Monday, January 16, 2012

Cruise Ship Sinking in Italy

UPDATE: January 26, 2012
16 passengers missing, 16 dead - Captain Schnettino Under House Arrest - Conversation with Italian Coast Guard Released: 
What do you want to do, to go home, Schettino?! It's dark and you want to go home? Go to the bow of the ship where the ladder is and tell me what needs to be done, how many people there are, and what they need! Now!
In 2006, Costa Concordia was the largest ship to sail the waters of Europe and the Mediterranean.  Transporting over 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members weekly, Costa Concordia sailed a 7-day itinerary from Rome (Italy) to ports of call including Savonna, Marseille (France), Barcelona (Spain), Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari (Italy) and Palermo.  

In 2012, on January 14, only a few hours after departure, Costa Concordia ran aground just off the shores of Isola del Giglio (Giglio Island) in Tuscany, Italy, with an internationally diverse group of passengers and crew onboard.  The cruise ship crash produced a huge 164-foot tear in her port side.



Emergency procedures and evacuation of Costa Concordia were inhibited by the increasing slope and tilt of the ship as it sank further into the Italian waters.  At the time of publication, it has been reported that 6 passengers are dead with an additional 29 passengers presumed missing.  Though the Costa Concordia cruise ship sinking is eerily similar to that of the Titanic in 1912, the loss of life is less, although no less important.

Only one day later on January 15, 2012, Costa Cruises released the following statement in regards to the Costa Concordia accident:

"We are working with investigators to find out precisely what went wrong aboard the Costa Concordia. While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary indications are that there may have been significant human error on the part of the ship’s master, Captain Francesco Schettino, which resulted in these grave consequences."

In a press conference held today, Costa Cruises further announced that Captain Francesco Schettino decided to change the intended route of the ship resulting in the Costa Concordia disaster at sea.  Currently in jail, Captain Schettino will face a preliminary hearing tomorrow, January 17, 2012, in Italy.  Also arrested was First Officer of Costa Concordia, Ciro Ambrosio.

In a bizarre twist to the Costa Concordia cruise ship sinking, it has been reported that sailing close to Giglio Island was something of a tradition.  Apparently, as the home to the ship's maitre d', Antonello Tievoli, Costa Concordia would cruise by close to shore as a way of saying hello; it has been reported that Costa Concordia would sound her whistle as she passed by on many occasions.

Additionally, an apparent Facebook posting by Tevoli's sister, Patrizia, 30-minutes prior to the disaster, stated that the Costa Concordia would be passing by "really, really close".

The Costa Concordia cruise ship sinking in Italy is still under investigation.  Those looking for assistance are invited to call Costa Cruises at 1-800-462-6782.

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