The 4,232 passenger cruise ship Costa Concordia grounded after it struck a rock formation near the Italian island of Giglio on Friday, January 13, 2012. At the time of this article, 5 people are reported dead, 17 missing and scores injured.
The Concordia was sailing from Civitavecchia to Savona when the shipwreck occurred. The vessel struck a rock at night tearing a 150 foot gash in its side and bottom. Water entering the cruise ship caused it to list dangerously to one side. Though badly damaged, the Concordia was able to maneuver to shallower waters in order to expedite evacuation efforts. Maritime investigators are still trying to determine exactly what caused the ship to run aground. Most amazingly is the Concordia sails that route every week. It is also interesting that no distress call was sent until after the evacuation was started.
The cruise ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, 52, has been detained by Italian police and is under investigation for manslaughter and abandoning the ship. Captain Schettino, an 11 year employee of Costa Cruises, claims the rocks the ship struck were not properly marked on nautical charts. He also claims he was the last one to leave the disabled vessel. First officer Ciro Ambrosio has also been detained.