Chilling recordings of frantic phone calls made by passengers of the Costa Concordia to emergency service as the cruise liner was capsizing have been played for the first time in an Italian court.
In tapes played by lawyers for the victims at the trial against captain Francesco Schettino in Grosseto, Tuscany, disoriented passengers were heard crying for help and directions as the ship was plunging deeper into the waters off the island of Giglio.
“Help us please, they don’t tell us anything; we have children, I’ve little kids; help us,” a passenger was herd telling an operator with Italy’s emergency number 112. “We can’t see a thing; the ship is going down more and more.”
“They slaughter us like sheep; send somebody, hurry up,” the man said in another call minutes later. “They don’t want to launch lifeboats; the ship is slanting.”
‘They Slaughter Us Like Sheep’ Shipwreck Passengers’ Frantic Calls Played in Court IBT
The first of 19 more massive sponsons to be attached to the Costa Concordia was positioned last week to ready the ship to be towed from the Italian island of Giglio. The cruise liner has sat 300 meters from shore since the Jan. 13, 2012 tragedy.
Over the next few weeks more sponsons to be attached to join those already attached to the ship. Fourteen of the sponsons will be placed on the starboard side, another 5 on the port side; they are up to 810-tonnes, 33.5-meter wide and 11.5-meter high.
Costa Concordia: Sponsons positioned to ready for tow from Giglio Digital Journal
The first of the 19 sponsons that will be installed on the Costa Concordia in preparation for the refloating of the submerged cruise ship arrived this morning in Giglio Island, Italy.
The 810-ton, 33.5-meter wide, 11.5-meter high sponson will be one of 14 new sponsons positioned on the starboard side. Another four will be installed on the ship’s port side. The sponson has electrical-pneumatic systems and strand jacks that reach a height of more than 20 meters and depth of 10.5 meters. It will be positioned as soon as the operation will be authorized. These new sponsons are will be the last of a total of 30 needed to refloat the wreck.
Preparations for Costa Concordia refloating begin Marinelog
Let’s try getting a better sense of what’s to come in terms of search, rescue, and salvage operations down off Korea’s southwestern coast.
For that, Captain Nicholas Sloane joins us live on the line from Italy.
Nicholas Sloane is a marine master with over 30 years of experience and was in charge of salvage operations of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship off Italy.
Captain Sloane, thank you so much for joining us.
Let’s start with the search and rescue operations here in Korea, now in their tenth day.
Based on your expertise and experience in the field, which stage is the Korean rescue team at?
How does this case compare with the Costa Concordia case?
Expert view on prospects for salvage operations on Korean Ferry arirang
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If there is something oddly familiar about the news that the erstwhile captain of the ill-fated South Korean ferry—which capsized and sank just a few hundred meters from dry land—botched the evacuation order and jumped ship before his passengers were safe, it’s because we’ve heard about this sort of maritime cowardice before. It happened in 2012, when Italian captain Francesco Schettino rammed his Costa Concordia luxury cruiseliner into the rocks off Giglio island. He, too, was among the first off the ship well in advance of the bulk of the passengers.
The two accidents are, of course, as different as night and day. The South Korean ferry captain, Lee Joon-Seok, was not on the bridge when his ferry took a tight turn, possibly capsizing because it had been loaded over capacity with heavy cargo.
South Korea’s Ferry Disaster Gives Us a New Cowardly Captain to Hate The Daily Beast
Korean Ferry Disaster Sucks Cruise Industry Back Into Controversy Cruise Law News
The terrible tragedy that is the sinking of the South Korean ferry ‘Sewol’ is being compared to the Costa Concordia tragedy and even the Titanic. But a large difference is that the captain of the South Korean ferry made errors, but not errors of hubris.
That, however, is the case of both the captain of the Costa Concordia and of the Titanic. But while South Korean President Park Geun-hye has called the actions of the captain of the Sewol “unforgivable, murderous behaviour” it was more stupidity than murderous, and certainly not arrogance.
Titanic, Costa Concordia captains had hubris, not ferry captain Digital Journal
The causes may be very different and the toll far heavier but Italian media have pointed to similarities between the ferry disaster of the Sewol in South Korea and the Costa Concordia cruise ship crash in 2012.
“A case of Schettino in Korea” has been the recurring headline in Italian newspapers in the past few days — a reference to the Italian liner’s captain now on trial for an accident in which 32 people lost their lives.
With South Korean rescuers reporting 270 people missing and 32 confirmed dead, Italian media have focussed on the role played by the ferry’s captain Lee Joon-Seok, who was arrested on Saturday along with two of his crew.Tragedies at sea: The Sewol and the Costa Concordia Publication
“A case of Schettino in Korea” has been the recurring headline in Italian newspapers in the past few days – a reference to the Italian liner’s captain now on trial for an accident in which 32 people lost their lives.
The same number of people are now confirmed dead in the Sewol tragedy, while 270 people are still missing.
As frustration and despair run high in the South Korean republic, everyone’s attention has focused on the 69 year old captain Lee Joon-Seok, who, witnesses say, chose to flee the tilted ship without a minute-long hesitation. Earlier on Friday he was arrested along with two of his crew members. Here are five similarities between the disasters
Captain in charge
Sewol and Costa Concordia: two sea tragedies strikingly alike Voice of Russia
Ferry Disaster Compared to Costa Concordia Maritime Executive
Captains Uncourageous: Abandoning Ship Long Seen As A Crime NPR
The captain of the South Korean ferry that sank with hundreds of high school students aboard is under criminal investigation for his actions, but it’s not clear whether he broke any laws by being one of the first people off the crippled boat.
While the “captain goes down with his ship” is considered a law of the sea, it’s really more just a guideline, experts say.
Lee Joon-seok, 69, climbed onto one of the first lifeboats to launch from the ship just a half an hour after reporting an accident.
Are Captains who abandon ship breaking the law? ABC News
Cruise lines said Thursday their biggest ships would give Venice a wide berth from November 30 after a long-running row about their effect on the delicate lagoon city. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) made the vow after a meeting with Italian culture, environment and transport ministers. In the latest episode in the long saga, Italy’s leading environmental group last month accused a regional court of recklessness for suspending a ban on large cruise ships in Venice’s fragile lagoon. “It is certainly not a good sign, and it is the result of a reckless choice of recent years that has created the practice of channelling cruise ships in an environment where they should be banned,” said Legambiente.
Biggest cruise ships to give Venice a wide berth from November 30 Publication