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Video: Disaster on the sea and ‘Inside Concordia’

  1. Closed captioning of: Disaster on the sea and ‘Inside Concordia’

    >>> nice to be seeing you. i'm dylan ratigan . another wild week coming to a conclusion. we start today with a different approach. we have the privilege and really the opportunity to explore some of this with you. we couldn't help. exclusive footage from inside the most horrifying commercial sea disaster since the titanic. referring to the concordia disaster. 17 people lost their lives. we understand that this departure from where we'd dipically start the show, but with the video and story so compelling, we did want to get this out into the conversation this afternoon. all of it is featured in the discovery channel special that will air this weekend. one clip despite the captain's orders for passengers to remain calm and stay on the boat, understandably, in the face of those orders in a boat that was sink bing, they did not listen to the captain.

    >> i think he's in denial. i think he's hoping against hope he can keep his ship afloat. he does not take that important step of ordering everyone to lifeboat stations early enough for them to avoid the panic that comes with the call " abandon ship ."

    >> that most significant leadership trait, the humility to actually acknowledge what's happening and adjust, lacking. the captain, by the time he called abandon ship , the ship was already tipping over. thousands of passengers still on board the boat at the time not nearly enough lifeboats at that time to take them off the boat. incredibly, the captain's actions and judgment are believed to have cost lives, the discovery channel experts believe a change in the wind direction at the moment of the disaster actually saved many lives. it it airs this sunday night at 10:00 p.m . captain michael burns of the maritime academy helped analyze the disaster for the folks at the discovery channel . let's start with how the wind could have saved all those people. walk us through your logic on that.

    >> well, what happened with our investigation, we had access to position data that showed the moment that the ship did strike the rocks. and then begin to slowly lose speed and come to rest dead in the water . . the wind direction at the time was coming from the northeast. it helped to set the ship down on to the shore where it finally came to rest on the ocean floor . had had that wind direction been slightly different, it's possible the ship could have been lost all together.

    >> this story were it not so real and were the consequences not so permanent and disastrous is almost like a mythological tale of bad leadership. of the inability to recognize and have the humility to pivot, if you will, or to change inside of your course of actions and command because of either your own denial or own ego or whatever it might be is the observation from a casual viewer of myself like this, does that correlate with the way you conducted your analysis?

    >> certainly, to put one's ego aside and realize that there are lives you're responsible for is something that that captain has to take into account. and giving the order to abandon ship is one of the most gut-wrenching decisions he could ever have to make.

    >> and your view based on the analysis that you have conducted as to -- actually, forget your the protocol? is there a protocol at which that individual must order abandon ship regardless of how it might reflect on how they have been driving the ship or any variable that may ultimately fall to their responsibility that occurred prior?

    >> well, the decision to abandon ship ultimately rests with the master. in his mind, if conditions on the ship are such that he doesn't think that people can survive on board, then he's obliged to give the order to abandon ship . and that order needs to be given in enough time for everybody to be accounted for and to board the lifeboats and abandon the ship with everybody safely escaping.

    >> so the threshold for the decision, as soon as it appears that the risk of loss of life off the boat is lower than it is on the boat, that's the sort of judgment around which any ship captain is deciding. is that correct?

    >> that's ultimately the decision he would have to make. are my chances of survival better in the lifeboats than they are on board the ship?

    >> and how much of that process is revealed in this piece that you led for discovery ?

    >> well, it seems that the order to abandon ship may have been delayed. the ship was taking on water and beginning to list to the star board side of the ship. and that caused some of the lifeboats to have some difficulty in launching because of the severe angle that she was listing.

    >> when you look at what is possible in the modern day , which is really the only reason we're able to have this conversation, where you have camera footage inside of a large commercial cruise liner , a very familiar experience to a lot of people around the world, you think about sort of the nightmares that people conjure around the titanic and all of this. what do you believe we will learn by experiencing what is presented in this video and really learn about the core characteristics of leadership in making difficult decisions, whatever the decisions were on this particular ship?

    >> one of the things i think we'll take away in terms of leadership is that the captain really needs to, um, put his ego aside in evaluating the situation that's going on there and realize that the lives of thousands of people are in his hands. and he needs to make decisions that are in their best interests and not necessarily his.

    >> and is there any parallel to the research around the "titanic"? it had a tremendous amount of ego. the certainty of its grandeur amplifies the irony of the tragedy. and we see a lot of leadership, and i don't mean to take you to a place that's less comfortable, so you have no obligation to do this. you look broadly at corporate leadership, all the leadership in this country and really in the world, it seems like there's a tendency in a lot of leaders to skew towards self-preservation or their sense of self-preservation at the expense for whom they have assumed responsibility. and i'm interested in whether you feel that i'm going too far in sort of offering that as a journalist as an observation?

    >> i would say that as a practicing mariner, as someone who has been captain of his own ship and i'm sure many of my fellow mariners would agree with me, the safety of the ship and of the crew is of utmost importance to you. you will do anything in your power to keep them safe. you just have to be in that position and be prepared to deal with the consequences.

    >> what would you say of other leaderships of this country, outside of discipline and danger that you're forced to work in, obviously, with a large set of risks and very fatal consequences, at a lower threshold, what would you say is something we could all learn about leadership that is so essential to your function and all our maritime captain's function on the water around the world?

    >> to lead by example is something. certainly that we teach our cadets at the academy. to take care of your people. and they will take care of you.

    >> thank you, captain michael burns out of the massachusetts maritime academy . there's the piece. " cruise ship disaster inside the concordia." all sorts of footage included in that on sunday at 10:00 p.m . thank you for indulging my questions. coming up,

Photos: Luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia runs aground

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  1. People on lifeboats evacuate the Costa Concordia after it ran aground on Jan. 13, 2012, killing 32 people. The cruise ship is the subject of the biggest salvage operation in maritime history (Giuseppe Modesti / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Passengers arrive at Porto Santo Stefano on Jan. 14 after the Costa Concordia ran aground off the Italian island of Giglio. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Costa Concordia cruise liner captain Francesco Schettino is escorted by Italian police on Jan. 14, 2012, in Grosseto. Schettino was arrested on charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship, police said. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Firefighters on a dinghy look at a rock emerging from the side of the Costa Concordia on Jan. 15, 2012. (Andrea Sinibaldi / Lapresse via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A woman looks at the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise liner on Jan. 16, 2012. (Gregorio Borgia / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. A satellite image shows the wreck of the Costa Concordia off the island of Giglio on Jan. 17, 2012. (DigitalGlobe) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Search and rescue teams continue the search for survivors on the Costa Concordia on Jan. 19, 2012. (Tullio M. Puglia / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Police divers look at the bell of the stricken Costa Concordia luxury liner during their underwater search on Jan. 19, 2012. (Carabinieri via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Divers make their way into a flooded cabin of the Costa Concordia cruise ship In this undated photo released by the Italian Navy on Jan. 24, 2012. (Italian Navy / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. The capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship lies off the snow-covered island of Giglio on Feb. 11, 2012. (Giampiero Sposito / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A boy prepares to snorkel in front of the wreckage of the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia on Aug. 28, 2012. (Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. The Costa Concordia cruise ship lays near the harbor of Giglio on Oct. 14, 2012. The luxury cruise ship capsized and sank on Jan. 13, 2012, after approaching the Tuscan island of Giglio to perform a manuever close to the shore known as a "salute." (Filippo Monteforte / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Workers stand on the Costa Concordia cruise ship near the port on Jan. 8, 2013 on the Italian island of Giglio. (Filippo Monteforte / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. An aerial view, taken from an Italian Navy helicopter, shows the Costa Concordia surrounded by other vessels on Aug. 26. (Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A diver participates in a search operation Sept. 24, 2013, for two missing bodies onboard the Costa Concordia. The last two missing bodies were recovered on Sept. 26. (Laura Lezza / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Vessels surround the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship during an operation to refloat the boat on July 14, 2014 off the Italian island of Giglio. More than two-and-a-half years after it crashed off in a nighttime disaster which left 32 people dead, the plan is to raise and tow the vessel in an unprecedented and delicate operation for its final journey to the shipyard where it was built in the port of Genoa. (Vincenzo Pinto / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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