The cruise ship industry’s spin on the Costa Concordia’s grounding makes the tragedy worse.
A spokesman said that compared to the airline industry the cruise ship industry death rate is lower. Even if true, we have been sailing for centuries and we should have figured it out by now. And although I would never say the sea is without peril, it somehow seems wrong to me to compare a vessel cruising on the earth’s surface at a relatively slow speed to an aircraft hurtling through the air at a high rate of speed. Plus, what is the ratio of cruise ship operations vs. airline operations and what is the total number of ship passengers vs. airline passengers on any given day?
The comment that was especially offensive was the one that came close to calling the ship’s evacuation successful by saying that “almost all of the 4,000 people onboard the ship got away … safely…But in the scale of the event, the evacuation was achieved.” “Almost all” is not good enough—not this close to shore, or anytime. The fact that “almost all got away” is not the measure for a safe, efficient evacuation. Passengers are not supposed to just “get off” from a ship in distress. They are supposed to be evacuated safely and orderly by the crew. The crew of this ship, without its Captain, failed in providing this most basic of services.
This is an industry with even bigger boats and even bigger profits. This will happen again and will be worse unless the industry and government address these issues.Posted by 2:19 pm