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
The 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.
The 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 prices – 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 – 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 released – An animated video is released describing (and showing) what happened on the fateful night.
Five more bodies pulled from the wreckage – 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 Schettino – 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 guard – 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 deepens – 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? – 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 – 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 suit – 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 – 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 release – Royal 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 – 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 cruises – Initial reactions are shock over the low amount of the offer
Jokes 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 – 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 cabin – 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 miscarriage – 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 tragedy – They report prices could be slashed by as much as 50%
Cruise lines to follow new drill procedure – 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 Concordia – 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 – 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 Concordia – Divers searching the abandoned ship find eight more bodies in a previously unexplored area of the ship
Carnival corporation reveals the extent of the disaster – 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 scrap – 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 bell – 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 – He labels Costa’s descion to offer a discount of 30% on future cruises as disgusting
Salvaging the Concordia – 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 – Ahead of the one year anniversary more details are released regarding the expected salvage operation
Costa 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 manslaughter – Prosecutors call for the captain of the Concordia to stand trial for manslaughter as well as five other members of crew
Concordia 60 page report – 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 catastrophe – 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 Schettino – It was confirmed that the Concordia captain will face manslaughter charges for his part in the disaster
Raising the Concordia milestone reached – A milestone was reached with the installation of the final platform to be used in raising the wreck
Strike delays Schettino’s trial – 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 postponed – Due to adverse weather conditions it was announced the removal of the wreck would be pushed back by a year
Five Found Guilty – 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 billion – 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 rotation – 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 – 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 court – After a summer recess the trial of Captain Schettino begins
Schettino blames helmsman for the disaster – 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 wreck – 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 event – 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 case – 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 doubt – 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 – DNA testing confirmed the identity of the two recently found victims as missing passengers
Divers arrested for stealing souvenirs from the wreck of Concordia – 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 scrapped – 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 June – 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 – A diver working on the Concordia wreckage was fatally injured in an underwater accident
Scettino returns to the Concordia – 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-show – 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 delayed – Plans to remove the Concordia from the coast of Giglio were pushed back from June to July
Schettino claims he was second to God – 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 disaster – 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 last – Schettino sentenced to 16 years in jail after the vessel crashed and sank under his command.
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.// END - About the Author ?>