The captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, waited an hour before ordering people to abandon the doomed ship, a trial has heard.
A radio operator on board the ship told an Italian court how Mr Schettino delayed rescue calls after the cruise liner hit rocks off the coast of Giglio in January this year, resulting in the deaths of 32 people.
Flavio Spadavecchia described how he “waited and waited” for Schettino to give the order so that he could alert coastguards but it never came, holding up the rescue operation as a result.
“Schettino never gave me the order. The pan pan message was never sent because Schettino never gave me the order. I asked if I should send it but Schettino said no. I asked at least once, maybe twice.’
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The Costa Concordia shipwreck is one of several reasons why Copenhagen Malmo Port (CMP) expects its first ever decline in the number of cruise guests and calls. Other Baltic Sea ports are also expected to be hit.
After many years with double-digit growth rates the Baltic Sea cruise market looks set to take a breather in 2014. The cruise business accounts for approx. 13-15 percent of Copenhagen Malmo Port’s revenue, and according to COO Cruise and Ferries, Arnt Møller Pedersen, the decline will not be insignificant.
“We predict a 5-10 percent decline in guests and calls in 2014,” he tells ShippingWatch.
This year, 356 cruise ships called in CMP, and a total of 840,000 vacationing guests have visited Copenhagen and Malmo, but next year the entire Baltic Sea region will feel the effect of several factors weighing down the combined cruise market.
Costa Concordia accident hits Baltic Sea ports Shipping Watch
The trial of Francesco Schettino, the captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia is still ongoing and is unlikely to reach a verdict anytime soon. This was never going to be a fast trial because of the complexities of the case, and the fact that Schettino’s lawyers have done a good job in presenting their case.
The last news update in the Costa Concordia captain’s trial was a few days ago, which detailed how there was evidence that Schettino might contemplate committing suicide as he took in the magnitude of what had happened on that fateful night.
However, what we are concerned about is how the captain was sat on a rocky shelf talking to someone on his mobile phone instead of helping with the rescue effort – who was he on the phone to?
Costa Concordia news update on captain trial Cruise Ship News