On Friday 13 (how ironic is that?) the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground on a rocky sandbar off the small island of Giglio in the Mediterranean Ocean. The rocks carved a 150 foot opening in the buttom of the ship, and water gushed in. Later it capsized and finally came to rest on its side just a few hundred yards from the coast.

When the collision happened, most people aboard were seated in the restaurants. According to eye witnesses a mild panic broke out when the crew asked the passengers to go to the boat deck in order to evacuate the ship. Two passengers and a crew member died after jumping in to the ice cold water. Still (Sunday afternoon) more than 15 people are unaccounted for. The captain of the Costa Concordia has been arrested, and the accident has already been named the “New Titanic” by the media.

But is it?

Let’s take a moment to examine the preliminary data on the Costa Concordia incident and compare them to the sinking of the Titanic on April 15 1912.

Conclusion: Even if it at first seems obvious it is actually not relevant to compare the incident with the Costa Concordia to the tragedy of the Titanic. Based on what we know so far (and that’s not a lot yet) it seems much more reasonable to compare it with the capsizing of the Norwegian ferry Skagerak off the coast of Jutland in 1966 or perhaps the Herald of Free Enterprise in the English Channel in 1987.

One Response

  1. Update: Now five confirmed deaths on the Costa Concordia (two elderly passengers located inside the hull by divers).

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