January 17, 2012

WELL, THEY CERTAINLY LOOK TOP-HEAVY: How stable are cruise ships like the Costa Concordia?

 

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) specifies the stability that ships must have – and if a vessel complies with those rules it should be fine, says Staunton-Lambert. All the heavy stuff – the engines, water ballast tanks and fuel oil – are kept low in the hull, and the tall accommodation blocks above are largely empty space peppered with much lighter contents: people and furniture. “These cruise ships may seem high,” says Staunton-Lambert. “But the trick is to ensure that the weight distribution is correct, focusing on where the centre of gravity is.”

 

Meanwhile, reader Louis Nettles writes: “Glenn, you have been preaching disaster prep and telling up we can’t count on the government in the immediate aftermath. Well now its clear that a Cruise ship is a third world country and we’d better be prepared. So what goes in a cruise bug out bag?” I don’t think a bugout bag on a cruise ship would be especially useful. You don’t have time to return to your cabin if you need to evacuate. I think that — unlike in the case of, say, zombies — your best preparation here is learning the paths to the lifeboat stations and other important locations even if the crew, as in this case, doesn’t get around to doing the drills.

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