Monday, January 16, 2012

Cruise Ship Question

I have never seen a ship sink... Okay, mandatory pause here for a corny submarine joke. What is the difference between a submarine and a regular ship? Hint, it is not that a submarine can dive. Give up? Answer: it is that a submarine can surface.

Cynical old submariners will add, "usually." Any ship can dive once, it's called "sinking." The trick is coming back to the surface, and you can only do that if you a) are a submarine and b) have your shit together.

Anyway, that Italian cruise ship that hit the rocks and essentially sank was gashed and took on water on the port side, and yet pictures show her lying on her starboard side. The gash in her hull can be seen, well above the present waterline. WTF?


  1. never thought about that.. takes a (sub)mariner to point that out? that ship captian is sure in a hep of trouble though.

  2. Eric Welch5:17 AM

    I had wondered about that too until I saw the track of the ship. I'm guessing (!) that what happened was that as he sailed between the islands he struck an uncharted rock on the port side. The track shows that he then turned the ship around and headed in the opposite direction back toward Giglio Island in an attempt to get closer to shore and beach the ship (I believe that was his earlier explanation.) A turn to port would have forced water to the starboard side increasing a list in that direction which then got worse. Does that make sense?

  3. Eric Welch5:19 AM

    Sorry, meant to include a link to the chart: