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Case Study

9221 words - 37 pages

Costa Concordia
Anatomy of an organizational accident
Jayvee M. Fernandez
Maritime Law
Midway Maritime Foundation

ABSTRACT
This paper analyses the grounding that occurred on the 13th of January 2012 to the cruise ship Costa Concordia. The analysis is carried out only on the conduct of navigation – and not on the emergency response - at three different levels: the errors of the bridge team, the error-inducing conditions of their workplace (the bridge), and the organizational processes behind them ...view middle of the document...

000, 13 decks, 290 meters of length, 35 meters of beam and 8 meters of draught, Costa Concordia was launched in 2006, and at the time it was the largest Italian cruise ship ever built.


Fig.1 – Costa Concordia Fig.2 - Rocks “Le Scole”, near Giglio Island, Italy
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The ship left Civitavecchia in the late afternoon of January 13th, 2012, sailing along the passage plan prepared by the 2nd Officer and approved by the Captain. However, the plan included a deviation from the standard route to Savona, which usually takes the ship through the channel - 7 nautical miles wide - between Giglio Island and the mainland (fig.3). The deviation was meant to carry out a sail-past Giglio Island and it was decided by the Captain upon request of the restaurant manager, native of the island. The Captain’s consent
was allegedly given also as a sign of respect for his mentor, a retired Costa Captain who lived on the island. The
deviation was discussed with the 2nd
Officer, who was responsible for drawing the new route on nautical charts

Fig.3 – Standard route from Civitavecchia to Savona, and deviation planned on the 13th of January 2012

The safety margin initially established by the Captain was of 0.5 nautical miles (about 1 kilometer) from the furthermost point of a group of small islands (Le Scole), just south of the main port (Giglio Porto) of Giglio Island. From that point on, a touristic navigation should have gone parallel to the coast, saluting the islanders and sounding the ship’s horn. However, the Costa Concordia got as close as 100 meters from the furthermost point taken as reference by the Captain, striking an underwater rock with a charted depth of 7,3 meters (fig.4)

Fig.4 – Le Scole Islands and the possible point of impact with an underwater rock at 7.3 meters of depth. Screenshots captured from paper chart IIM 74 (left) and Electronic Navigation Chart IT50074B (right).

The safety margin initially established by the Captain was of 0.5 nautical miles (about 1 kilometer) from the further most point of a group of small islands (Le Scole), just south of the main port (Giglio Porto) of Giglio. Island From that point on, a touristic navigation should have gone parallel to the coast, saluting the islanders and sounding the ship’s horn. However, the Costa Concordia got as close as 100 meters from the furthermost point taken as reference by the Captain, striking an underwater rock with a charted depth of 7,3 meters (fig.4).

Fig.4 – Le Scole Islands and the possible point of impact with an underwater rock at 7.3 meters of depth. Screenshots captured from paper chart IIM 74 (left) and Electronic Navigation Chart IT50074B (right).

The analysis stops at this point, not taking into consideration the emergency occurred after the impact with the rock, which eventually caused the partial sinking of the ship just 500 meters north of Giglio...

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