Search/Rescue Operations Continue for 29 People Missing in Italy Cruise Ship Disaster

MIAMI, FL—Human error is said to have played a role in the horrific Jan. 15 Costa Concordia cruise ship accident that left a confirmed six people dead off the western coast of Italy, according to information provided by Bloomberg and CNN. Italian coast guard officials say 29 people remain missing following the Mediterranean cruise disaster—which appeared to have occurred after the cruise liner’s captain strayed off the programmed course, causing the ship to run aground and tip over in close proximity to Giglio Island (Isola del Giglio), just off the coast of Tuscany.

According to Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman of Carnival Corporation’s Italian subsidiary, Costa Crociere (Costa Cruises), “We can’t deny that there was a human error… The route had been properly programmed in Civitavecchia. The fact that the ship strayed from that course can only be due to a maneuver that was not approved, not authorized nor communicated to Costa Crociere by the captain of the ship.”

Reports indicated the Costa Concordia departed from a port in Civitavecchia—located in the province of Rome— on Jan. 13, only capsize off the coast of Tuscany a couple days later. There were approximately 4,200 individuals aboard the massive cruise vessel when it veered too close to the island of Giglio, causing it to run aground and tip over. Photos of the wreckage show the cruise ship—which has more than 2,000 tons of fuel on board (potential environmental hazard)— partially submerged on its side.

As cruise accident investigations and search/rescue operations are underway, Captain Francesco Schnettino remains in the custody of Italian authorities. Francesco Verusio, chief prosecutor of Grosseto, Tuscany, told reporters that Costa Concordia’s captain could potentially spend 15 years in prison if he is indeed charged and ultimately convicted of abandoning ship, shipwreck and manslaughter in connection with the tragic cruise disaster.

About the Miami Cruise Ship Accident Lawyers and Maritime Injury Attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
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.

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