Barbados will lead investigation into sinking of sailing vessel Concordia

UPDATE on Concordia sinking:

– Captain says “a miracle” that everyone survived.

– Micro-burst: Ship went from upright to sinking in 15 or 20 seconds before Mayday could be sent. 30 hours in lifeboats

“The ship had gone from sailing upright to being on her side in the water in about 15 or 20 seconds,” William Curry said. “I knew, of course, that the blow to the ship was fatal and that she was not going to right.”

…The gust that knocked the ship on its side came so suddenly there was no time to radio for help before all communications equipment was submerged and ruined. So hope rested on a distress beacon that launched automatically when the vessel capsized.”

… from the AP article Shipwrecked students feared remote death at sea

BFP’s original story below with added video at end…

All rescued after school vessel capsized & sank off Brazil on Thursday

Barbados will be responsible for carrying out an investigation into the rough-weather sinking of the sailing vessel Concordia because the ship was registered in our country. According to Transport Canada spokesman Steve Bone, these are rules even though the ship was based in Lunenburg, Canada and was owned by a Canadian school “Class Afloat”.

A total of 64 crew and students took to the lifeboats and were rescued about 500kms off the coast of Brazil. A Brazilian Navy report says the vessel turned upside down in strong winds and that the survivors were picked up after spending almost 24 hours adrift in their lifeboats.

I can’t imagine what it would take to perform a proper investigation into the sinking, but presumably our officials would have to interview all crew and many of the students. The vessel was built eighteen years ago in Poland and there have probably been changes since then. Perhaps videos or photos from past cruises would be helpful.

The news media says that the vessel had a good reputation for being seaworthy and was seriously inspected last year by Canadian authorities as a requirement to allow the ship to travel between Canadian ports as part of a Tall Ship festival.

In 1996 an explosion on board caused the death of a student en route to Australia. There is no indication in the media as to whether Barbados officials investigated that event.

I presume that Barbados will be responsible for the entire cost of the current investigation as it just goes with the job if our country is in the business of offering itself as a flag of convenience to offshore vessel owners.

Thank the Lord there were no deaths because then we’d really have to pull out all the stops for an investigation and in a worst-case disaster that could be expensive.

Now there’s a question: How much does Barbados receive every year for allowing vessels to use our flag? How many vessels and how much money per vessel? What are the expenses to run such a registration system? And what about vessels that default on payment? What does Barbados do then?

It seems to me that the answers to those questions would make an interesting story.

Thanks to an old friend for sending us this video of the ship and its mission…

Further Reading

Chronicle Herald Nova Scotia: Canadian agency won’t play big role in probe

Vancouver Sun: Canadian ship sinks off Brazil, all aboard rescued

The Globe and Mail: First rescued Canadians dock in Rio


Filed under Barbados, Canada, Disaster

9 responses to “Barbados will lead investigation into sinking of sailing vessel Concordia

  1. crossroads

    It will be interesting to see how swift our local investigators get into action for our overseas friends.

  2. reality check

    This should be a real thorough investigation similar to the Archcot building disaster where actual Barbadians lives were lost through negligence, incompetency and malfeasance.

    Don’t hold your breath unless its sub-contracted out to individuals who are qualified.

    Barbadian lives don’t count for much but then again neither do tourists like Terry Schwarzfeld.

  3. West Side Davie

    There will be a pretended investigation that’s all.

    Remember that we didn’t have coroner’s inquests into hundreds of deaths over two decades and then the coroner rubber stamped “inquests” to get legal? Most of those “inquests” consisted of looking at paperwork ten years old and writing a paragraph or two. Anybody who thinks that Barbados is sending an investigative team to Canada to interview crew and passengers has rocks in their head.

  4. cq8

    Why can’t we ever have a government that cares more for Barbados than a political party’s base?

  5. TheNickster

    As long as they aren’t Haitian, they will be welcomed with open arms. As for investigation that should be “entertaining”.

  6. peter loveridge

    hate to tell you byes, there not much to investigate here. A microburst has winds of over 100 knots, comes on you in less than a minute. One could cause the Queen Mary difficulties. Having been in one in a small boat, it is an experience I don’t want to repeat. I’ve been alongside the Concordia a number of times in Lunenburg and Halifax. It was virtually new ( for a tall ship), and well found. fact is, sailing these sort of boats cannot be made totally safe.The captain and crew should be commended for saving the entire crew, this usually doesn’t happen

  7. Are you going to raise the boat or leave it rotting in the sea forever?

  8. Pingback: Canadian authorities reject Barbados investigation of Concordia sinking « Barbados Free Press