Costa Concordia shipwreck: focus on the navigation charts

In collaboration with our company, Fabrice Amedeo – journalist at French newspaper Le Figaro – published an article analyzing the navigation charts available in the tragedy’s area.

The study of the mapping is essential to understand this shipwreck. The commander of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, had the following comments: “While we were sailing in cruising speed, we hit a rock. According to the nautical chart, there should have been sufficient water below us. ”

However, this claim was quickly checked and disproved by the Italian Coast Guard, which prompted us to investigate the area using the different MapMedia charts available, in order to have a better understanding of the accident.

The Bay of Giglio Porto, southeast of the island of Giglio off Tuscany, was the site of the accident:

Isola del Giglio, site of the Costa Concordia shipwreck

Zooming on the Raster MapMedia mm3d chart – based on the Italian hydrographic services information. The depth is about 10 meters: the draft of the Costa Concordia is 8.50 meters, so it was particularly risky to operate the ship in this area:

Isole Le Scole Raster MapMedia mm3d

With PhotoFusion function, which allows to overlay satellite information transparently on the same chart, we can appreciate how shallow is the water in this area:

Isole Le Scole Raster MapMedia mm3d + PhotoFusion

MapMedia mm3d C-MAP by Jeppesen data has exactly the same information in the area called “Isole Le Scole”:

Isole Le Scole C-MAP MapMedia mm3d

Finally, the 3D display of this MapMedia information confirms this particular shallow water environment:

Isole Le Scole 3D MapMedia

MaxSea International is deeply saddened after this terrible accident and expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the victims.

12 thoughts on “Costa Concordia shipwreck: focus on the navigation charts

  1. Sterilecuckoo January 18, 2012 / 16:20

    Why cut through between Isola de Scole, There is so much more room to the east of the island. And surely this is not a good location for a vantage point from land (esp at 10:30 pm local time)

    Has the moment of original impact and its location been defined?

  2. Gorascie January 19, 2012 / 07:26

    The proven point of impact is 42°21′20″N 10°55′50″E, which ist not between Isola de Scole and Isla de Giglio.

    • MaxSea January 19, 2012 / 08:22

      Thank you Daniel, we’re going to publish a new screenshot with that point you mentionned.

  3. William C. Winslow January 19, 2012 / 19:19

    The proven point of impact is 42°21′20″N 10°55′50″E, which ist not between Isola de Scole and Isla de Giglio.

    If we know the coordinates of the point of impact, is there any way to confiirm the captain’s contention that he hit an unmarked rock? Surely the alleged rock was a large one to inflict such a large hole in the side of the ship.

  4. John Murrell January 23, 2012 / 21:28

    What is not clear is how the stabiliser passed the rock and the rear of the ship hit it. It must have been making a hard turn to Starboard at the time but even then it seem unlikley.
    The other question is why the ship is on the rocks pointing South when it was heading roughly North – did the Captain manage to turn the Vessel through 180 degrees in an attempt to beach it ?

  5. Daniel June 12, 2012 / 00:02

    Some mariners who aren’t technologically advanced still prefer paper charts. It’s been proven through time as an effective method for safe navigation on water ways.

    • MaxSea June 12, 2012 / 15:48

      Hi Daniel, thank you for your comment. It’s been indeed proven through human history that paper charts are reliable, that’s why Raster charts are so popular! A marine navigation software can enhance your navigation experience, making it safer and more precise (if you use a Routing Module for instance). Electronic charts can be as accurate as paper charts (they’re scans!) with the possibility of adding more information, overlaying data, zooming, editing, and saving routes and tracks.

  6. John Murrell June 12, 2012 / 19:05

    The tracks I have seen all show that the ship left the island of Le Scole to port. It is not clear how close to the rocks on the right hand edge of the charlets above the ship passed. The rock the ship hit was quite large and indeed a large piece of it remains embeded in the hull. It can be seen in the images of the ship.
    The latest public tracks show the ship had turned through 180 degrees and the captain may well have been attempting to beach the boat in the harbour.
    It was fortuitous that the ship capsized onto the shore otherwise there would have been very many more killed – it was a disaster averted by luck or skill ?

    • John Murrell June 12, 2012 / 19:42

      There is a very good image at–salvaging-stricken-concordia-cruise-ship-is-tricky-dangerous which shows the size of the hole. The embedded rock and the stabiliser. Of course the stabiliser could have been in the stowed position and have been extended to try to keep the ship upright after the collision. We will probably have to wait for the official report and perhaps the court proceedings to get the actual sequence clarified.

      • MaxSea June 14, 2012 / 08:32

        The image is absolutely amazing, seeing that piece of embedded rock gives you an idea of the strengh of the impact. Thank you very much for sharing this and keep us posted John.

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