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October 1, 2012

I covered the sinking of the COSTA CONCORDIA back in January and posted some of my initial comments in ‘COSTA CONCORDIA – Fred Fry’s Comments and Questions‘. One of my comments concerned the crew:

Concerning the evacuation:
First, despite all the complaints of chaos and difficultly in loading and launching the lifeboats, the port side (the high side) of the vessel is draped with lifeboat falls of successfully launched boats (It appears that boat 6 is still in her cradle on the port side). The Starboard side also appears to have gotten most, if not all of their boats into the water as well, looking at the photo below. Also, photos from the harbor show both even and odd numbered boats. For the most-part, the thousands of passengers and crew were evacuated from the vessel.


My guess is that the actions of the crew will generally be seen as a contributing factor to the number of lives saved.

These comments were written at a time when all of the ex-passenger stories were noting the chaos onboard, tales of crew pushing past passengers, etc all mixed in with actual news reports of the Captain being one of the first persons off the ship. Well, it seems that I am not alone in my belief that the crew performed an amazing feat in managing to evacuate the ship as Lloyd’s List just awarded the crew of the COSTA CONCORDIA with their ‘Seafarer of the Year’ Award:

Seafarer of the Year
Winner: The Crew of the Costa Concordia, nominated by Magsaysay

When the cruise ship Costa Concordia struck a reef off the island of Giglio on January 13, international attention inevitably focused on the actions of the master. But what was largely missed in the media storm that ensued were the genuine examples of bravery and professionalism displayed by members of the crew. There were 4,229 people on board the vessel at the time of the casualty and while the tragic loss of life caused by this regrettable incident will rightly be the subject of forensic investigations for some time to come, it should not be forgotten that without the skilled response of the majority of the crew, the loss of life could have been far higher. Our judges this year concurred with the view of Filipino crewing suppliers Magsaysay who nominated their crew aboard but also wanted to acknowledge the bravery of others, that the actions of the professional and honourable seafarers that night should be publically recognised. – Link

I think it was every brave of the judges to award the crew of such a notorious disaster this award, especially given that the accident was the direct result of a lack of seamanship on the part of the Captain and most likely others on watch on the bridge. That said, the crew performed in spite of the Captain and even lacking a Captain. They also performed contrary to the reports that have come out up to this point. So congratulations to the crewmembers for a job well done.

I am sure that others will not share my opinion. The Old Salt Blog has other thoughts concerning awarding Seafarer of the Year to the COSTA CONCORDIA crew.

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