Originally Posted by HUMBER P4VWL
very true, it would have just turned turtle with everyone aboard!
It would have been nearly impossible for her to capsize, even way out in deeper water.
Cruise ships look impressive and top heavy but in reality are made up of big empty spaces. Virtually all the spaces above the waterline are hollow boxes (cabins, dining rooms, foyer's etc...) below the waterline is a different story, with an 7-10m draught, the lower sections of the vessel are crammed with very heavy machinery, pretty much the whole length of the ship. Factoring in the ballast tanks and fuel tanks you realise they are actually quite bottom heavy.
IMHO, the captain did exactly what he should have done by driving the vessel onto the rocks as close as possible to the nearest port. Unfortunately as she sank, the underwater profile of the seabed forced her onto her side. Lifeboats are designed to be launched at upto 15degs of list, sadly in this case the compromise of grounding her close to port actually had an adverse affect on the abandon ship proceedure. Although its difficult to say how long she would have remained afloat if not sat on the seabed, if she was further offshore, more lifeboats and liberty boats would have been successfully launched.
As the underwater section of a cruiseship is carefully subdivided into a number of watertight compartments each sealed from each other by watertight doors I'm curious as to why a 30m gash was enough to create such a loss in bouyancy. Were the doors not closed? ( or did they fail to close?), did the original design of the vessel not include enough watertight compartments to allow for such a grounding?
At any rate hopefully the rescue services will continue to find more survivors and account for all remaining missing passengers/crew.