On January 13, 2012 the cruise ship Costa Concordia will be ten years old. The Costa Concordia was an Italian passenger-cargo liner sailing from Civitavecchia to Giglio Island when it capsized off the coast of Isola del Giglio and sank into water 2,460 feet (750 meters) deep. More than 32 people died in a tragedy that also claimed 4,208 tons of fuel oil on board resulting in one of Italy’s worst environmental disasters ever.
The Costa Concordia was a cruise ship that ran aground on the rocks off the coast of Italy in 2012. The ship sank and caused the deaths of 32 people. It was ten years ago today, when the ship hit rocks off the shore of Cape Corse, near Sicily. The wreck is now a popular tourist destination for divers.
The Costa Concordia went aground and crashed on the cliffs of Giglio, Italy, ten years ago on January 13, 2012.
By the following morning’s daybreak, 32 passengers and crew members had perished, and the ship’s master, Francesco Schettino, was facing not just inquiries about what had occurred, but also charges that he had abandoned leadership of the ship while people were still in danger.
As a consequence of that night’s catastrophe, new safety protocols would be implemented throughout the cruise industry in the following years.
Let’s take a look back at the events of that tragic and fatal Friday the 13th a decade later.
What caused the Costa Concordia to sink?
Resolve Marine provided this image.
The Costa Concordia embarked on a seven-night cruise from Civitavecchia, Italy, at 7 p.m. local time. The ship’s Captain, Francesco Schettino, ordered the ship to divert from its original route and proceed for the tiny Italian island of Giglio to execute a “sail-by salute,” a move designed to wow both passengers and locals by sailing extremely near to the island.
At 9:45 p.m., as the ship approached Giglio precariously, the port side of the ship brushed a rock, shattering the hull and forcing the ship to lurch violently and dive into darkness. The ship’s commanders first only informed passengers and the Italian Coast Guard of the power failure, assuring them that the matter was under control.
Meanwhile, mayhem reigned on the bridge and below decks as officers and crew members urgently sought to stop water that eventually reached the engine room. The hull was ripped apart for 167 feet, and three of the ship’s watertight compartments were ruptured – a circumstance that would eventually sink the ship.
Concordia was free-floating over the next hour, picking up the wind and tides. The ship was blasted north and twisted about, with the starboard side colliding with an underwater rock shelf, causing the ship to lurch and turn over on its side once again.
Captain Schettino ultimately issued a General Alarm at 10:42 p.m., and lifeboats were deployed shortly after as passengers and staff began evacuating ship in what has been characterized as a chaotic procedure. The ship’s rising list made releasing lifeboats difficult, and many of the lifeboats were either unreachable or already sunk and unable to be launched.
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The Costa Concordia’s Sinking Timeline
Resolve Marine provided this image.
Italian Coast Guard rescue crews began to arrive more than 90 minutes after the initial hit with the rugged island beach.
Gregorio De Falco, commander of the Livorno coast guard fleet, is frustrated by his inability to contact Captain Schettino via radio and phones him on his mobile phone, only to learn that he is in a lifeboat.
Here’s a partial transcript of one of their heated exchanges:
De Flaco: Captain, what are you doing?
Schettino: I’m on my way to the lifeboat. I’m in charge of rescue operations.
DF: How are you going to coordinate from there? Schettino? Schettino, pay attention to what I’m saying. On board, there are those who are stranded. Now you return to the ship with your lifeboat and tell me how many people are on board. Is that all clear?… You tell me whether there are any children, women, or persons in need of help, and how many of each of these groups there are.
S: Commander, if you’ll excuse me.
DF: Are you refusing to return to the ship, Captain? Tell me why you are unable to attend.
S: Do you understand how dark it is here and how little we can see?
DF: Schettino, do you want to go home? You want to go home since it’s becoming dark? Return to the ship through the ladder and let me know what we can accomplish. How many individuals are there, and what are their requirements? Now! Schettino You may have escaped the water, but this is a terrible situation. I’m going to put you through hell. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The Captain disobeyed the command.
By 1 a.m., the ship’s final operational lifeboat had drawn away, leaving over 100 people on board to be rescued by Coast Guard divers and choppers, as well as by descending down a ladder on the ship’s side while holding hands.
At that moment, the ship’s port side was practically horizontal, and some people were climbing and clinging to the hull in preparation for escape. The Coast Guard was aware that individuals were falling, leaping, or being forced into the freezing water, a death sentence for those who were not rescued or reached shore soon enough.
Residents of Giglio greeted those who made it off the ship with wide arms, offering warm blankets, food, and drink, as well as lodging in their houses.
A big search and rescue effort for roughly 100 missing passengers and crew members became larger as dawn broke. A week later, 20 persons are still missing, with 12 confirmed dead, indicating that the eventual death toll will be 32.
Over two and a half years later, when the ship was salvaged and dismantled, the corpse of one crew member was discovered.
Captain Francesco Schettino is a captain in the Italian Navy.
Captain Schettino was put under house arrest in the days after the catastrophe, charged with homicide, abandoning the ship, and creating a shipwreck.
Rumors circulated on social media that the married 51-year-old Captain was entertaining a young, putative mistress on the bridge, Moldovan dancer Domnica Cemortan, when the ship went aground.
According to reports, the young lady was sailing as the captain’s guest and was not on the passenger lists. When audiotapes of Schettino’s discussion with Coast Guard Captain De Falco were made public, public opinion in Italy turned even more against the Captain.
Schettino’s trial started in July 2013 and was closely followed by the media. At trial, a significant topic was who ordered the ship to travel near to Giglio: was it Costa Cruises’ leadership or the ‘rogue’ Captain Schettino?
During his evidence, Schettino confessed that since the diversion from the ship’s path was not an official instruction, he did not notify the corporation.
Resolve Marine provided this image.
Schettino, who was accused of leaving the ship, stated during his trial that he slipped and fell into a lifeboat, forcing him to leave the ship. His claim is contradicted by video of him boarding the lifeboat with ease.
The trial of Schettino lasted 19 months, and he was eventually convicted to 16 years and one month in jail. His appeal was turned down.
Five other crew members who were involved in the sail-by or who failed to take adequate steps to avert the catastrophe made plea deals for manslaughter but were spared jail time in the end.
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Safety is being re-emphasized in the cruise industry.
Following the Costa Concordia disaster, both authorities and key cruise industry participants tightened safety requirements within months, hoping to avoid a repeat of the disaster.
Because of the Costa Concordia, all passengers must now participate in obligatory exercises before boarding a ship.
Prior to the ship’s departure, one of the first adjustments was to make the muster drill obligatory for all passengers. Passengers could previously muster up to 24 hours after boarding, so some passengers who boarded Concordia in Civitavecchia on January 13 may not have finished their exercise, leaving them unsure of what to do or where to respond in the case of an emergency.
Shortly after the event, Italian authorities issued a “no salute” regulation, affecting navigation operations in and around Venice.
Shipbuilders and cruise companies have changed the design and operation of ships to better support evacuations in various scenarios.
Ports all across the globe have examined their capabilities to react to a large-scale, mass-casualty catastrophe like the Costa Concordia grounding and are better prepared in the event of a disaster.
Though cruise reservations initially decreased in the wake of the Costa Concordia disaster, they swiftly rebounded as pictures of the stranded ship faded from television screens and newspaper pages.
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The “Costa Concordia” was a cruise ship that sank in 2012. The ship was carrying 4,200 passengers and crew members. Over a hundred people were killed in the accident. Ten years later, there is still no clear answer to what happened on that fateful night. Reference: francesco schettino.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Costa Concordia now 2019?
A: The Costa Concordia is currently in the port of Genoa.
What happened to the Costa Concordia salvage?
Did they find all the bodies on the Costa Concordia?
A: No, they did not. Only one body was found in the bowels of the ship and that bodys identity remains unknown to this day.
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