A German woman listed as missing from the Costa Concordia was located alive in Germany.
According to the Associated Press, Gertrud Goergens alerted police in Germany that she was alive and well. Goergens was removed from the official list of missing late Wednesday. There are still twenty-three passengers and three crew members missing.
Eleven bodies have been recovered. Currently, only one has been publicly identified as being crew member Sandor Feher, 38, of Hungary. The adult bodies, believed to be passengers, were all wearing life jackets and were found in the rear of the ship near an emergency evacuation point.
Jozsef Balog, a pianist who worked with Feher who was a violinist, told the Budapest newspaper Blikk that Feher was wearing a life-jacket when he decided to return to his cabin to pack his violin. Feher was last seen on deck en route to a lifeboat. According to Balog, Feher helped put life-jackets on several crying children before returning to his cabin.
I believe one thing that caught the attention of viewers as this story aired was how close the ship was to land.
The Costa Concordia took a nearly identical route past Giglio Island in August to the one Friday that led to the sinking of the ship, NBC News has learned.
Adam Smallman, editor of shipping magazine Lloyd’s List, said the route taken in August, based on satellite tracking, was “authorized by the company and the coast guard.”
“Our assessment of the route this vessel took (in August) is it must have come perilously close, and I mean possibly within touching distance of the rock that it hit this time … which the company is saying wholly unauthorized in terms of its proximity to the island,” Smallman said.
Capt. Francesco Schettino has come under close scrutiny due to his actions before the ship became endangered and for his actions after the ship hit a reef and turned on its side. Urine and hair samples have been taken from Schettino to determine if he might have consumed alcohol or used drugs before the accident.
The Costa Concordia had more than 4,200 passengers and crew on board when it slammed into a reef Friday off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio. Apparently, Capt. Francesco Schettino made an unauthorized maneuver from the ship’s programmed course — allegedly to show off the luxury liner to the island’s residents.
Schettino’s lawyer, Bruno Leporatti, maintains that the captain never left the scene because he coordinated the evacuation from the shore after leaving the ship.
Captains and crew members of ships and airplanes are trained to remain with their crafts and passengers and do everything within their power to assist in the evacuation. The captain should not have left the ship unless he was in imminent danger. Considering others stayed behind to help, he also had an obligation to stay onboard and help until all reasonable efforts had been exhausted.
According to one report, the captain claims to have tripped and fallen into one of the lifeboats.
Martino Pellegrino, a crew-member on Costa Concordia, described Schettino as “authoritarian,” “stubborn” and “egocentric.”
A transcript of a conversation between Schettino and Capt. Gregorio De Falco of the Italian coast guard in Livorno, showed the coast guard official urgently commanding the captain to return to the cruise ship after he had abandoned it. “There are people trapped on board,” De Falco said. “Now you go with your boat under the prow on the starboard side. There is a pilot ladder. You will climb that ladder and go on board. You go on board and then you will tell me how many people there are. Is that clear? I’m recording this conversation, Cmdr. Schettino …”
Many passengers complained that crew members were ill-prepared to handle an emergency evacuation. “The crew members had no specialized training — the security man doubled as the cook and bartender, so obviously they did not know what to do,” passenger Claudia Fehlandt told Chile’s Channel 7 television after being embraced by relatives at Santiago’s airport.
“In fact, the lifeboats, even the ones that did get lowered, they did not know how to lower them and they cut the ropes with axes,” she said.
The search for missing passengers aboard the Costa Concordia is on hold over fears that the ship is shifting and making rescue efforts more dangerous. The captain in charge of the specialist divers performing the search said they need to blow four more holes into the ship to gain access to the bottom of the ship. He also said, despite poor visibility, there was visual evidence suggesting some bodies were at the bottom of the sea.
This is a horribly tragic accident that could have been prevented.
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