Monday, January 16, 2012

Define "Capsize"

What happened in Italy was certainly a tragedy, probably brought on by poor judgement on the master's part.

But what did not happen is a capsize. That ship ran aground, hard aground, but it did NOT capsize. Why do the idiots in the so-called news media insist on calling it a capsize?

"The Poseidon Adventure" deals with a capsized vessel. The keel was pointing at the sky, the deck at the crushing depths. That didn't happen here.

Isn't it the job of someone in the many-levels-of-fact-checking that is (supposed to be) the media to look up simple words in the dictionary? Yet a Google news-search on "capsize" pulls up thousands of stories on the incident off the Italian coast.


Sean D Sorrentino said...

The reason is that this is capsizing. What it did not do is "Turn Turtle," or go completely upside down.

Most of these nautical terms started out when they still had sails on top. Capsizing was when the ship went over and the sails didn't come right back up. If they came right back up, it is called a "Knockdown." If the sails fill with water, and the ship continues until just the hull is visible, it's "turned turtle" as the bottom of the ship showing above the water looks like a turtle shell.

Zendo Deb said...

According to Webster's, Capsize is defined as turned turtle.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

Who are you going to believe, the sailor or the guys running a dictionary?

Zendo Deb said...

Knockdown - as you describe, without the time constraint. Will usually right itself if the boat was well designed.

Pitchpole - go end over end, bow over stern, usually due to very large waves.

roll - Go completely over. a 360 degree turn.

List - to lean over, some boats (mine for example) are in a constant state of list, usually to the way stores are laid in or tankage is installed. Would only be newsworthy if like this, it leaned way over.

What this ship did was run around. Since it is on the bottom - even if the bottom isn't very deep, I would be happy if they said it sank.

Capsize is what a boat looks like when it looks like your cap upon the waters.