The one year anniversary of the Costa Concordia capsizing is upon us, and cruise officials say there will likely be several mourners gathering at the site of the tragic accident to honor the lives that were lost on January 13, 2012. Officials say that around 900 people are likely to gather in the Tuscan island of Giglio, where the Concordia capsized after crashing into rocks. A total of 32 people died and several hundred were injured. Meanwhile, the captain of the vessel, Francesco Schettino, is under criminal investigation for manslaughter and abandoning ship. The accident occurred after Schettino ordered the vessel to alter its course and perform a maneuver called a “salute” as it approached the coast. As a result, the vessel came too close to the shore and struck the rocks, tearing a large gash in the hull.
In just four days, people who would like to pay their respects to the deceased will gather on a pier in Giglio. Survivors, family members of the deceased and emergency workers who pulled passengers from the water will be the focus of the ceremony, said Mayor Sergio Ortelli. Those attending the event will be able to see the ship, which remains in the water at its accident site. Authorities say they will not be able to raise and move the vessel until at least June, so spectators and mourners will still be able to see the Concordia tilted on its side for a few more months.
The vessel serves as a reminder that safety standards onboard cruise ships have to improve drastically. Aside from the initial crash, the Concordia’s crewmembers were blamed for a disorganized evacuation and survivors explained many of the workers did not speak English, nor did they know what their roles in carrying out the emergency procedures were. This led to an extremely chaotic scene that could have easily been prevented. Had better safety protocols been in place, perhaps more lives would have been saved.
Schettino and several Concordia workers are still under investigation for the cruise ship accident. The former captain faces multiple counts of manslaughter, but is pointing fingers at the cruise industry, saying he was unfairly dismissed following the accident. While he claims he is sorry for the tragic maritime incident, he believes he was wrongfully terminated. Schettino is in court this week with his attorneys arguing the wrongful dismissal. However, to the survivors of the Costa Concordia tragedy and the loved ones of the deceased, being terminated from his position is the very least that could happen for some semblance of justice to be obtained.
Multiple survivors and relatives of the deceased have turned to our attorneys here at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. to file lawsuit against the Costa Concordia for their damages and injuries.
Photo Credit: theatlantic.com