From Titanic to Concordia

7 Feb

Article first published as From Titanic to Concordia on Technorati.

The Titanic

With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking upon us this spring, the  comparisons with last month’s Costa Concordia disaster is one that TV producers  have found too tempting to avoid.  The former event, of course, claimed more  than 1,500 lives in the icy waters of the mid-Atlantic.  In the latter, 17 are  confirmed dead, some 60 injured and 15 still unaccounted for after a  Friday-the-13th grounding off of an Italian island in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The captain of the Titanic went down with the ship.  The captain of the  Concordia fell into a lifeboat.  Aside from the inevitable panic ensuing as  terrified passengers scrambled into lifeboats, do significant similarities exist  between the two maritime disasters?  A century’s worth of books, documentaries  and movies have dissected the Titanic’s fortunes, but the Concordia’s tale is  still to unfold.  And, two cable channels hope to conjure up Titanic-style  ratings in telling the Concordia’s story.

National  Geographic Channel will air “Italian Cruise Ship Disaster:  The Untold  Stories” on Sunday, Feb. 12.  The program promises passenger interviews, crew  member stories, CGI recreating the ship’s rocky collision and submersion off the  island of Giglio; as well as previously-unaired video of the Concordia’s demise.  And, Nat Geo isn’t the only cable channel scheduled to air a Concordia  documentary.

The Discovery  Channel announced plans to air a special this spring focusing on the  Concordia salvage process.  That task poses challenges unlike anything else in  history, the Concordia being substantially larger and bulkier than the Titanic.  The cable channel offerings come on the heels of a sensationalistic “20/20” episode airing on ABC a week after the Concordia disaster.

A more well-balanced program, “The Wreck of the Costa Concordia,” aired  recently on the Canada’s CBC News “Fifth Estate.”  The program featured  testimonials from individuals such as the ship’s doctor, who treated injured  passengers on board while the ship listed precariously.  Another subject: a  local politician from Giglio, who went on board to help rescue passengers.  Both  unsung heroes for now, but if the Titanic is any indication, a century of  notoriety awaits them both.

Costa Concordia

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