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Echoes Of Titanic, How Could This Happen To A Modern Ship?
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Echoes Of Titanic, How Could This Happen To A Modern Ship?

An Italian Cruise Liner, the Costa Concordia, ran aground on Friday 13 January off the coast of Giglio island with 4000 passengers on board. It is quite unbelievable that this tragedy should take place. Many people in the cruise industry are astonished that this should happen to a 21st century ship, at a time when clearly everything is designed with safety in mind.

There must have been an extraordinary sequence of events leading to what should of been a routine evacuation but, can you imagine abandoning a ship of that size to be organised and routine? Many of the passengers who were eventually evacuated did not know the severity of the problem until they found themselves queuing for lifeboats which were filling rapidly.

This was a ship on her last night of a one week Mediterranean cruise. She set off from the port of Savona on Saturday 7th January, there was a very standard itinerary to sail to Marseille, Barcelona to Palma, Sardinia to Sicily and her last stop was Civitavecchia, the port for Rome. The ship sailed away from Civitavecchia on Friday 13th January at 7pm local time but soon after hit a huge submerged rock tearing open the bow, and yet we have seen fatalities on relatively calm waters, in a very well known part of the coast of Italy. All the ships officers were Italian. For this to happen to a modern state of the art £300 million super ship is quite extraordinary.

These ships are supposed to be designed quite rightly so that whatever happens to them they stay upright, but reports from passengers and crew that the ship was listing dangerously and people were jumping into the sea as the lifeboats filled up. As the ship teetered over, passengers spoke of struggling along pitch black corridors looking for a way out. This, and it is sickening to say brings echoes of Titanic which happened a hundred years ago.

It is simply inconceivable that when she set sail from Civitavecchia, we could possibly imagine such an awful tragedy, with lives lost. The Costa Concordia has five sister ships which are basically of the same design so there will clearly be a lot of questions asked about their safety. And we would imagine that Carnival, which is by far the biggest cruise company in the world and own Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises and also Cunard will be very urgently taking a close look at the remaining ships, how did the Costa Concordia come off course and why did it overturn so quickly?

The ships captain, Francesco Schettino was arrested for questioning. He has worked for the cruise company for over eleven years. Questions are growing as to how in calm seas, on a very well mapped route, a cruise liner can be steered towards disaster.


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