Giglio and GPS

Isola Giglio is small, but it’s not that small.  We have sailed from there south to Giannutri and Cittavecchia.  We’ve sailed north past it from Rome to Elba.  You can see a picture of tiny Giglio harbour on our travel blog.

The bewilderment on the news is that people died in the evacuation of the Costa Concordia, the cruise liner wrecked there last night.  I find it more extraordinary that the vessel hit the island in the first place.  It was a calm, fine night,  The channel between Giglio and the Italian mainland is over 6 nautical miles wide.  GPS works round there.

Many of us who sail in small boats are worried that big ships, including these cruise ships, no longer keep an adequate bridge watch when steaming in open waters.  They rely on instruments and reduced crews, with too little back up if the machinery malfunctions, or a watch-keeper is distracted.  This accident makes me even more suspicious.

My sympathy goes out to everyone who’s lost a loved one and the frightened and injured passengers.  I hope the inquiry covers all the relevant issues.


About Sarah Tanburn

I'm a writer, a sailor and a strategic adviser to public organisations. Visit my websites to find out more.
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