This has not been a very good year for Costa Cruises. The one-year anniversary of the Costa Concordia capsizing is drawing near, and the line has yet to recover from the negative attention the tragic incident caused. The accident took place last January off the coast of Italy after the vessel’s captain, Francesco Schettino ordered a maneuver known as a “salute” to take place, which brought the ship too close to shore and led it to crash against some rocks. The incident led to the tragic deaths of 32 passengers as well as injury to thousands of passengers and crewmembers. The captain and several other crewmembers were accused of causing the accident and have even been accused of manslaughter, which could lead victims to seek help with a maritime accident lawyer. The defendants are awaiting trial in Italy, but the chaos doesn’t just stop there for Costa Cruises.
Apart from the Concordia accident, another one of the line’s vessels, the Costa Allegra, was scrapped following a fire in February. This left Costa Cruises with only 14 vessels in its fleet. And now, tragedy has befallen the line once again. The Costa Pacifica was involved in a maritime accident on Dec. 11 in France. The vessel hit a pier in Marseilles on Tuesday morning, leaving an eight-meter (24-foot) gash on the side of the ship, damage that extended well above the waterline.
According to Costa Cruises officials, strong winds were to blame for the accident. The line reported that no one was injured, but any kind of accident, regardless of whether it results in injuries or not, is only contributing to the loss of confidence in the cruise line. Whether Costa Cruises will ever regain its once prestigious reputation is only something time can tell.
Following the crash, the 114,500-ton, 3,000-passenger Costa Pacifica left Marseille at around 2 a.m. the following morning after repairs were carried out. The accident caused the ship to be eight hours behind schedule. The Pacifica was due to arrive in Barcelona at around noon today, about three hours after its scheduled arrival time.
In a statement issued by Costa Cruises on Tuesday, officials described the incident and placed all the blame on the weather.
“At about 8 a.m., during berthing maneuver in the port of Marseille the Costa Pacifica experienced a contact with a port “dolphin” – a mooring point – due to a strong gust of wind, causing a few meters scratch on the ship’s starboard side above sea water level. No injuries for passengers and crew. The ship is planned to leave Marseille tonight (Dec 12) around 2 a.m. (after repair works being completed) to continue on her six-day cruise on Mediterranean as per planned program. The ship will sail to Barcelona for her scheduled call where she will arrive tomorrow around noon.”
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