Today on the news a cruise ship in the Mediterranean that ran aground gouging it's side and taking on water. The captain of which is now in jail for not only failing to do his job as a captain but also for abandoning ship before making sure that his passengers and crew were all safe.
The root of this I can't help but think that the tide had something to do with the accident. I mean, it's a cruise ship. They run the same course every time with every group of people I'd bet. But rather than this being a case of running off course, I'd guess that someone didn't check the charts or time of day and the depth of the sea in this area based on the tides. It's truly a shame to see such a loss of a ship like this. It looked like it must have been quite a cruise liner.
No matter what size boat you operate, you have to know the waters you are in. Simply pushing through the water blindly is just a wreck waiting to happen.
My heart goes out to the families of all the lives lost and to those whom are still missing.
This whole cruise ship sinking brings me back to a time when I was just a younger guy just out of college with some at the time, silly ideas. One such idea which I actually submitted via a patent search or invention submission company was a system for raising private yachts that had recently sunk. Or better yet to prevent them from ever reaching the bottom of whatever body of water they were in at the time. I never heard back from the company on my idea and don't know if anything ever came of it but I'm now wondering if my invention could be used in this situation.
The idea as it was, would be a pressurized system that detected water submersion and if so, would inflate a raft if you will that would float on the surface of the water and allow the sunken vessel to simply hover just under the waterline. I'm not a physics expert, but if you pulled the plug of a boat, let her sink, there has to be a way to calculate the mass of air needed to keep the sunken mass from going down any further.
I figured that this would be a great invention for insurance companies to promote to their customers. You'd just bolt in some way this pack to the bow of your vessel and another one or two to the back as well. If submerged for a few minutes or longer, the airbags would deploy and float the vessel just under the waterline. Then a tow boat could come and just tow it back to shore to a waiting dry dock or crane depending on the size of the boat.
If you look at the cruise ship in italy, it's on it's side in only I'd say about 60 feet of water. Fitting the ship with some air bags on the starboard side along with the same amount on the skyward port side, would raise the ship off the bottom and possibly even right the ship.
Just think if a ship like this had my system or ida in place before this happened. They could have prevented it from even tipping over or going this far!!! It's kind of the same concept of having a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) emergency concept device that could be connected to the side of a ship in an emergency to prevent sinking. Who knows, maybe it'll surface someday.