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Great work, Carnival.


ROME - The Italian news agency ANSA says a luxury cruise ship with 4,200 people aboard has run aground off the Tuscan coast and that at least 6 people have died.The report early Saturday said the Costa Concordia ran aground a few hundred meters (yards) off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, and that the passengers were being evacuated.


A statement from Costa Cruises, the company that runs the ship, confirmed that the evacuation of the 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew had begun, "but the position of the ship which is worsening is making more difficult the last part of the evacuation."


Costa Cruises' statement did not mention any casualties, and said it had not yet determined the cause of the problem.


ANSA news agency quoted unidentified rescuers as saying six people were dead. ANSA quoted journalists who happened to be passengers aboard as telling ANSA that the evacuees were being sheltered in schools, hotels and a church on the vacation island.


Costa Cruises said the Costa Concordia was sailing on a cruise across the Mediterranean Sea, starting from Civitavecchia with scheduled calls to Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari and Palermo.


It said about 1,000 Italian passengers were onboard, as well as more than 500 Germans, about 160 French and about 1,000 crew members.




Are they recruiting their captains from Exxon?

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Wow! It just seems unbelievable that any cruise ship could 'run aground' in this day in age of satellite GPS etc... But it happens.


That ship Captain has worked his last job. It's sad that so many people died as a result of his incompetence.


When your on a vacation and cruising, this is the last thing on your mind as something that 'could' occur.


But this is a very rare event, and would not deter me in the slightest from going on a cruise ship.

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Here's the story from CNN....


Oh, Carnival....






Rome (CNN) -- At least three people were killed and scores remain unaccounted for after a cruise ship ran aground near the Italian island of Giglio on Friday night, local emergency officials said Saturday.


Rescue teams worked through the night to evacuate more than 4,000 people from the Costa Concordia, owned by Genoa-based Costa Cruises, after it ran aground off of Italy's western coast.


See high-res images of the rescue


Giuseppe Orsina, a spokesman for the local civil protection agency, told CNN: "We are verifying the different lists of passengers and staff that have been given to us from Costa and at the moment from 43 to 51 people are missing.


"These people could be still on the island of Giglio, in private houses or in hospitals."


The coast guard said 50 to 70 people could be missing.


Authorities said earlier Saturday they believed everyone was accounted for, but that they did not have a definitive list of names.


The huge ship, which which is now lying on its side in shallow water, was carrying about 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members when it ran aground at about dinner time.


Initial reports suggested as many as six people had been killed, but it was unclear why the number dropped. An additional 14 people were injured, Adm. Ilarione Dell'Anna, head of coastal authorities for the port city of Livorno, told CNN.


Passengers described how the lights went out and it then became clear the ship had hit something, prompting scenes of chaos.


Laurie Willits from Ontario, who was watching a magic show with her husband at that moment, told CNN: "We heard a scraping noise to the left of the ship and then my husband said 'we're sliding off our seats.'"


The couple ran to their cabin to get coats and life jackets before making their way to a lifeboat. Emergency instructions in English were hard to hear, Willits said.


Panic spread as people scrambled to find lifeboats in the dark as the ship quickly leaned to one side. Access to some lifeboats was hampered by the ship's tilt into the water, adding to the confusion.


Willits and her husband, who managed to get into a lifeboat about an hour to 90 minutes after the alarm was raised, watched from a pier on the island as the ship slowly sank until it was at an almost 90 degree angle in the water.


"I'm exhausted, I haven't had any sleep, I'm hungry," Willits said, but added that she was relieved to have been able to call her family thanks to the help of people on the island.


The civil protection agency in the town of Grosseto, the provincial capital, said Saturday morning that the emergency operation was still ongoing and parts of the ship remained underwater.


The coast guard said three helicopters were used to rescue some passengers from the ship.


Evacuation efforts started promptly but were made "extremely difficult" by the position of the ship, according to a statement on Costa's website. Some passengers fell into the chilly waters during the rescue, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.


Dell'Anna said an investigation is under way.


"There has probably been a technical blackout," he said. "The ship was dangerously near the coast. We worked all night in a state of maximum emergency.


"Fortunately the sea conditions have helped us, otherwise -- given the high number of people to rescue, 4,231 -- we could have had a completely different scenario: a real tragedy."


Many of those rescued in the early hours were taken to small churches and other buildings around the island for shelter.


Some were still wearing the pajamas and slippers they had on as the ship went down, as they waited for help Saturday morning at reception centers set up on the island.


One of the victims was a 65-year-old woman who died of a heart attack, according to authorities.


Costa said it was focusing on the final stages of the emergency operation and helping passengers and crew return home.


"It is a tragedy that deeply affects our company. Our first thoughts go to the victims and we would like to express our condolences and our closeness to their families and friends," Costa said on its website.


The Concordia, built in 2006, was on a Mediterranean cruise from Rome with stops in Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari and Palermo, according to the cruise line. It was unclear how far into the cruise the grounding occurred.


Most of the passengers on board were Italian, as well as some French and German citizens. CNN affiliate America Noticias, in Peru, said a group of 32 Peruvians were also onboard.


Another Costa ship was involved in a deadly 2010 accident when the Costa Europa crashed into a pier in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh during stormy weather, killing three crew members.

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But this is a very rare event, and would not deter me in the slightest from going on a cruise ship.


It might deter me from going on a Carnival ship. Especially after that fun incident they had recently where the ship lost power and had to be tugged back to shore over a period of days. I bet that was a good time.


Yes, the safety record for cruise ships and even Carnival is still very, very good. But I'd rather sail on a line owned by a company that doesn't hire captains this dumb or this drunk.

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It is slightly disconcerting that this can happen, but I'm sure it will come out as human error when everything is checked and researched. It's more *interesting* that things like this seem to happen a lot more within the Carnival Brand of ships. Now granted, they have a ton of ships, but still, come on Italian dudes, get it together!


It must have been terrifying on the ship, especially once the power went off. I can't think of anything in recent times that compares to this. The Star Princess (big fire) comes close, but only killed one and it didn't freaking SINK!!!!

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We're hearing here on UK news, that they believe the power cut occurred onboard and the captain reported technical difficulties with the navigation system, at least 20mins before the ship collided with the sea bed.


If this is true, why did the captain decide to sail so close to the coast without a fully functioning navigation system?!

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^That's actually *VERY* interesting. If true, and there was a power failure that led to this that would be another Carnival Power Failure. Remember the ship off of California last year?!?! This particular Costa ship was a 'Conquest' Ship Build, the Carnival Splendor (California FAIL ship) was a slightly modified bigger version.

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^That's actually *VERY* interesting. If true, and there was a power failure that led to this that would be another Carnival Power Failure. Remember the ship off of California last year?!?! This particular Costa ship was a 'Conquest' Ship Build, the Carnival Splendor (California FAIL ship) was a slightly modified bigger version.


I wasn't aware that had happened last year. Watching BBC News 24 interviewing a crew member over the phone, they seemed sure the power failure had occurred some time before the crash. Does seem terrible that something like this can happen though, surely it's common sense not to go that close to the coast...


Seeing the pictures close up, you can see that the boulder has actually embedded its self into the hull of the ship, it must have hit with some force.

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Wow. Just saw this on the news.


The thing that blows my mind is how new this ship is. It was built in 2006 and is basically a copy of carnival's ships being built at the time .



It had all the latest navigation, depth finding, and collision avoidance systems as well. Typically European ships are not new builds and instead are ships that are transferred from the US after 10-20 years in service and I expected to click through and see this.


Like one of the above posters mentioned a total loss of power could be the culprit or at the very least loss of power to the pods/stabilizers that are turned during the docking process. I once was on a bridge tour of a new ship where the captain proclaimed something to the effect of, "Even if I wanted to beach the ship, the system simply won't let me"



Crazy stuff. Hopefully this doesn't effect people's feelings about cruises as they are one of the safest ways to travel.

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^Yeah you are right, apparently the ship wasn't even that close to land when it hit the object, nor was it docking.



From the captain's mouth-


Paolillo said the exact circumstances of the accident were still unclear, but that the first alarm went off about 10:30 p.m., about three hours after the Concordia had begun its voyage from the port of Civitavecchia, en route to its first port of call, Savona, in northwestern Italy.


The coast guard official, speaking from the port captain's office in the Tuscan port of Livorno, said the vessel "hit an obstacle" — it wasn't clear if it might have hit a rocky reef in the waters off Giglio — "ripping a gash 50 meters (160 feet) across" in the side of the ship, and started taking on water.


The cruise liner's captain, Paolillo said, then tried to steer his ship toward shallow waters, near Giglio's small port, to make evacuation by lifeboat easier. But after the ship started listing badly, lifeboat evacuation was no longer feasible, Paolillo said.

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Wow. We have rescued a small boat that was powerless and on a crash course with a sleeping shrimp boat. Even in small boats that is some scary sheet. With loss of life it is hard to consider yourself lucky but this could have been a much sadder day. Open ocean water can be a very unforgiving place.

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Wow! It just seems unbelievable that any cruise ship could 'run aground' in this day in age of satellite GPS etc... But it happens.
Amazing. Seriously, with today's technology and experience, how does a ship...of this size and caliber...manage to do this?!?!?
If this is true, why did the captain decide to sail so close to the coast without a fully functioning navigation system?!


If you ever want to read a good explanation about how a modern gps-guided cruise ship can run aground, I would highly recommend reading the IEEE Spectrum article Automated to Death which describes, among other things, how a GPS-guided cruise ship, the Royal Majesty, ran aground off of Massachusetts.


The gist of it is that when you're in charge of any system that is highly automated, be it an airplane (as in Air France 447) or a cruise ship (such as the Royal Majesty), you tend to fall into a sense of complacency. Since you rarely have to actually DO anything while controlling such a system, your brain gets bored and starts taking mental shortcuts. The article cites Charles Perrow's book Normal Accidents: Living With High-Risk Technologies, which is also an interesting read if you're interested in designing complex systems. Perrow talks about the concept of "incomprehensibility", where the brains of people in high-risk situations can't cope fast enough and instead they revert to their ordinary routine. In these cases, where the ordinary routine doesn't match the current situation, the brain finds a way to rationalize that what they are seeing (plane about to stall, ship about to run aground) is actually a normal well-practiced occurrence. In the case of Air France 447, this was the Co-Pilot assuming (and saying out loud) that he was in a TOGA (Take Off, Go Around) situation, which is a relatively common procedure for aborting a landing. He flies the plane as if he's aborting a landing, which in the thin air at 38,000 feet causes a fatal stall. He reverted to a take off and landing situation because the pilots are so rarely in control of the plane when it's at cruising altitude due to the advanced autopilot systems. I'm not saying that this is what happened with this particular ship, but it's a possible situation.


”In other words, the initial control loop is done by one system, and then you have a computer that is backing up that system, and another is backing up that one,” according to Parasuraman. ”Finally, you have to display some information to the operator, but the operator is now so far from the system and the complexity is so great that their developing a [mental] model of how to deal with something going wrong becomes very, very difficult.”


If you want more info on how the Royal Majesty ran aground,there is a great 20-or-so page (with pictures) excerpt The Grounding of the Royal Majesty by Asaf Degani available from NASA. The factor of "incomprehensibility" comes into play when the crew ignores all the signs that something is wrong (breaking waves near the ship, missing navigation buoys), and instead just pays attention to the one wrong buoy that coincidentally appeared in the place in one of the buoys they were looking for. The complacent trust in technology also led the crew to ignore cross-checking the GPS position like they were supposed to. There were other problems with the Royal Majesty, including a disconnected antenna, badly designed machine-machine and machine-human interfaces, and a disabled depth sensor, but without the human factor the crash could've been avoided.


Okay, I've gone on WAAAAY to long here, but the point is that no matter how much technology is added, no system is foolproof. However, it's not going to stop me from Flying or Cruising (or riding roller coasters).

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Great, the same irrational "friends" and family that tried to talk me out of going to Japan, now don't want me to take a cruise next month.


Don't they realize that most fatal accidents happen in one's home? You're much safer when you're out and about!

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