Click on this link for the full paper:  the-sinking-of-a-ship-costa-concordia1
Dear Sirs,
Briefly, I have made a study of the Costa Concordia case for the last year and have now a paper of 150 pages on the subject. On Monday last I gave a presentation to the combined marine institutes in London and resulting from that, the overwhelming opinion was that there was a gross miscarriage of justice by the imprisonment of the Captain for manslaughter based on the delay to call muster stations directly after the accident and that this delay of 35 minutes resulted in the deaths of 32 passengers.
In my paper and with reliable witness statements quoted, I, along with many colleagues, believe that imediately following the accident the Captain suffered post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This was further enhanced by guilt syndrome as expounded by Asle Hoffart and Tomas Langkass of Oslo University. Condition of the captains mental state is further endorsed by Professor David Alexander of the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction who also has studied this case.
The critical point I make is that the Captain was charged with delaying the disembarkation for 35 minutes immediately following the accident. However as he was not capable of making any decisive decisions owing to his mental state of denial, he should not have been prosecuted for actions taken or not taken while in this mental state and that for this reason there is ample grounds to appeal to have his conviction  for manslaughter be declared unsound and therefore he be found not guilty based on his Human Rights which was not recognised by the courts
With regard to the deaths of the passengers, the majority of these occured after the lifeboats had left the ship. Out of the 69 liferafts carried,to which the crew were assigned, only three were launched. This left the only way that the crew could leave the vessel was by using the passenger places in the lifeboats. This left, acording to the rescue log of the shore rescue services, over 1000 persons on board to be rescued by the shore services and this rescue was directed by shore personnel, not those of the ship.
None of these issues and many others were  investigated by the safety report used by the criminal courts in their prosecution as the safety report concentrated soley on the actions of the Captain  with a pleas brgain allowed for the Company, althought the company had full knowledge of their ships making such approaches to land and indeed, encouraged this for the benefit of passenger amusement.
Yours Faithfully
Captain Michael Lloyd,
RD**,MNM, CCMar, FNI, RNR.

All members are advised that a memorial service will be held for Captain Louis Crole on Thursday 21st February at 14h00.

The service will be held at the United Church, Andries Pretorius Street, Somerset West.

The family has asked that in  lieu of flowers a donation can be made to the Heart Support Group – details of which will be on the memorial pamphlet at the church.

On the evening of the 23rd October the Society formally awarded Capt Nicholas Sloane the first Society of Master Mariners SA “Gold Medal” and citation. This event took place in the presence of a large group of international salvage delegates attending the International Salvage Union’s AGM held in the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town. In making the presentation the Society’s President, Capt Rob Whitehead, told those assembled that, given the State’s reluctance to recognize the significant achievement and international recognision generated by Captain Sloane’s leadership in the successful salvage of the “Costa Concordia”, the Society had created this gold medal award as its highest honour to a fellow mariner. The laid down criteria for making the award is as follows: “Certificated Master Mariner or Deck Officer who, by an exceptional action, has brought the highest honour to our profession by him or her exercising the pinnacle of marine skills acquired as a result of their qualifications and experience”.

Pictured left is Capt Sloane, Ms Charo Coll (ISU President) and Capt Rob Whitehead

sommsa-medal-presentation      sommsa-citation