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Your Friday Ship Post

Deconstructing 4min of Poseidon Stupidity

**This is based on lifeboat capacity and vessel size as depicted, I would say it’s 75,000-85,000 Gross Tonnes with 1700-2000 passenger capacity. Similar in size to a Royal Caribbean Vision Class or Princess Sun Class both built in the mid to late 90’s for examples. By the late 90’s main line cruise ships classes increased build sizes between 90,000-150,000 Gross Tonnes. *Edit as member ranwithparked noted the vessel was loosely based on the RMS Queen Mary 2

  • Start: It seems like it took them forever to identify the wave, it likely would have come up the the radar first being a giant wall of water several if not a dozen miles out as they likely would have set the radar to longer range scale at sea, especially since it’s so calm. Why is the chief officer looking through a pair of telescopes? Vessels typically don’t carry binoculars with that amount of magnification, if you need to see something that small, that far, chances are the vessel can plow over it without even a scratch, he should have seen the wave much sooner with those anyways. Also, the Chief Officer typically won’t actively be on the bridge at midnight. He’ll have more important things to take care of during the day. It’s really strange because it appears the majority of the deck officers are on the bridge at that midnight and no non-officer deck crew. It’s NYE, if they aren’t on watch they’re probably at a party. I’ve worked on crew on a cruise ship on NYE, there was maybe 3 deck (only one deck officer) and 2 from engineering working watches, the other 1000 crew myself included were partying or working parties. Also, you simply wouldn’t have that many screens and lights on the bridge and night. Similar to the SAAB night mode typically the bridge turns off every overhead light and all non-essential screens. They and reduces the brightness of the rest.
  • 0:10 What kind of goof naval architect would have designed a bridge console with the propulsion and rudder controls separated so that they aren’t controllable by one person? And if they did, why wasn’t there a helm control station also on the starboard side?
  • 0:15 Yeah, the ship isn’t going to turn very quickly at service speed, the officers would know exactly how fast and how far it will turn, the information on the vessels steering characteristics are on the bridge.
  • 0:17 So this old guy is about to jump off to his death, sees the wave, and decides nah screw it. I guess he chooses life but he rushes into a steel coffin? I don’t have a procedure for dealing with a wave that’s approximately twice the height of what’s ever been recorded, but in his case the best chance to live would probably have been to grab a life ring on the railing, drop to the deck and brace a bulkhead, plug his nose, and attempt to shield his head from the wave. If it didn’t knock him out then it’s a matter of holding breath and swimming to the surface and finding more floating debris, or a raft. Large passenger vessels carry rafts that automatically deploy should the rafts submerge 9ft underwater in addition to the lifeboats/tenders.
  • 0:45 This is a huge wave in a very calm sea. Like a large meteorite hit the ocean or something. Rogue waves are usually accompanied by other significant waves…
  • 0:55 Bow thrusters likely wouldn’t do anything at the speed due to the Coandă effect, thrusters are only really able to be utilised at vessel speeds below 4kts. They pulled the starboard engine back and applied helm however the vessel but still have the port engine maxed they would still be way above speed where the thrusters would do anything meaningful.
  • 0:57 The general alarm is actually a real thing but it’s noted first off by 7 short 1 long of the ship’s whistle/horn then followed by klaxon/alarms. In an emergency, crew members will begin directing passengers (they have specific muster positions to do this). Instead of this mass panic.
  • 1:06 The Captain does actually mingle with the passengers during sailings but will be wearing his uniform, not a tux. In a real scenario every eye and ear in that room from the passengers are going to turn to him after the announcement while the crew begins to muster.
  • 1:12 Kurt Russel knows to save his energy, smart!
  • 1:15 This chick really took her son to the NYE party? Normally kids would have their own separate shindig separating them from a bunch of annoying drunk boomers. He’d probably rather be in the cabin; I know I would’ve.
  • 1:29 I can’t help but think they should have gone to port and took the wave aft? 2 Major reasons: I personally wouldn’t point the nice glass bridge at a wall of water, risking wiping out the bridge when the windows smash. Then there’s the fact that it would have given them more time and distance to turn possibly reducing the amount of impact and force taken on the length of the ship.
  • 1:45 I love how the bridge crew are all in stupid positions not braced for the impending roll, that one guy does a back-flip over the console. A real missed opportunity for a Wilhelm scream.
  • 1:57 The registration being Southampton being a nod to the RMS Titanic which started its voyage from Southampton on its famously tragic maiden voyage. The RMS Titanic was however actually registered in Liverpool where she was built. *2 Edits: As ranwhenparked noted the vessel is loosely based on the QM2 which is registered in Southampton. gmporschenut also a fan of hondas corrected in that the Titanic was built in Belfast, not Liverpool.
  • 2:00 These people do the whole running around with their heads cut off well but not the whole brace for roll as shown for the next minute and a half.
  • 3:20 I have my doubts that it would continue the roll via inertia and right back to a 90-degree list because the interior decks above the waterline and the stack would likely cause a lot of roll resistance past capsize and complete loss of stability righting lever. As seen at 2:50 the bridge windows broke so we can kind of assume the windows of the whole starboard side would be gone too.
  • 3:23 What is exploding? The lifeboats? They’ve just been unhealthily dunked underwater. The side of the vessel has just been underwater and now looks like it’s being bombed by a B2 Spirt for some reason…
  • 3:30 Again, where is this explosion from? The main galley/kitchen? Everything in there is electric… Cooking with gas isn’t viable onboard a vessel for serving all 2500-3000 people each day especially on reposition cruises where a week can be spent at sea.

Any questions or anything you’d add?
And yes doing the whole movie would end up in a novel. I classify this film as a comedy rather than disaster.

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