MIAMI, FL—Eleven people have been confirmed dead and 21 remain missing following the tragic Jan. 15 Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster that occurred off the coast of Tuscany, the Washington Post reported. According to Italian Coast Guard Cmdr. Filippo Marini, “As a precautionary measure, we stopped the operations this morning, in order to verify the data we retrieved from our detectors, and understand if there actually was a movement, and if there has been one, how big.”
Furthermore, ABC News reported that 52-year-old Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schnettino—who is on house arrest in Sorrento, Italy as investigations into the deadly cruise disaster are underway— claimed he “had no intention of escaping” upon being accused of abandoning ship. Schnettino even told reporters, “I was helping some passengers put the life boat to sea. At a certain point the mechanism for lowering it, blocked. We had to force it. Suddenly the system unblocked itself and I tripped and I found myself inside the life boat with a number of passengers.”
Although Schnettino claimed he did not intend to abandon ship, so to speak, a recorded conversation between the captain and officials from the Italian Port Authority seemed to indicate otherwise. In those recordings, Schnettino can be heard notifying authorities that he, as well as an unspecified number of additional crewmembers, abandoned ship.
That Italian Port Authority officer apparently responded by saying, “And with 100 people still on board, you abandon ship? [expletive].”
Schnettino quickly attempted to cover his tracks, responding, “I didn’t abandon any ship… because the ship turned on its side quickly and we were catapulted into the water.”
Previous CNN reports suggested the cruise ship captain could potentially face charges of abandoning ship, shipwreck and manslaughter in connection with the fatal shipwreck. There were approximately 4,200 individuals aboard the massive cruise vessel when it veered too close to the island of Giglio—located of Italy’s western coast. The ship reportedly ran aground and subsequently tipped onto its side. Thus far, 11 accident deaths have been confirmed.
Investigations into the Italy cruise ship disaster, along with search/rescue missions for potential survivors, appear to be ongoing. The Costa Concordia is owned and operated by Carnival Corporation’s Italian subsidiary, Costa Crociere (Costa Cruises).
Leading South Florida cruise ship injury lawyers Gerson & Schwartz state that ship firms have managed to avoid potential litigation through unethical business practices for years. Such practices can leave cruise ship injury, assault and negligence victims struggling to attain compensation for their pain and suffering. For more than 30 years, the Miami injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. have been dedicated to protecting the rights of travelers and cruise ship employees who have sustained serious injury or been subject to preventable harm while aboard these “hospitable” vessels.