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Costa Concordia- The disaster || Every Day Excited

Costa Concordia- The disaster || Detailed Explanation || Every Day Excited

What`s up!! guys welcome to Every Day Excited. I remember on the evening of January 13, 2012, I saw a news report claiming that a Costa cruise ship had run aground off the coast of Italy. It wasn’t until the following morning when the first pictures began emerging that I saw the full extent of a tragedy that would not only change the cruise industry forever but would become the most infamous ship disaster next to the Titanic. 



Today I wanted to tell the incredible and truly unfathomable story of the sinking of the Costa Concordia. So Costa cruise lines are owned by the Carnival Corporation. It was founded in the mid-1800s and eventually became a pretty prominent European cruise line. It was eventually purchased by Carnival in 2000 and began building ships based on the designs already proving very successful for Carnival. Costa then began ordering ships based on the general design of carnivals conquest class. Just another 4,000 tons larger in 2004, Costa ordered the first ship of its brand-new class named, the Costa Concordia.


The vessel completed construction and entered service for Costa on June 30th 2006 at the cost of five hundred and seventy million dollars.  At that time, the ship was the largest in the coast of fleets. She was nine hundred and fifty-two feet long, had a beam of 116 feets span, thirteen public decks and had a top speed of 23 knots. The Concordia was the new flagship vessel off the coast of fleets and the company ensured that the ship would be the very best they can offer. While it wasn’t anything that drastically different than the previous Carnival and coast of vessels. 


It did feature a massive two-story spa along with four pools. The ship centre pool featured an outdoor movie screen and the kids/family pool would end from a twisting waterslide below the top decks. The ship would feature five restaurants, 13 bars and the grand atrium that soared 10 stories. It was a culmination of everything the modern cruise industry had and really was the new shining star for the Carnival Corporation. She truly was a modern enormous cruise ship. The Costa Concordia had 1502 guest cabins and 601 crew cabins allowing the vessel to carry a maximum of four thousand eight hundred and ninety people. Following the Concordia, Costa ordered another five ships in its class all being sisters to the Concordia. Captaining the vessel, since its 2006 launch, was Francesco Schettino an Italian man who had been working for Costa since 2002. The Concordia began cruises catering to the Italian market sailing mostly in the Mediterranean. She continued with regular cruises carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers until early 2012 when one January, night changed cruising forever. 




The Costa Concordia was starting at seven-day Mediterranean cruise starting from the point of keg Lurie On January 11, 2012, after it stopped in Sicily. The vessel arrived in Civita Vecchia, Italy on Friday the 13th 2012, by sunset the Costa Concordia had set sail on its way to Savona. The official course charted took the vessel directly down the centre between Italy’s mainland and the island of Giglio. However, the deviation was made on the official route to take the vessel much closer to the island to perform, what is known as, a sale by a salute. This was a deliberate action to take the ship relatively close offshore, to give passengers a unique view of the island and also as a nod to fellow sailors on land. This isn’t really a new thing for cruise ships, nor it is new for the Concordia which had performed this manoeuvre several times before, even for the island of Giglio. As night falls, the vessel is making its deviation course towards the island of Giglio. On the bridge deck, officers are guiding the ship as captain Schettino, is eating dinner. The officers on the bridge are instructed to keep at least 1500 feet away from the island shore, as that was the determined safe distance. 

By 9:40 p.m. the Costa Concordia is moving at 15 knots and is about to make its turn for the island. The captain returns to the bridge along with his mistress. (yeah I’ll talk about that a little later). However, there was a miscommunication between the captain to the officer at the helm, on what the correct turning course should be. Because of the incorrect heading numbers, the turning radius of the ship to sail alongside the island was much wider than it should have been which brought the colossal ships 659 metres closer to the shore than it was supposed to be The Concordia is immediately ordered by the captain to turn 20 degrees to the right. 


Seconds later at 9:44 p.m. the port side of the ship collides with underwater rocks creating a 60-metre gash in the hull, breaching several watertight compartments. The Concordia immediately lost power in its generators and full propulsion from its two engines. Panic ensued in the main dining rooms where passengers had been eating. As the ship’s emergency generators kicked in by 9:51, an announcement was made to passengers ensuring the situation had been under control and the technicians were working on fixing the problem. However, moments later the bridge was informed that three compartments had been breached and that water has reached the main electrical panel this was communicated to Costa cruise lines Crisis Center via captain Schettino minutes later by 10:07 p.m. the harbour contacts the Concordia. However, the ship claims that the situation is only a blackout and that they have the situation under control. During this time the deputy chief engineer meets with the officers on the bridge to inform them that the flooding has appeared to reach compartments four, five, six and seven. 


At this point, the ship is starting to list as water fills the watertight compartments and the passengers are making their way down to deck four, where the light boats are located themselves. Captain Schettino did make the decision to let the ship drift into shallow water, where at worst case, the vessel would rest on the seabed. However, his pumps failed. The flooding worsened as to the ship’s listing. Even at this time not the captain nor Costa cruise lines contacted anyone for help. However, as the situation below decks worsened and as passengers climbed into light boats themselves, finally at 10:35 p.m. the bridge calls for an abandon ship and the emergency alarm is sounded. 


There are currently four thousand two hundred and twenty-nine people aboard the Costa Concordia. By now all passengers and crew are making their way down to deck four and crowding around the light boats as one by one are launched at 11 o’clock p.m. the ship is now listing on its starboard side more than 25 degrees. By this point any hope of the vessel being saved was gone and as light boats continue to launch. The list continued to worsen by now the majority of the bridge officers had their positions including captain Schettino and by 11:30 the Costa Concordia is bridge had been abandoned. As the water reached deck four, the sinking of the ship accelerated. As listing got to the point where light boats being launched from the port side was impossible. 


80 people remained on the ship ascending down the side of the hull by a rope ladder where rescue boats by the Coast Guard were waiting. Captain Schettino, however, had already returned to the shore where the Coast Guard began demanding him to return to the vessel. He never did. Below is a translated(to English) conversation between the coast guard(De Falco) and Captain Schettino.

De Falco: “This is De Falco speaking from Livorno. Am I speaking with the commander?”

Schettino: “Yes. Good evening, Cmdr De Falco.”
De Falco: “Please tell me your name.”
Schettino: “I’m Cmdr Schettino, commander.”
De Falco: “Schettino? Listen, Schettino. There are people trapped on board. Now you go with your boat under the prow on the starboard side. There is a pilot ladder. You will climb that ladder and go on board. You go onboard and then you will tell me how many people there are. Is that clear? I’m recording this conversation, Cmdr Schettino …”
Schettino: “Commander, let me tell you one thing …”
De Falco: “Speak up! Put your hand in front of the microphone and speak more loudly, is that clear?”
Schettino: “At this moment, the boat is tipping …”
De Falco: “I understand that listen, there are people that are coming down the pilot ladder of the prow. You go up that pilot ladder, get on that ship and tell me how many people are still on board. And what they need. Is that clear? You need to tell me if there are children, women or people in need of assistance. And tell me the exact number of each of these categories. Is that clear? Listen, Schettino, that you saved yourself from the sea, but I am going to… really do something bad to you … I am going to make you pay for this. Go on board, (expletive)!”
Schettino: “Commander, please …”
De Falco: “No, please. You now get up and go on board. They are telling me that on board there are still …”
Schettino: “I am here with the rescue boats, I am here, I am not going anywhere, I am here …”
De Falco: “What are you doing, commander?”
Schettino: “I am here to co-ordinate the rescue …”
De Falco: “What are you co-ordinating there? Go on board! Coordinate the rescue from aboard the ship. Are you refusing?”
Schettino: “No, I am not refusing.”
De Falco: “Are you refusing to go aboard, commander? Can you tell me the reason why you are not going?”
Schettino: “I am not going because the other lifeboat is stopped.”
De Falco: “You go aboard. It is an order. Don’t make any more excuses. You have declared ‘abandon ship’. Now I am in charge. You go on board! Is that clear? Do you hear me? Go, and call me when you are aboard. My air rescue crew is there.”
Schettino: “Where are your rescuers?”
De Falco: “My air rescue is on the prow. Go. There are already bodies, Schettino.”
Schettino: “How many bodies are there?”
De Falco: “I don’t know. I have heard of one. You are the one who has to tell me how many there are. Christ!”
Schettino: “But do you realise it is dark and here we can’t see anything …”
De Falco: “And so what? You want to go home, Schettino? It is dark and you want to go home? Get on that prow of the boat using the pilot ladder and tell me what can be done, how many people there are and what their needs are. Now!”
Schettino: “… I am with my second in command.”
De Falco: “So both of you go up then … You and your second go onboard now. Is that clear?”
Schettino: “Commander, I want to go onboard, but it is simply that the other boat here … there are other rescuers. It has stopped and is waiting …”
De Falco: “It has been an hour that you have been telling me the same thing. Now, go on board. Go on board! And then tell me immediately how many people there are there.”
Schettino: “OK, commander.”
De Falco: “Go, immediately!”


The Coast Guard continued to rescue people still clinging to the side of the ship as most residents living on the island of Giglio welcomed the stranded passengers into their homes. Because of the way, the Costa Concordia drifted on to shore the vessel rested on the shoreline rocks at around an 80-degree angle with its starboard side completely submerged By 6:17 a.m. rescue operations concluded and the Rising Sun revealed the true extent of the disaster since. The vessel partially capsized on its starboard side, the gaping hole on the port side showed just how severe the impact was. Daylight also revealed that three of the ships port side lifeboats were never able to be launched which is why so many people were left aboard the ship. As a result of the capsizing thirty-two people have been killed 27 of whom had been passengers and five being crew members. Almost all of which had been trapped below as water rushed into the ship. 


Truly I can’t even begin to imagine the horror it would have been like bodies were recovered mostly on the lower decks indicating people were trapped inside the vessel as a capsized in the atrium elevators four bodies had been discovered trapped inside as well as another nine bodies trapped in two other elevators. Soon after the wreck carnival and their insurance company had deemed the vessel a total loss as damages had exceeded 500 million dollars. Oil and fuel had been extracted salvage crews began working on removing the wreck. However, removing a 114 thousand ton half-submerged cruise ship proved to be a pretty daunting task. 


The plan was to place a steel structure under the Concordia and turn it upright. massive buoyancy tanks were welded to the ship’s port side and on September 16th 2013, the Costa Concordia was turned upright, resting on the underwater platform. Turning the vessel upright showed just how unbelievably heavy the ship was as arrested on its side completely crushing sections of 
the ship’s steel balconies. up writing the vessel also allowed pictures to be taken inside showcasing the true extent of the damage. it’s so surreal to see a modern cruise ship have its interior slowly decay from being abandoned and untouched. buoyancy tanks were fitted to the ship’s other side the starboard side and the Concordia was slowly lifted off its platform now freely floating and on July 14th the vessel was towed on its final voyage to the Italian port of Genoa where the ship was completely gutted. scrapping began by cutting sections of the ship apart and by July of 2017 the Costa Concordia had been completely dismantled and sold for scrap metal. the total cost of the salvage operation was 1.2 billion dollars. 


Following the disaster, the search to find who was responsible concluded with six arrests and prosecutions. several of the Concordia’s first officers were given jail sentences most mean under two years. Costa cruise lines crisis director who captain Schettino had been contacting during the events had been given the longest sentence of the five with two years and 10 months. As for captain Francesco Schettino himself well his story was well sketchy, to say the least, he claimed that during the ordeal he had been coordinating the rescue when he had slipped and stumbled into a lifeboat due to the listing of the ship. A video later emerged of what appeared to be captain Schettino calmly standing at the railing on deck waiting to board a lifeboat, though he claimed that this was not him. 

It was also later revealed that he had been having an affair with a woman that he brought aboard the Concordia with no tickets. She by the way like I said earlier, was taken to the bridge of the vessel when all of this happened. However, he assured that she did not affect the disaster. He also claimed that he should not be responsible for the deaths of the 32 people aboard, as they were not killed as a result of the initial impact and instead by the sinking. The only good thing captain Schettino did was make the decision to deliberately ground the ship so it wouldn’t fully sink. If the Concordia sank about 700 feet where it eventually did the entire vessel would have likely went under and it’s possible that many more people would have been killed. Schettino was charged for manslaughter, causing shipwreck and abandoning passengers. He was given a 16-year jail sentence which he is currently serving. 


The Carnival Corporation certainly felt the financial impact of the disaster. In their 2012 annual report, they claimed that as a direct result of the Costa Concordia incidents, the company had lost 410 million dollars in declined revenue. Though 2012 was not a great year for Carnival at all with the addition of the Carnival Triumph power failure in the same year. Carnival offered each of the Concordia survivors $13,000 which included the refund of their cruise, great!!!! Honestly, I just think the whole situation is truly unbelievable. 

I don’t really like Carnival at all, and I think I have a fair reason too, the company Gannet subsidiaries have done so many shady things and the safety features that had implemented on the Concordia well sucked. The fact that a modern cruise ship owned by the largest cruise line in the world could have something like this happened is unfathomable. The Costa Concordia was only five years old. It cost 570 million dollars which was all put to waste just a few years later. The disaster in its entirety ended up costing around two billion dollars. Costa has now been building new ships once again and in carnival’s defence they did change CEOs and they have been focusing a lot more on building back their safety reputation, which to be fair I can appreciate. It really is hard to believe though that 100 years after the Titanic sank, off the coast of a small Italian island human error once again brought down what we thought was an unsinkable vessel, the Costa Concordia. 

Anyway, guys thank you so much for reading. This was Every Day Excited. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and again thank you very much for reading.

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