Update, January 17: Captain Francesco Schettino left the ship before all passengers were off. He is alleged to have made an unauthorized detour too close to shore.
The skipper claimed the rocks that tore a 160 foot hole in the hull were not on the map, not that it matters if he wasn’t supposed to go there. The Italian prosecutors claim that the skipper hit a well known rock formation.
The skipper is facing charges of manslaughter, shipwreck and leaving the ship before the passengers.
The Captain said he stayed a safe distance from shore (Editor’s note: well, that’s not accurate, is it?). He also said he and his crew were the last to leave the ship.
They were only out at sea for three hours and did not have time to run through an evacuation drill.
The passengers claimed that for about 20 minutes, passengers were told there was a power outage and to stay calm. An evacuation alarm was finally sounded and there was a stampede for the lifeboats. People who assessed the situation with the listing ship, jumped into the sea and swam the 400 feet to shore. People were running so fast that they trampled people who had fallen. One passenger said, “There were some really ugly scenes.”
The ship which cost $570 million was insured for 405 million euros with a $30 million deductible with a $10 million deductible on third party personal liability. Carnival, owner of the cruise ship, said they estimate the loss of travel will be about $95 million.
At least 23 people are still missing and divers are risking their lives to look for them. Read transcript of 911 calls here: WSCOCTV
Update, January 16: Sixteen people are still missing and hope is fading. The Captain is being detained. He left the ship before everyone was taken off the ship.
Carnival Cruise lines who owns the ship expects to take a $90 million dollar hit. Other cruise lines fear the backlash.
Italian cruise ship, Costa Concordia with 4,234 people aboard, ran aground and tipped only hundreds of yards off the island of Giglio. Three to six bodies are reportedly recovered and forty are missing. Passengers reported that there were no instructions given and it was every man for himself.
Fox News:It was so unorganized, our evacuation drill was scheduled for 5 p.m.,” said Melissa Goduti, 28, of Wallingford, Connecticut, who had set out on the cruise of the Mediterranean hours earlier.
“We had joked ‘What if something had happened today?”‘
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Carnival Corp., which owns the cruise line that the ship belongs to, didn’t address the allegations in a statement it issued.
“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the grounding of the Costa Concordia and especially the loved ones of those who lost their lives. They will remain in our thoughts and prayers in the wake of this tragic event.”
One of the victims was a Peruvian crew member, a diplomat from the South American country said, adding that a Peruvian woman was also missing. A French Foreign Ministry official confirmed that two of the bodies Frenchmen, both tourists.
Valerie Ananias, 31, a schoolteacher from Los Angeles who was traveling with her sister and parents on the first of two cruises around the Mediterranean, said the experience was like a disaster movie.
“Have you seen ‘Titanic?’ That’s exactly what it was,” said. They all bore dark red bruises on their knees from the desperate crawl they endured along nearly vertical hallways and stairwells, trying to reach rescue boats.