Monday, January 16, 2012

Costa Concordia Likely To be Scrapped Following Deadly Shipwreck

Rescue crews continue searching the ruin of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy for survivors or casualties. The death toll has risen as another victim was found inside the stricken ship.
There are also increasing concerns that any further movement of the wreck could cause some of the 500,000 gallons of fuel on board to leak into the pristine waters off Giglio. The waters are a protected dolphin sanctuary.

The confirmed death toll rose to six after searchers found the body of a male passenger wearing a life vest in the corridor of the above-water portion of the ship. Sixteen people are unaccounted for, including two Americans, identified as Gerald and Barbara Heil of White Bear Lake, Minn.

Chances that they would be found alive three days after the ship was speared by the reef and toppled to one side are growing slimmer.

The chairman and CEO of the cruise line said the captain made an unauthorized change-of-course that led to the deadly crash against a reef.
The Costa Concordia, which is operated by a subsidary of Carnival Cruise Lines, is likely to be scrapped following the deadly grounding off the Italian coast.

The ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, is under serious scrutiny and he allegedly left the ship before all personnel and passengers were safely removed from the ship. Moreover, it appears that the ship deviated from the typical course though the waters off the Italian coast to get much closer to the island of Giglio. That was a fatal error in judgement, as the ship struck underwater obstacles and eventually was run aground and now lists precariously to one side.
The captain at the helm of Costa Concordia is “heartbroken” by accusations that he wrecked the luxury liner and fled in a lifeboat, his attorney said Monday.

Capt. Francesco Schettino is “dismayed, saddened by the loss of life and extremely disturbed by what happened,” lawyer Bruno Leporatti said after visiting the captain in prison.

However, he added that Schettino is “comforted by the knowledge that he maintained the clarity of mind in the emergency to bring the ship to shallow waters, saving many lives.”

Schettino, 52, faces charges of manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship while his passengers were still on board.
Investigators will benefit from black boxes on board the ship to help determine actions taken leading up to the fatal incident.

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