|No more than 22 of the 4 211 people on the Costa Concordia perished in the accident. Photo of the Costa Concordia leaving La Goulette on 27 May 2009. More from the same day here.|
|The sinking of the Titanic started the process of ever-improving safety regulations and we see the fruits of those in the Costa Concordia accident. Public domain photo from Wikimedia Commons, author unknown.|
The current figures for the Costa Concordia are that she was carrying 4 211 people, of whom six are known to have died and 16 are missing. With the confirmed deaths this gives a fatality rate of 0,1%. If all the missing people are found dead, the fatality rate rises to 0,5%.
From 68 % dead to 0,5% dead in a hundred years is not "learning nothing". That's one hell of an improvement. Now I admit that the conditions on the icy North Atlantic in 1912 were quite different from the sunny Mediterranean in 2012. I'm also not saying that 0,5% is an acceptable rate of loss. Even one death is too much. Never the less, to say that we have learned nothing is hardly fair. That said, there is room for improvement, and the Costa Concordia's crew could have done better.
A very similar accident happened in 2007 to the Sea Diamond (ex-Birka Princess) near Santorini, Greece (and incident almost everyone seems to have forgotten in just five years). The Sea Diamond hit an uncharted reef and sank. There were 1195 passengers and circa 400 crew onboard (sadly I could not find the exact crew figures). Two people perished. By the earlier math, that gives a fatality rate of 0,1%. In other words, no improvement from the Sea Diamond to the Costa Concordia. And bear in mind that the Sea Diamond was built in 1986, 21 years old at the time of the accident, contra the five years of Costa Concordia. The Concordia should have done better and there is clearly still room for improvement in SOLAS regulations. Not to mention in the common sense of Italian ship captains.
[Edit 17. 1. 2012:] Number of people missing from the Costa Concordia is now given as 29 as opposed to the 16 at the time of writing. With the confirmed deaths plus 29 missing, the current highest possible fatality rate is now 0,8%. Which is still low, but notably worse than on the Sea Diamond.