Costa Fortune


Costa Fortune

I’ve been watching the raising of the Costa Concordia cruise ship this week, off the coast of Italy. The tragedy of the accident, then the farce of the recovery.

Apart from raising the ship itself, it certainly raised any number of questions in my mind.

First, how did it go down in the first place ?

In today’s world of super technology why was the ship so close to shore, why did it not “see” the reefs and alert the crew in seconds, why did the gash in the side not be minimized by the immediate closing of underwater sections of the hull..?

Secondly, and more importantly, why did so many people lose their lives ?

Were they asleep, was the evacuation procedure not followed .. ?

Thirdly, how on earth (well, water to be precise) could such a large vessel be so totally immobilized and left to look like a floundering whale?

A majestic vessel humiliated.

Then finally, the cost of the lifting exercise.

Estimated to be in the region of $800 million. You’re kidding, right?

She cost $570 million to build… !!!

I don’t want, in any way, to be funny or crass, but would you want to go on a cruise on this ship, if and when they raise it, and re-fit it..?

Answers on a postcard.

I have never been on a cruise. I’d like to in some respects, but I fear I’d eat too much, be seasick, and being too far away from terra firma would concern me. I have no critical words for those who love cruises, many of my friends love this means of vacation.

But I do wonder, with anguished enquiry, what those poor souls on board the Concordia must have gone through as they stood in sheer panic as the ship tilted under their feet … yet they could see land. Land so close. Being 200 miles out sea would be one horrible experience. But being 200 feet from shore must have placed a bizarre surrealism on their enormous anxiety.

It will be left to others more knowledgeable than me to sit in judgment on the events and the responsibilities, but the absurdity of the accident in the first place, then the sheer disbelief that the recovery process should take this long, be this complicated and cost so much. I am missing something for sure.

Passing judgment on the how, the who, and the why, will be the next chapter in this tragedy, as it should be.

However, none of that will bring back those people, many older people, who set off on a trip of a lifetime, had worked and saved hard to enjoy a Mediterranean cruise, only for their lives to be snatched away through some utterly astonishing string of events on a cruise ship, built in today’s world, with super technology, trained crew, calm seas and 200 feet from land.

Unreal. Simply unreal

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