and helping the passengers and crew."

Two years ago, Costa Europa, a Costa Cruises ship crashed into a dock at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, killing three members of the crew.
One thousand passengers were Italian, with 500 Germans and 160 French.

Links :


  1. CNN : Cruise ship runs aground off Italy (update)
    Questions abounded: Why was the colossal ship so close to the shore? How fast was it moving? How well did the crew respond?
    Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, was interviewed earlier Saturday about what happened when the ship struck rocks in shallow water off Italy's western coast Friday evening, said officer Emilio Del Santo of the Coastal Authorities of Livorno. Local fishermen say the island coast of Giglio is known for its rocky sea floor.
    Schettino said "that rock was not indicated on the chart," according to ANSA. "Me and the crew, we were the last to abandon ship," he said.
    The ship was 2.5 miles off route when it struck the rocky sandbar.
    "There are rocks, they are on the maps," said Capt. Cosimo Nicastro of the Italian Coast Guard. "What we know is the ship went really close to these rocks. ... We don't yet know why."
    The ship began taking on water Friday evening and the crew kept going because they believed the vessel could normally keep sailing, Nicastro said. Realizing there was a significant safety problem, the commander steered the Costa Concordia closer toward port.
    Authorities also were looking at why the ship didn't hail a mayday during the accident.
    "At the moment we can't exclude that the ship had some kind of technical problem, and for this reason moved towards the coast in order to save the passengers, the crew and the ship. But they didn't send a mayday. The ship got in contact with us once the evacuation procedures were already ongoing," Del Santo said prior to the announcement of the captain's arrest.
    "I'm not surprised that it (the ship) would wind up tipping like this," said Neil Gallagher, professor of naval architecture at the Webb Institute on Long Island, New York. "Something had to go wrong with either the controls or the navigation to get it to this condition."
    Chris B. McKesson, adjunct professor of naval architecture at the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of New Orleans, said, "from the size of the gash, she must have been steaming at a pretty good pace."

  2. I really don't know much about marine navigation, but I've been looking at charts and AIS information this morning, including some suggesting an intentional thread-the-needle maneuver through the Le Scole reef. What I haven't seen suggested is what seems most likely to me, that a "fly-by" of Porto Giglio was intended, similar to the one from August (photo on one site I looked at), but that for whatever reason, the right turn from the 278 course was started a minute or two late, making the difference between safe passage east of Le Scole to unsafe passage too close to the easternmost rocks. Does that make sense?