Italian Captain Francesco Schettino was found guilty today for causing the fatal shipwreck of the Costa Concordia and sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Costa Concordia was a Concordia-class cruise ship built in 2004 by the Fincantieri ’s Sestri Ponente yards in Italy and operated from 2005 until 2012 by Costa Crociere (a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation). It was wrecked off the coast of Isola del Giglio in Italy on 13 January 2012.(Scroll Down for Video)
It was declared a total loss and later towed to the port of Genoa where it will be scrapped. The name Concordia was intended to express the wish for “continuing harmony, unity, and peace between European nations.”
Costa Concordia was the first of the Concordia-class cruise ships, followed by similar ships Costa Serena, Costa Pacifica, Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa, and Carnival Splendor built for Carnival Cruise Lines.
When the 114,137 GT Costa Concordia and its sister ships entered service, they were among the largest ships built in Italy until the construction of the 130,000 GT Dream-class cruise ships.
On 13 January 2012 at about 9:45 p.m., in calm seas and overcast weather, under command of Captain Francesco Schettino, Costa Concordia struck a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea just off the eastern shore of Isola del Giglio, on the western coast of Italy about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Rome. This tore a 50 m (160 ft) gash on the port side of her hull, which soon flooded parts of the engine room resulting in power loss to her propulsion and electrical systems.
With water flooding in and listing, the ship drifted back to Giglio Island where she grounded 500 m (550 yd) north of the village of Giglio Porto, resting on her starboard side in shallow waters with most of her starboard side under water. Despite the gradual sinking of the ship, its complete loss of power, and its proximity to shore in calm seas, an order to abandon ship was not issued until over an hour after the initial impact.
Although international maritime law requires all passengers to be evacuated within 30 minutes of an order to abandon ship, the evacuation of Costa Concordia took over six hours and not all passengers were evacuated. Of the 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew known to have been aboard, 32 died.