When it comes to cruise ship news, not everything is splashed across the major news outlets. While the most sensational situations find their ways onto the mainstream headlines, there are countless cases of accidents and injuries that go relatively unnoticed by the public at large. This makes sense, as there are so many different newsworthy events happening around the world on a daily basis, it would be difficult to capture every maritime matter that occurred. However, no matter how news-savvy you may be, or the depth of your involvement in the cruise industry, we are willing to bet that you have heard of the Costa Concordia.
After all, most people have heard of the disaster that occurred in 2012. The event, where the captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, guided the ship too close to shore, causing a shipwreck that killed 32 people and injured countless others, has long been in the spotlight. This case shocked not only the nation of Italy, but the entire world, going down in history as one of the most deadly and sadly, preventable, wrecks in modern times.
For years, we have followed the news stories surrounding Mr. Schettino’s legal standing and the progression of his trials. Now, five years after the accident, the Italian captain received his final verdict.
In the Italian court system, a case must pass through a series of trials before the sentence can go into effect. With each trial, there is an opportunity for the court to reverse the decision made by the previous court. On May 12th, the Court of Cassation upheld the decisions of the lower courts. As a result, Mr. Schettino was convicted of: causing the Costa Concordia shipwreck, abandoning the ship while passengers and crewmembers were still on board, and manslaughter.
According to reports, Mr. Schettino not only delayed in sounding the emergency alarm, but also refused to go back to the ship to help with rescue efforts. Now, the man dubbed, “Captain Coward” by Italian media will spend the next 16 years in prison.
Despite having the verdict upheld by Italy’s highest criminal tribunal, Mr. Schettino’s lawyer still believes that the former captain was a scapegoat. However, at this point, Mr. Schettino’s fate is sealed.
This Verdict May Bring Closure
In the wake of this news, we cannot help but to hope that the many families impacted by the tragic shipwreck will begin to feel some sort of closure. Although nothing can bring back a loved one, we hope that the knowledge of Mr. Schettino’s sentence will bring some sense of justice to those who have been wronged.
As a maritime law firm, we understand how difficult it can be to pull your life together after your cruise ship accident or injury. That’s why a maritime attorney on our team is here to help. We understand what you are going through and what is at stake. We’ve helped countless clients in the wake of the Costa Concordia accident and we are prepared to do the same for you.
So when you are ready to take the next step towards seeking the justice you deserve, do not hesitate to contact us.