Fourteen Days into 2012 and Calm Waters show their Cruelty as the Italian Cruise Ship Topples into shallow calm waters. Ships, unlike automobiles, have no Crumple Zones. The Cruel Sea claims lives again.
As I watched the pictures on BBC, my Soul shivered ..I went Cold as I looked at the rolled - over Whale Skeleton of a Â£300 Million Dream Cruise Ship. Useless Folly. Empty Sailing on Empty Skeletons. Iron Rafts.
The modern double-skinned hull construction is still only two thin skins. A naval architect I did some work for in the past, actually once a school colleague, was once at pains to explain to me that a modern ship was in reality like an eggshell, its strength being in the whole structure. The Ship is the Crumple Zone.
The nature of a cruise ship is to expound Light, Space, Volume,...and Glamour.
Empty Volume is no "Lifeboat Air-case."
My Father Frank was the works foreman at "Alfred Jeffery and Co." They produced Seamflex deck caulking, Mendex two-part repair filler for Wooden Decks, and, the first Expanding Polyurethane foam compound for......Lifeboat Air-Cases....! Dad was the Demonstrator of this small firm at the London Boat Shows at Earl's Court. He was at many of the Boat Shows. Many years later I was to become a Wooden Boat owner.
Dad has passed, and so has the original firm of Alfred Jeffery at Stratford in east London.
Trained in Timber Technology..He knew his Stuff. He could caulk a seam. He helped make boats float, and Stay Floating.
RNLI Lifeboats in the 1960's required sealed foam-filled air-cases to enable the Self-Righting ability of the then modern Rescue Lifeboats
Again to the "Crumple Zone". Ships have, to my present knowledge, NO ability to crumple in zones of the hull. Crumple the ship....it rapidly, inexorably sinks.
Watching the British World War One Battleships sink one by one at Jutland, the Admiral declared. "There's Something Wrong with Our Ships..."
And in 2012.....There's Something Wrong With Our Ships!.....
Apart from watertight bulkheads..they are just "Iron Rafts".
2012 again reminds us of shallowness in all things being Folly. Calm waters can be Cruel too.