# Sinkings off Lampedusa

Discussion in 'Stability' started by Stephen Ditmore, Oct 13, 2013.

1. Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,388
Likes: 44, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 699
Location: Smithtown, New York, USA

### Stephen DitmoreSenior Member

I want to address the issue of the recent tragedies off Lampedusa. While I understand the sinkings had multiple causes, and there are a number of aspects to safety at sea, I believe the effect of overcrowding on intact stability will be shown to have been a significant factor.

I don't care about the politics; I care that people who travel by boat, for whatever reason, do so safely. I would be willing to travel to North Africa to educate people, even if they are people operating outside the law, concerning vessel safety and the number of passengers that any given vessel can carry. Unfortunately I cannot underwrite it myself, but perhaps I can help find someone willing to fund such a mission.

What I'd like to propose (comment invited) is that the following rules of thumb be taught:

• Length (in meters) x Breadth^2 (in meters) / 6 = suggested maximum # of people on board (passengers+crew). (It might be OK to count childeren under 25kg as 1/2 a person if the family does not bring many effects.)
plus either​
• Maximum natural roll period = Breadth (in meters)
or​
Lets say you have a 15 meter x 5 meter boat. If it has a stability book developed by a naval architect, follow those loading instructions. If it has a maximum capacity based on ABYC H-5 or an ISO standard, do not exceed it, but do the following calculation anyway:
• 15 x 5^2 / 6 = 62 people suggested maximum
or​
• With 62 people on board push away from the dock so there's no rubbing, get everyone to rock the boat, and time the natural roll period. All the way over and all the way back is one cycle, so if you start with the boat listing to port and time the roll to starboard, back to port, starboard, back to port <stop>, that's two rolls. Let's say that takes 12 seconds. Divide by 2 and you have the roll period: 6 seconds. That's too slow; the boat is not stable enough. Have some people get off, move heavy items lower in the boat, strap down anything that's moving back and forth when the boat rocks, and try it again until you get the roll period down to 5 seconds.
I'd suggest the addition of fixed, secured ballast if and only if freeboard to the lowest point of the watertight deck remains more than Breadth/5 in the full load condition (1 meter in our example).

Even the most ruthless of profiteers have some interest in surviving and protecting their assets. Lets help educate those willing to listen and comply voluntarily. While these rules-of-thumb are not a substitute for an inclining experiment and stability book by a qualified naval architect, that just isn't going to happen in all cases. My feeling is that teaching captains and boat owners usable guidelines, even if their applicability is not perfect in all cases, is MUCH better than nothing, and will save lives.

Do others agree? Could something like this be organized as a program involving naval architecture students?

2. Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,403
Likes: 283, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1669
Location: Washington

### IkeSenior Member

Sorry to sound cynical but the controlling factors here are not commonsense or safety. They are people wanting to get out of Africa, hunger, poverty, etc, and greed (money times number of passengers). They don't much care about anything else. You see the same thing happening on refugee boats from Cuba or Haiti. You can teach them safety and stability but when someone says I'll give you Thousands to get me on board that boat, they don't care about much else.

3. Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,388
Likes: 44, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 699
Location: Smithtown, New York, USA

### Stephen DitmoreSenior Member

What's useful about this moment is that policymakers are looking at this situation wondering why the bottleneck needs to be the amount of space on the boats. Is there an alternative immigration or economic policy that would not have this consequence? I'm assured by a Libyan businessman that there's plenty of money interested in obtaining boats. If that's the case, why is it a given there will always be a need to overload them? Based on the work of one of my teachers, Cyrus Hamlin, I've written a spreadsheet for optimizing fishing boats that takes both intact stability and profitability into account. This type of analysis is done for ferries. Perhaps good business practice and safety can be combined even when the business is more nefarious ..?

4. Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,862
Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
Location: spain

### michael pierzgaSenior Member

Its a very difficult issue. NATO has been off the coast for years . Operation Active Endeavor. http://www.nato.int/cps/ar/natolive/topics_7932.htm

They track every vessel, large or small. The problem is that they are tasked with catching bad guys, not humanitarian work. If an American warship participating in the operation rescues 300 immigrants these immigrants become an American problem.

Comericial shipping does not want to get involved. Remember the incident in Australia when the Norwegian tanker rescued hundreds of boat people and then was denied entryto Australia. immigrants on your vessel may make you a people smuggler.

Attempting tostop the immigrant flow at the port of departure wont work. Libya in lawless, tunisia is lawless, egypt is lawless. All of these countries want to dump refugees

5. Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,862
Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
Location: spain

### michael pierzgaSenior Member

As far as European countries accecting immigrants. Spain has 25 percent unemployment and a broken budget. Italy is not much better. Greece has melted down. Portugal is flapping like a fish on the deck. Eastern border states are swamped with immigrants from the east.
Very complex issue

6. Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,862
Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
Location: spain

### michael pierzgaSenior Member

As for seaworthy boats. The smuggler have seaworthy boats. Many of the tragedies that dont make the news occur when the smuggler forces the imigrants at gunpoint to jump into the sea and swim to the southern italian coast. Smugglers are not nice guys.
Thousands of immigrants die each year

7. Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,913
Likes: 62, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 719
Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

It wouldnt take long before you would be taking a trip to gitmo for any number of reasons, conspiracy, aiding the enemy, joining the money laudering queue etc etc

8. Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,913
Likes: 62, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 719
Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

Under the law he is required to go to the closest port, and due to pressure from the terrorists he didnt therefore he aided and abetted people smugglers

I was in the the port office in Trinadad years ago and a captain came in that had just rescued another crew from a sunk box ship, the port said your problem take them away, I was amazed.
After they told me they knew they crew would be abandoned by the owner so they didnt want them dumped on their shore.

9. Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,862
Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
Location: spain

### michael pierzgaSenior Member

The movement of people worldwide is a modern problem that requires modern response.

For instance when a box ship rescues boat people off Australia and brings them ashore the Australians should only be responsible for interviewing and processing them. Once processed the rest of the countries of the world should be responsible for taking in thier fair share of true, non economic, refugees.

The entire middle east will soon melt down Under thier oil dictators....million of refugees.

Climate change will generate millions

10. Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,913
Likes: 62, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 719
Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

Give refugees guns and training and send them back?
whats the modern rescue, only do it if they have insurance?
Back in Gadaffi days in the summer the terrorists would get on anything and try to get to the the offshore platforms knowing we serviced the rigs out of Malta.
So we would pick them up give food and blankets ( under the directions of the Libyans) drive around in circles till dark then dump them back in Tripoli...wonder what happened to them after that??

mariner rescuing a mariner is one thing ( still amazed by the action in Trinadad)

11. Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,913
Likes: 62, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 719
Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

the boating industry will boom

12. Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,913
Likes: 62, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 719
Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

I have a mate that worked for the Oz Federal Police and worked offshore, he said the indo's would come over by boat and ask what day the helicopter was coming so they didnt spend too much time on board the vessel.
When they finally came and said we are refugees they search them, all have ozzie credit cards and phones etc etc which they generate with fake ID's as under UN law to claim refugee /asylum you have to give up all claim to property in your home country, thats not gunna work so you need to start with a fake name in your new country.
or you claim it for yourself but not your wife..great laws..NOT

13. ### El_GueroPrevious Member

Send them back to where they came from.

Outsourcing jobs from America was supposed to raise world incomes (it did). But, now everyone with a little income thinks they can afford to become smugglers and smuggle themselves to higher paying jobs ....

14. Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,862
Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
Location: spain

### michael pierzgaSenior Member

My Mom worked in refugee camps interviewing and processing.

The object was to decide which are economic migrants and which are true refugees fleeing for thier lives.

Once people get into a holding camp they learn how to respond in the interview from fellow camp residents.

Soon everyone says the same thing in thier interview and it becomes impossible to separate economic migrants from refugees.

15. ### El_GueroPrevious Member

There are very, very few refugees in these groups.

Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.