Captain’s ‘incompetence’ led to the sinking of the Costa Concordia cruise ship
From the May issue of Vanity Fair:
American captain and nautical analyst John Konrad tells Vanity Fair special correspondent Bryan Burrough that the ship had already been listing starboard, toward the peninsula. When Schettino dropped the ship’s anchors in an attempt to prevent it from falling farther, he instead created the opposite effect. “You can see they let out too much chain,” Konrad says. “I don’t know the precise depths, but if it was 90 meters, they let out 120 meters of chain. So the anchors never caught. The ship then went in sideways, almost tripping over itself, which is why it listed. If he had dropped the anchors properly, the ship wouldn’t have listed so badly.”
How to explain so fundamental a blunder? Video of the chaos on the bridge that night gives insight into the captain’s state of mind. “You can tell he was stunned,” says Konrad. “The captain really froze. It doesn’t seem his brain was processing.” […]
It was a “jaw-droppingly stupid mistake,” he said.
The human body’s stress reaction is an extremely powerful tool for achieving temporarily great physical strengths. But it didn’t evolve to aid intelligent decisions; in fact, it has the opposite effect. Stress hormones make it much more difficult to think clearly and rationally, and they prioritize physical survival above all else.
Don’t forget to FLY THE AIRPLANE.