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The Costa Concordia carrying more than 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew, hit a rock and sank in the shallow waters off the Italian island of Giglio.  Concordia had just started the first leg of a seven-day cruise out of Rome’s port of Civitavecchia. According to Costa officials, most of the passengers were evacuated, but at least three people were killed and dozens more injured.  Reports are unclear on the number of missing.  Costa Cruises, which is owned by Carnival Corporation confirmed the evacuation of roughly 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crewmembers from ship.  “The evacuation started promptly, but the ship began to list severely, making it more complicated to complete the evacuation,” Costa said. “At this time, the cause of the incident cannot be confirmed. Costa Cruises is working with the highest commitment to provide all needed assistance to guests, crew members and the local Italian authorities.” Costa Concordia was sailing a Mediterranean cruise from Civitavecchia (Port of Rome) with scheduled stops at Savona, Italy; Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; Palma de Mallorca; Cagliari and Palermo, Italy.  According to Costa there are many nationalities onboard including 1,000 Italian passengers, 500 Germans,  250 North Americans,  160 French, along with 1,000 crewmembers.

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Costa Concordia reportedly hit a sandbar near the Italian island of Giglio as passengers were having dinner. Passengers quoted in press reports state that there was a panic among passengers as the ship began to list heavily to one side. Most people reached land by lifeboats but some swam ashore and others were rescued by helicopters. The 114,500-ton Costa Concordia is the largest ship ever to sink.

“It is a tragedy that deeply affects our company,” Costa said in a statement. “Our first thoughts go to the victims and we express our condolences and concern to their families and friends.  At this time all our efforts are focused on completing the last emergency operations and providing assistance to the guests and crew who were on board to facilitate their return home as soon as possible. Emergency procedures started promptly to evacuate the ship. The severe list of the ship made the evacuation extremely difficult.”  Costa added: “We express our profound gratitude to the Coast Guard and all the organizations coordinated by the Coast Guard in the rescue mission, including the authorities and citizens of the island Isola del Giglio, who were involved in the rescue and assistance to guests and crew members.” The line said it would cooperate fully with the relevant authorities to determine the causes of the accident. A Costa spokesman said family members and travel agents with passengers on Costa Concordia could call Costa’s call center at 800-462-6782 for more information.

By Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

6 Responses to “Friday the 13th Horror: Costa Concordia sinks off Italy, 3 dead dozens still missing”

  1. Betty Burt says:

    This is such a shame. I’ve sailed on Costa a lot and the crew was terrific and I always felt safe. I am sure in the coming days we will hear many good stories about the crew really making a difference in saving people.

  2. Harold Michael says:

    I find it amazing cruise lines can get away with not doing a lifeboat drill for 24 hours! That makes no sense.

  3. Cruise Gal says:

    There are thousands of ships that sail these waters every year. How did this one end up grounded? Seems the crew made a fatal error. Shame that people died due to this error.

  4. FLOrida says:

    No cruising for me. I don’t want to die.

  5. John Terry says:

    Very sad, what has happened, indeed.

  6. Pamela Kratton says:

    Cruise ships and accidents naturally occur but what we need to do is to learn from those mistakes which leads to accidents like that for us to avoid it.

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