On January 13, 2011, the Costa Concordia cruise ship struck rocks off the coast of Tuscany Italy, killing 11 people and injuring many other passengers. Costa Cruises issued a statement saying “preliminary indications are that there may have been significant human error on the part of the ship’s Master, Captain Francesco Schettino.” “The route of the vessel appears to have been too close to the shore, and the captain’s judgment in handling the emergency appears to have not followed standard Costa procedures,” the statement added.
Costa Crociere Chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi said that based on initial assessments, it appeared that the ship was following a pre-programmed route before it crashed and "the fact that it left from this course is due solely to a maneuver by the commander that was unapproved, unauthorized and unknown to Costa.”
Captain Francesco Schettino is in jail and facing charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship while passengers were still on board, according to Italy’s ANSA news agency. Twenty-nine people from the cruise ship are still missing including fourteen Germans, six Italians, four French, one Hungarian, one Indian, one Peruvian and, two Americans from White Bear Lake Minnesota. A Lancaster Pennsylvania couple, who were on their honeymoon aboard the Costa Concordia ship as it was sinking, was fortunate enough to survive and return home.
The parent company of Costa is Carnival cruise line which has had previous problems while on the seas. In 2010 there had been two serious collisions involving Costa cruise ships. In February, the Costa Europa cruise ship struck a pier in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The collision caused hole in the ship, flooding a crew cabin, killing three crew members and injuring other passengers. In October, the Costa Classica cruise ship collided with a cargo vessel at the mouth of the Yangtze River, causing damage to the cruise ship and injuring passengers. In addition to those two Carnival Costa cruise ship collisions, in February 2009, an engine room fire broke out onboard the Costa Romantica.
Cruise ship crashes are not the only problems vacationers encounter while on a cruise. In just the first two weeks in the month of January 2012 alone, there have been the following problems or issues on cruise ships:
• January 16, a passenger on an Australian cruise liner went missing during a Pacific Islands cruise.
• January 15, a Carnival Cruise Line boat took a sharp turn causing items to fly around in the cabins and spilling the water out of the pools causing flooding in the stairwells and hallways.
• January 12, a 25-year-old Royal Caribbean employee was indicted on charges of sex abuse of a 14 year-old girl.
• January 7, a MSC cruise ship ran aground at Port Lucaya near Freeport, Bahamas.
• January 4, fifty six passengers and six crew members aboard a Holland American Line cruise ship became ill with a gastrointestinal illness.
• January 4, a teenager was raped on a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship.
• January 3, twenty nine passengers and eight staff members aboard Cruise and Maritime Voyages were isolated in their cabins after coming down with an illness.
Unfortunately, many cruise ship vacationers are unaware of the potentially hidden dangers on a cruise ship when they are booking their vacation cruise. Our experienced Pennsylvania boat injury law firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of passengers who were injured while on a cruise, boat, ferry or other watercraft.
Currently, Beasley Firm attorneys Jim Beasley Jr., and Max Kennerly are representing numerous individuals who were injured after a tugboat struck the amphibious sightseeing tour boat, Ride the Ducks, killing two of the riders. If you or a loved one was injured, became ill or died while on a cruise or boat, please feel free to contact one of our experienced maritime lawyers at (215) 866-2424 for a strictly confidential and free consultation.