All posts in Ship Disasters

Bangladesh Ferry Disaster

Bangladesh Ferry Disaster Kills at Least 70 People

A river ferry carrying anywhere from 140 to over 200 people sank in the Padma River in Bangladesh on Sunday after being struck by a cargo ship. At least 70 people have been confirmed dead, and others are missing. Around 60 people have been rescued. The ferry has now been pulled to the river's surface and dragged to shore. The phase of the rescue operation involving divers has now concluded, but the area surrounding the shipwreck will continue to be monitored for those who remain missing. The captain of the cargo vessel that struck the ferry has been arrested. Read more [...]
Costa 3

What Does it Mean for a Captain to Abandon Ship?

There is unwritten code for captains of ships, and that code dictates that a captain should never leave a sinking ship when there are still passengers on board. Any time a captain violates this principle, he or she is said to have abandoned ship. For this reason, the term "abandon ship" has negative connotations, even though there are times when a captain could rightly abandon ship (most obviously when every passenger has been helped off the ship, but potentially in other situations as well). Below, we examine the tradition of captains staying on board their ships till the bitter end, and look at some notable recent instances of captains (prematurely) abandoning ship. Read more [...]

The Shipwreck in Italy: Boat Filled with African Migrants Sinks Near Italian Coast; Over 100 Dead

Over one hundred African migrants are dead and many more are missing after a boat carrying up to 500 people sank off the coast of Lampedusa, an Italian island between the coastline of West Africa and Sicily. An ongoing operation by the Italian Coast Guard has saved at least 150 people, who have been brought to Lampedusa's main port, which has the facilities to treat them. Read more [...]

What is Parbuckling? With Special Reference to the Costa Concordia Recovery Operation

Parbuckling is the process by which a sunken vessel is rotated to an upright position by harnessing leverage. An instance of parbuckling is called a parbuckle salvage for obvious reasons: a ship is parbuckled so that it may be salvaged. This may appear to be an esoteric topic of concern only to engineers, which is essentially true, but parbuckling came to the attention of a larger audience with the raising of the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that tragically sunk off the coast of Italy after rocks tore through the side of the vessel. The shipwreck caused 32 deaths, by far the worst cruise ship disaster in recent memory. Below is a brief explanation of parbuckling; we'll leave aside technical details and instead focus on the amazing righting of the Costa Concordia. Read more [...]

The Costa Concordia: Ship Raised (Photos), Human Remains Found, and Other Updates

The sinking of the Costa Concordia was by far the worst ship disaster in recent memory. It captured the world's attention, and for good reason. Modern cruise ships are remarkably safe, and even if they have problems, which they occasionally do (just ask Carnival), 32 people don't die as a consequence. It is therefore not surprising that people have been following the Costa Concordia story closely, especially in recent days, during which the ship was raised successfully and human remains were found. However, there is so much currently happening with the Costa Concordia - each day seemingly brings new updates - that we thought we'd call your attention to the major stories. Below is all you need to know about the news swirling around the Costa Concordia, and we've also included some awesome pictures of the raising of the ship for good measure. Read more [...]

The Raising of the Costa Concordia, to be Attempted Monday

If you follow cruise industry news, or if you follow the news at all, you'll probably know plenty about the Costa Concordia disaster. You'll recall that the Costa Concordia, a cruise ship that could hold over 4,000 passengers, crashed into rocks near the Isola del Giglio, Italy, an accident causing 32 deaths, because its captain, Francesco Schettino, sailed too close to shore. However, this tragedy happened nearly two years ago, and you probably haven't heard much about the ship since then. What happened to the Costa Concordia? Do the waters off the coast Giglio now have a permanent shipwreck site, or are they going raise the Costa Concordia and get it out of there? At last, there is some new information on this front, and the plan, by no means guaranteed to be successful, is to remove the ship from its current, tenuous resting place, possibly as soon as this Monday. Below are the most recent updates about the Costa Concordia. Read more [...]