Chaos as Costa Concordia cruise ship keeled over

The hearing in Italy into the catastrophic grounding of the cruise ship, Costa Concordia, has heard that chaos reigned on the ship’s bridge following the collision.

Evidence surrounding the Costa Concordia’s demise when it hit rocks off the island of Giglio, Italy, in January this year, is currently being revealed at the hearing. Voice recordings of events that took place on the ship’s bridge immediately following the collision have been played to the court, and they paint a picture of panic, chaos and conflicting orders among the craft’s decision makers that can have done little to improve the situation.

The ships 51-year-old captain, Francesco Schettino, is heard shouting instructions that conflict with those being shouted by his deputy, Ciro Ambrosio. Prior to the recorded interaction, it was alleged that the captain had said that he wanted to go and do a salute, thought to mean a salute to the island of Giglio. He then allegedly told the helmsman to change course or the ship would go on the rocks. The recording, with its exchanges carried out in a mixture of Italian and English, continues with the captain ordering the closing of the watertight compartments in the vessel’s hull, and repeating the order.

32 people died as a result of the grounding and the ship subsequently keeling over, and captain Schettino is accused of causing a shipwreck, manslaughter, and abandoning ship. He has yet to be charged with the accusations and has defended himself by saying that many more lives would have been lost had he not steered the ship into shallower waters.

Eight other people are also under investigation for their part in the tragedy, including three executives from Costa Crociere, the company that owns the ship.

The hearing is on-going.

Costa Concordia Wreck Becomes Tourist Attraction

The wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise liner, which lies off the Tuscan island of Giglio, has been attracting tourists eager to see the once-magnificent ocean liner lying on its side, more than half submerged beneath the sea.

The cruise ship attracted much attention from the media when it ran aground after hitting rocks. The ship carrying 4,000 people could not recover from the collision and capsized on January 13 this year. The catastrophe claimed 32 lives, and some bodies have not yet been recovered.

The ship is still lying on its side and has now become a favourite spot for tourists, who visit the wreck site from nearby Santo Stefano, which is about 15km east and a part of the Italian mainland. From there they can take a ferry to view the wreckage site.

Tourists are prepared to pay EUR10 per ticket for a ferry to take them close enough to photograph the stricken craft.

Giglio’s mayor, Sergio Ortelli, said, ‘There has been a rise in the number of tourists coming for the day, with curious people taking photos of the giant sprawled on the rocks.’ He added that the Giglio had become some sort of a museum. He quickly added, ‘We prefer tourism that’s based on the sea and the environment.’

Plans are being made to re-float the ship and move it from the site by next year. It will be towed to a port, dismantled and sold as scrap.

Giglio’s environment councillor, Alessandro Centurioni, said, ‘The Concordia has become part of our landscape, but it has also spoiled it. Every time I see it, I feel the pain and sadness once more.’

 

Youtube cruise ship adverts next to pictures of sinking ship

RED-faced cruise companies are rushing to remove adverts from Youtube – after their package deals were flashed up alongside BBC images of the Costa Concordia disaster.

Cruise companies faced embarrassment as the unfortunate adverts on the video sharing website popped up on videos of the Costa Concordia disaster, which left six dead and 29 people still missing.

One advert, for reviews site cruisecritic.co.uk, even referenced the Costa Concordia itself, advertising reviews for trips on the giant vessel.

Another, for iglucruise.com, read: “Great offers on single cabins. No single supplements” over images of the ship lying on its side.

An advert for Cunard, who describe themselves as running “The world’s most famous cruise liners”, read: “Discover exotic global destinations and save up to 10% – Book Now!” over pictures of the ship, owned by Costa Cruises, leaning to the side as it went down.

The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground with more than 4,000 passengers and crew on 13 January, only hours after leaving the Italian port of Civitavecchia.

The giant ship hit a rocky outcrop off the island of Giglio in the Meditirranean sea at about 9.30 on Friday night.

Hopes of finding any further survivors were fading today/yesterday (TUESDAY) as divers began to blast holes in the side of the ship’s hull for easier access.

The crude adverts appeared on videos of news coverage of the disaster, advertising Thompson, Iglu cruises and the world famous Cunard line, owners of the Titanic.

A spokesperson for Iglu cruises said: ‘We were unaware that an Iglu advertisment was being shown alongside the film.

“It was placed by Google, was clearly inappropriate and has been pulled.

“Google place ads where they consider appropriate and this is done automatically using key word technology.

“What happened illustrates the limitations of their automated placement system and we will be discussing with them the need for closer and more effective monitoring.”

Red faced tour operators were left scrambling to have their adverts removed from videos of the disaster.

A spokesperson for CruiseCritic.co.uk, who’s adverts for reviews of the Costa Concordia itself had appeared on the video, said it would “probably have to be removed”.

Nobody from Cunard was available for comment.