The Definitive Guide to the Sinking of the Costa Concordia - A Timeline to the Tragedy

February 13, 2015

13th January 2012 is a date that will long live on in the memory of cruisers. It was the date the unthinkable happened; the date a modern cruise ship sank with the loss of thirty two lives.

There’s been a lot written about the Costa Concordia and her Captain, Francesco Schettino over the last few years and no doubt more will be written still.

Below is a timeline to the tragedy; from the initial, awful news right through to Schettino’s conviction for manslaughter.

The Immediate Aftermath

JAn 14 2012The initial news breaks on our forum – The overriding reaction is one of shock that something like this could happen. Initial details are sketchy and wild rumours fly around as people speculate as to what could have happened.



JAn 14 2012The first pictures of the wreck appear – People express their sadness at the sight of a cruise ship keeled over on its side as well as expressing worry for anyone trapped on-board (details were still very sketchy at this point).



Costa slash their cruise prices15 – Only a day after the tragedy a debate emerges when it turns out Costa have lowered the price of all their cruises. Was it too soon for this step to be taken?


Costa Cruises release a full statement
16 – Forty eight hours after the initial disaster Costa Cruises releases a statement laying responsibility for what happened firmly at the feet of Captain Schettino



An animated video is released17 – An animated video is released describing (and showing) what happened on the fateful night.



Five more bodies pulled from the wreckage 17– Sadly another five bodies were pulled from the wreckage on the 17th. At this point it brought the death toll up to eleven confirmed dead.



The truth emerges about Schettino18 – A discussion emerges about Captain Schettino as more and more of his actions before, during and after the crash come to light.



Captain told to get back on-board by the coast guard18 – With Schettino under house arrest a transcript emerges between the coastguard and himself as the coastguard try to order him back on-board



The mystery deepens19 – As the days stretch out more and more rumours start to fly; this time regarding the fact that Costa head office knew what was happening and the fact that there was a passenger on the bridge at the time.



Can the Concordia be saved?20 –  Questions start to arise as to whether the Concordia can be saved as a cruise ship with speculation as to the methods that might be used to re-float it



Costa Cruises emails it’s database 20– Costa Cruises email it’s database of past cruisers to assure them this was a one off incident of human error and that it’s still perfectly safe to travel on their ships.



Costa faces class action law suit20 – Not a week after the disaster the first law suits against Costa Cruises are filed. Two US law firms and Codacons, the Italian consumer association release a press statement confirming they’ll be working together.


Carnival Corporation  orders a safety review across all it’s cruise brands 20– A press release comes from Carnival Corporation, owners of P&O, Cunard, Carnival cruises, Holland America and Costa Cruises amongst others, stating that a full review of all the safety and emergency procedures on-board their vessels has been ordered.


Royal Caribbean send out a press release23Royal Caribbean send a press release extending their sympathies to the victims of the tragedy but also reiterating the saftey procedures they employ on their own vessels



Costa Cruises offer a full refund to all those involved 24 jan 2012– Costa offer a full refund and a 30% discount of any future cruises with themselves



Sky News report that a compensation offer of £9k per passenger has been made by Costa cruises27 jan 2012 – Initial reactions are shock over the low amount of the offer



30 jan 2012Jokes start to appear about the disaster – Just a couple of weeks after the tragedy jokes start to appear

Good or bad taste? – The debate raged!



The search for missing people is officially called off 31st Jan 2012– Italian officials permanently end the search for missing bodies on-board the Concordia as the conditions inside the ship become to dangerous for divers



The Following Months

Dancers clothes found in the Captains cabin03 Feb 2012 – During a search of the ship items of clothing belonging to one of the dancers on-board were found in the Captains quaters



Concordia passenger seeks €1,000,000 for miscarriage06 feb 2012 – A 30 year old woman on-board at the time of the disaster claims the stress claimed her to miscarry



News outlets report a slump in bookings for Royal Caribbean and Cunard following the tragedy07 feb 2012 – They report prices could be slashed by as much as 50%



Cruise lines to follow new drill procedure 09 Feb 2012– The Cruise Line Association, European Cruise Council and the Passenger Shipping Association announce a new muster drill policy for all cruise ships



Fuel is removed from the Concordia13th Feb 2012 – Salvage workers begin to remove the 500,000 gallons of fuel left on-board the capsized ship



€1,000,000 claim for miscarriage is reported as a scam 19th Feb 2012–  Reports state the couple involved in the claim were never even on the Concordia. Peoples reactions are of shock and disgust



Eight more bodies are found on the wreck of the Concordia24th Feb 2012 – Divers searching the abandoned ship find eight more bodies in a previously unexplored area of the ship



Carnival corporation reveals the extent of the disaster12th MArch 2012 – Carnival Corp release data as to how the tragedy has affected bookings for both Costa and their other brands.



Carnival Corporation write the Costa Concordia off as scrap12th MArch 2012 – It was initially thought the ship could be salvaged but it was announced that it will be sold for scrap with the insurers paying out $515,000,000.



Prosecutors investigate the disappearance of the Costa Concordia bell16th March 2012 – Divers attempting to recover the bell of the wrecked ship find that it has mysteriously disappeared.



British Costa Concordia survivor hits out at insulting payout 16th March 2012– He labels Costa’s descion to offer a discount of 30% on future cruises as disgusting



Salvaging the Concordia17th Dec 2012 – A video is released on how the salvage company plan to raise the Concordia from the sea bed



One Year On….

More Details emerge about the salvage operation 03rd Jan 2013–  Ahead of the one year anniversary more details are released regarding the expected salvage operation



25th Feb 2013Costa boss donates to Concordia charity – Head of Costa Cruises, Pier Luigi Foschi, donates $1,000,000 to a charity set up in the wake of the tragedy



Prosecutors call for Schettino to stand trial for manslaughter04th March 2013 – Prosecutors call for the captain of the Concordia to stand trial for manslaughter as well as five other members of crew



Concordia 60 page report06th March 2013 – Prosecutors in the case of the Concordia have released a detailed report of the incident including the victims final moments.



Costa Cruises pay €1,000,000 fine for Concordia catastrophe11th April 2013 –  Costa reached a settlement with an Italian court to pay a set sum of €1 million to limit it’s criminal liability for the sinking of the Concordia



Manslaughter charges confirmed for Captain Schettino23rd May 2013 – It was confirmed that the Concordia captain will face manslaughter charges for his part in the disaster



Raising the Concordia milestone reached25th June 2013 – A milestone was reached with the installation of the final platform to be used in raising the wreck



Strike delays Schettino’s trial08th July 2013 – Lawyers striking in Italy over the implementation of new laws designed to streamline civil trials delay the start of the trial for the captain of the Concordia



Costa Concordia wreck removal postponed15th July 2013 – Due to adverse weather conditions it was announced the removal of the wreck would be pushed back by a year



Five Found Guilty 20th July 2013– The BBC report that five members of the crew have already been found guilty for their roles in the disaster




Costa Concordia salvage to cost insurers $1.1 billion07th Aug 2013 – One of the insurers  involved in the disaster spoke out to announce the estimated cost of the salvage will cost in excess of $1.1 billion



Concordia ready for rotation19th Aug 2013 – Following months of preparation, salvage workers are almost ready to rotate the ship upright, the first step involved in moving the stricken ship



Parbuckling schedule set for the following week 12th Sep 2013– Crews involved in the salvage operation send out a press release announcing plans to rotate the ship would start in exactly a weeks time



The Trial Begins…


Schettino’s day in court23rd September 2013 – After a summer recess the trial of Captain Schettino begins




Schettino blames helmsman for the disaster24th Sep 2013 – With the trial of the Concordia’s Captain now underway his defense team have made it clear their initial  strategy will be to blame the helmsman



Divers find bodies near the Concordia wreck27th Sep 2013 – After the re-floating, divers find two bodies previously unaccounted for in the final tally of 32 victims



Prosecutors claim Schettino planned the dangerous maneuver days before the event08th October 2013 – Prosecutors build the case against the Captain of the Concordia as they continue with the trial



Charges of evidence tampering arise in the Concordia court case08th October 2013 – Italian consumer group Codacons announced it had filed charges of evidence manipulation in the Costa Concordia shipwreck probe and delivered the complaint to prosecutors in the Tuscan city of Grosseto.



Concordia Captain’s ‘mental state’ called into doubt09th Oct 2013 – During the cross examination of the Concordia’s first mate he claimed he had doubts as to the mental state of the captain



Remains from the Concordia identified 25th Oct 2013– DNA testing confirmed the identity of the two recently found victims as missing passengers




Divers arrested for stealing souvenirs from the wreck of Concordia 11th Nov 2013– Four divers, including a British man of 42, were arrested after being caught hunting for souvenirs on the Costa Concordia



Tender to be issued on where the Costa Concordia will be scrapped19th Nov 2013 – Costa Crociere  announced it will issue an international tender for organisations across countries within the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to compete for the contract to scrap the Concordia.



Costa removal set for June17th Dec 2013 – The wreck of the Concordia received a confirmation date for it’s removal of the coast of Giglio for June 2014



Two Years On…

Salvage diver dies in accident 03rd Feb 2014– A diver working on the Concordia wreckage was fatally injured in an underwater accident




Scettino returns to the Concordia 27th Feb 2014– For the first time since he fled the stricken vessel Francesco Schettino returned to the Costa Concordia as part of a court-ordered inspection of the vessel.



Key Concodia witness is a no-show12th March 2014 – Jacob Rusil Bin, the Indonesian helmsman of the Costa Concordia, was due to speak about the events that took place during and after the ship hit rocks close to the island of Giglio but failed to turn up to court when summoned. 



Concordia removal plans delayed14th May 2014 – Plans to remove the Concordia from the coast of Giglio were pushed back from June to July




Schettino claims he was second to God 04th Dec 2014– Although the vessel smashed into the rocks at 9:45pm, he decided to wait until 10:54pm to sound the distress alarm and declared he was fully in control of the situation – claiming he was “number one on the ship after God”.


The Verdict And Aftermath…

73% of cruisers think cruising is safer since the Costa Concordia disaster12th Jan 2015 – We polled our cruise community of over 200,000 people to

find out how the tragedy had affected people’s opinions on cruising as a holiday choice.


Justice at last12th Feb 2015 – Schettino sentenced to 16 years in jail after the vessel crashed and sank under his command.





Costa Concordia gets scrapped – 

Tugboats eased the 952ft shipwreck to Geona Harbour where workers will start from the top to dismantle the ship one deck at a time, scrapping the material and stripping the insides, including the furniture and wiring.