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By Lumistar's Chief Scientist

July 15, 2013

Thermal Camera Captures Passengers on Sinking Ship

Photo: Passengers form a human hand over hand chain decent in the dark to the water on a sinking cruise ship Costa Concordia 2012.

Photo: Passengers videoed with thermal camera in the dark form a human hand-over-hand chain decent down to the water where the coast guard awaits next to sinking cruise ship Costa Concordia.

Unfortunately, on January 13, 2012 due to reported captain incompetence, waiting an hour while the ship sank before telling passengers ‘abandon ship’, caused the loss of valuable time for the 4,200 passengers on board. The consequences of delay caused the clock to run out on his own passengers and crew as hundreds of passengers remained trapped on board. Some got out on lifeboats that were forced into free-fall from multiple stories high in the air due to the ship capsizing. Concordia eventually rolled on her starboard side. The passengers who were not able to make a lifeboat were forced to make a frightening hand-over-hand decent in the dark down a rope laid across the capsized ship’s hull. Rescue helicopters were able to capture the above thermal image at night. It took months to recover some of the bodies of 32 passengers that died in the wreckage. The captain was eventually charged with: multiple manslaughter, abandoning a ship, and failing to communicate with maritime authorities. The chaos of the Costa Concordia sinking has thrown a spotlight on the standards of training and emergency preparedness for all crew members including those involved with food and beverage. To see the full details of this disaster unfold watch, Why Ships Sink: Nova available on Netflix.