The Costa Concordia was a huge cruise liner capable of carrying 4,000 passengers plus crew. When it partly sunk in the Mediterranean, after hitting rocks on January 13, 2012, it was unlucky for many.
Just four days later shares in the company that own the cruise liner, and others, have nose dived. Six people have been declared dead and sixteen more are listed as missing. It has been claimed that passenger records were not accurate so the toll of the injured, missing and dead could yet rise. Today the search for survivors and bodies has been suspended. Initially this was due to inclement weather but now it is because the stricken vessel has begun to move. The captain of the Costa Concordia and at least one other crew member have been placed under arrest. An environmental disaster is feared as such a huge liner carries an equally huge amount of fuel.
All in all a terrible disaster bit for one thing. It could have been so much worse.
Similarities have been raised between the Costa Concordia's fate and that of the Titanic. In April it will be 100 years since that devastating tragedy. These days, with accurate maps, this tragedy should not have happened. The vessel hit rocks which are listed and known. They do not move about like the iceberg which struck the Titanic.
It now seems that the Captain slightly veered from the arranged course and this is thought to have caused the accident. It has been reported that the vessel often would do this to acknowledge people on the Island of Giglio and allow them to view the Costa in all her glory. Whatever the reason, this time the foolishness has resulted in loss of life and more.
A local official has said of the suspended search that:- "There was a slippage of nine centimetres vertically and 1.5 centimetres horizontally. We evacuated immediately. This is something we have been worried about. Operations are suspended. We will have to monitor the stability of the ship and we don't know when we will resume operations."
Whilst it is doubtful any more people will be rescued alive it is not unheard off. Time must be running out for any survivors who are still trapped though.
The Mayor of the island of Giglio, off Italy, where the Costa lies has voiced concerns over a potential environmental disaster. He said, "This is an ecological time-bomb. I hope that the fuel can be taken off the ship soon and maybe the ship can be removed too because it is hampering navigation. We are monitoring constantly but there has been no spill so far."
Yes, definitely one of the most unlucky Friday the thirteenth days, not least for those who lost their lives. Tales of heroism and more are being reported. One elderly man gave his life-jacket to his wife. She is safe but he is one of the people listed as missing. Sad news indeed.
RIP and condolences
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog