The Coasta Cruise line Sunday issued a statement about the sinking of the liner Costa Concordia, which ran around off the island Giglio, near Tuscany, Italy on Friday. There were 4,200 passengers and crew on board when the ship hit a rock or reef, was beached and later sank on its side. Five bodies have been recovered, three people have been rescued from the hulk and 17 people are still listed as missing.
The statement emphasizes the lines safety record, training and safety precautions, then implicates the captain, Francesco Schettino, with “significant human errors.” It says Schettino had first joined the company in 2002 as a safety officer.
An earlier statement, issued Saturday, said the ship follows the same route “52 times a year.”
Sunday statement 2015 hrs Central European Time
We at Costa Cruises are deeply saddened by this tragedy, and our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected and offer the determined victims’ families her heartfelt condolences.
Over the past 48 hours, more than 1,100 Costa employees have been working tirelessly in the wake of this terrible event. We are working closely with the authorities to support ongoing search and rescue operations, and are focusing on ensuring that all guests and crewmembers return home safely.
Our immediate priority is to account for all passengers and crew and to secure the vessel to ensure that there are no environmental impacts. We have engaged the services of a worldwide leader specialized salvage company to develop an action plan and help establish a protection perimeter around the ship. It should be noted that the Prosecutor in charge has seized the ship and the DVR– so called “black box” containing all navigation data and the vessel can be accessed by Costa only with permission from the authorities.
We are working with investigators to find out precisely what went wrong aboard the Costa Concordia. While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary indications are that there may have been significant human error on the part of the ship’s Master, Captain Francesco Schettino, which resulted in these grave consequences. 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. We are aware that the lead Prosecutor has levelled serious accusations against the ship’s Captain, who joined Costa Crociere in 2002 as a Safety Officer and was appointed Captain in 2006, after acting as Staff Captain as well. As all Costa Masters, he has been constantly trained passing all tests. In light of these accusations and the continuing investigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.
As we are learning more about the event itself and the evacuation, however, it is becoming clear that the crew of the Costa Concordia acted bravely and swiftly to help evacuate more than 4,000 individuals during a very challenging situation. We are very grateful for all they have done.
Costa is committed to ensuring that no such incident ever occurs again. Our number one priority is always the safety and security of our guests and crew and we comply with all safety regulations. (See background on Costa safety below).
Background on Costa’s commitment to safety
Costa complies very strictly with all safety regulations and our personnel are committed, first and foremost, to guest safety and security.
All crew members hold a BST (Basic Safety Training) certificate and are trained and prepared to emergency management and to assist passengers abandoning the ship with numerous drills. Roles, responsibilities and duties are clearly assigned to all crew members. Every two weeks all crewmembers perform a ship evacuation simulation. A lifeboat and evacuation drill for all guests is conducted within 24 hours of embarking, as required by law. Costa has a computerised system which ensures all passengers undergo this drill.
The skills of Costa crew are periodically tested by Coastguard authorities and an independent classification organization as per SMS (Safety Management Systems) requirements.
There are lifeboats and jackets on board in excess of the number required for all passengers and crew. Lifeboats are equipped with food and water supplies, first aid kits and communication and signalling equipment. All life-saving appliances are aligned to international standards and are subject to close, regular inspection by shipboard personnel and certification authorities. All Costa ships are certified by RINA and have been built to the highest standards and technologies.
“I want to express our deep sorrow for this terrible tragedy that devastates us” – said Gianni Onorato President Costa Crociere – “I am here only now because, as you will understand, I have been from the down until now on the Isola del Giglio to be close to the rescue operations.
First at all, I would like to thank all the authorities, law enforcement and volunteers who made all efforts to help and assist our Guests involved in this terrible event.”
We are not at this time able to provide an answer to all the questions, because the competent authority are trying with our cooperative efforts to understand the reasons for this incident.
On the basis of the first evidences, still preliminary the ship Costa Concordia under the command of the Master Francesco Schettino was regularly sailing from Civitavecchia to Savona, when suddenly the ship stroked a rock.
The Master who was on the bridge at that time, understood the severity of the situation immediately performed a maneuver aimed to secure Guests and crew, and started the security procedures in order to prepare for an eventual ship evacuation.
Unfortunately, this operation was complicated as result of a sudden tilt of the ship that has made difficult the disembarkation.
Thanks to the commitment of all forces coordinated by the Coast Guard, from that moment on, rescue operations have been further strengthened.
From the first time the company mobilized all its resources ashore to put in to assist our guests and crew members and prevent possible environmental impacts.
The Costa Concordia accident happened tonight it’s a tragedy that deeply shocked our company.
Our first thought goes to the victims and we would like to express our deepest condolences to their families and friends.
We’re close to the people who have been injured and we’re following their progress.
All our efforts are now concentrated in assisting the guests and the crew who were on board, to bring them home as soon as possible.
The Costa Cruises customer service has already started contacting by phone all the guests who were supposed to board today in Savona and starting from tomorrow in the scheduled ports.
At the moment no changes have been planned to the schedule of the other Costa Cruises ships.
People looking for assistance can contact the call centre number 08453510552.
All the Costa Cruises people would like to thank from the deepest of their hearts the Guardia Costiera, the authorities and the citizens of the Giglio Island and of Porto Santo Stefano who helped and assisted the guests and the crew.
They also thank the doctors who are assisting the injured and anyone in need of assistance.
The Company is cooperating with the Authorities that are investigating on the accident.
It is a tragedy that deeply affects our company. Our first thoughts go to the victims and we would like to express our condolences and our closeness to their families and friends. In this moment all our efforts are focused on the completion of the last emergency operations, besides providing assistance to the guests and the crew who were onboard in order to have them going back home as soon as possible. The emergency procedures started promptly to evacuate the ship. The slope, gradually taken over by the ship, made the evacuation extremely difficult. We would like to express our profound gratitude to the Coast Guard and all the forces co-ordinated by the Coast Guard, including the authorities and citizens of the island “Isola del Giglio”, who have been involved in the rescue and assistance to guests and crew members. The company will fully co-operate with the relevant Authorities in order to determine the causes of what happened.
Costa Cruises confirms the evacuation of about 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members on board of the Costa Concordia. An incident occured near the island ‘Isola del Giglio’ of the coast of Italy. The evacuation started promptly, but the position of the ship has worsened, making it more complicated to complete the last part of the evacuation. At this moment, the cause of the incident cannot yet be confirmed. The Company is currently working with the highest commitment to provide all the needed assistance. The Costa Concordia was sailing across the Mediterranean Sea, starting from Civitavecchia with scheduled calls to Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari and Palermo. About 1.000 passengers of Italian nationality were onboard, as well as more of 500 Germans, about 160 French and about 1.000 crew members.
The Guests had to embark today in Savona and in subsequent ports will be contacted directly by Costa Cruises.