When I was a kid back in 1998, one of Hollywood’s biggest movies, Titanic, was released. At school, my teacher at the time assigned are class to explore what happened with the doomed first ever voyage of the Titanic. As a field trip related to the Titanic, are teacher took us to the movie cinema to watch the film.
While all the girls in the class where complete wrecks after the movie, weeping quite loudly and hugging each other because of what happened to Jack Dawson in the movie, (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) I was pretty much freaked out over what happened. Big ship with lots of people hits an iceberg, the Titanic is taking in water, situation goes from bad to worse once everyone realizes that there isn’t enough life boats for people to evacuate the ship. From there, it becomes complete chaos as everyone is freaking out, not knowing what to do.
It was quite disturbing for me to see that movie. As a young child, seeing a part of history being retold in some way with a love story where a ship is sinking with many people on board with nowhere to go. Your only two choices; drown with the ship, or freeze to death by jumping into the freezing waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Both choices are slow and awful deaths. It actually took a while for me to shake loose of the scenes of the Titanic sinking.
If that wasn’t bad enough The release of the film; The Perfect Storm was released a few years after Titanic and I seen it. Instead of a huge ship hitting an iceberg and sinking along with thousands still on board, The movie was about some fishermen sailing directly into this crazy mega storm over the Atlantic that brought this huge wave that capsized there fishing boat causing the fishermen to drown with the boat. Again, pretty intense movie for me to watch when it came out.
After seeing both movies, I have concluded that going on boat voyages isn’t exactly the thing that I would like to do, even to this day. Beyond Hollywood movies with realistic computer generated effects, every now and then, you hear of something happening on some boat or cruse line, like an accident or worse, the sinking of the ship it’s self. Such a thing happened in Canada in 2006. BC ferries, MV Queen of the North, ran aground and began to sink. While only two people died out of the hundreds that was on that ship that day, That event seems very similar to what recently happened in Italy with the sinking of the Costa Concordia.
The accident involving Costa Concordia. really gets to me. The ship got to close to shore as a way to show off to those on the island. The ship scraped over a bolder under water and punctured a massive gash on the hull. Water is flowing into the ship causing it to list and eventually tip over. Thankfully, the sinking was quite close to land so those who could not make it to life boats could swim to shore. Sadly at the time of writing this, 11 people have been conformed dead with 24 still missing.
The real kicker to this story is the Captain of the Costa Concordia who really is a jerk! The one who is responsible of the safety of everyone on board along with the responsibility to make sure every single passenger has safely evacuated from the ship when an emergency is happening was one of the first to abandoned ship! Audio released by the Italian coat guard of the conversation of a coast guard demanding he goes back to the ship and take charge of the evacuation of his ship! The coast guard also tells him how much of a jerk he is.
Meny survivors of the Costa Concordia complained that the crews really didn’t know what the hell they where doing during the evacuation. Instead, all they herd over the loudspeakers was that everything was under control and all that was the problem was a generator issue. Survivors even say that there was no evacuation drill or instructions during the time passengers where on board.
You hear that a lot and in fact, that sounds kind of sketchy to me. You often hear that when there is a boating accident, crews are so disorganized with keeping passengers calm and an orderly evacuation. The problem I believe is how cruse lines often higher seasonal workers from crappy countries who barely speak popular languages like English, French or German. There poorly trained and get shit wages. It really makes me question the legitimacy of marine safety.
So that’s basically my view on cruse lines and such. They may show that going on a luxury cruse line is the most amazing way to see various pretty places. But what about when things go wrong? How can a cruse line assure the safety of it’s passengers when you have crazy captains who steer there ships to close to land only to run it aground? How can you assure the safety of passengers when an emergency happens and the captan is the first to abandon ship?
With that said, cruse ships never really appealed to me. Seeing these horrific accidents makes me even more less appealed to them. If I am to go on a boat for whatever reason, it’s to get to the Toronto Islands. Its only a 15 min ride and if there is ever a need for evacuation on those ferries, it’s easy to jump out of those boats and help is always close by since there is always other boats sailing around the harbour front.