Italian authorities said Saturday that work to float the shipwrecked Costa Concordia so it can be towed away for scrapping can begin Monday. The cruise liner struck a reef when it came too close to Giglio Island in January 2012 and capsized, killing 32 people. After an engineering operation set the Concordia upright in September, crews fastened tanks to its flanks like water wings to float it off underwater platforms for towing to Genoa for scrapping. Concordia’s Italian captain is being tried for manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship.
- John and Mandy Rodford from Rochester, Kent, were on dream Italian cruise
- But fourth wedding anniversary celebration in 2012 ended in nightmare
- They revealed their trauma at trial of ship’s captain Francesco Schettino
- Hearing in Grosseto told the couple are each suing firm for a million Euros
- Mrs Rodford: ‘Costa needs to suffer as we have – we almost lost our lives’
John and Mandy Rodford were among the last passengers to be plucked to safety from the stricken Costa Concordia, which struck rocks hours after leaving port for a seven-day Mediterranean cruise.
Both attended the trial today of the luxury liner’s captain Francesco Schettino, who is accused of multiple manslaughter and causing the disaster which cost the lives of 32 people – with one body still to be found.
A police report Monday said Former environment minister Corrado Clini, under house arrest on graft charges, misappropriated 3.4 million euros in public funds for a water treatment project in Iraq. Police placed the 67-year-old under arrest earlier Monday along with Padua engineer Augusto Calore Pretner for alleged graft. His time in office was marked by his handling of the environmental disaster surrounding the fatal January 2012 sinking of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, the remains of which still rest off the coast of the Tuscan island of Giglio.
Clini arrested for ‘misappropriating 3.4 mn in State funds’ Gazetta Del Sud Online
The trial of the Costa Concordia’s captain continues in Italy and last week it was time for survivors to tell of their experience that tragic night. They spoke of chaos and a legacy that includes panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Even now I have panic attacks,” passenger Ivana Codoni testified. “They never happened to me before the accident.” A hairdresser from Rome told the court that the moment of impact when the ship hit a reef was frightening. “We went from a mood of happiness and wonder at being on a cruise to panic,” she said.
Costa Concordia Chaos: Survivors testify at Schettino trial Digital Journal
Italian court hears first testimony from passengers who survived the disaster, many of whom still suffer from panic attacks and other forms of psychological trauma
Survivors of the Costa Concordia shipwreck have given evidence for the first time in the trial of Capt Francesco Schettino, telling a court in Italy that they still suffer from panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The former passengers described the panic and chaos that unfolded after the huge cruise liner hit rocks off the island of Giglio on the night of Jan 13, 2012, saying that not even the crew knew what to do as sea water flooded into the stricken ship’s hull.
Captain Francesco Schettino, who was in charge of the Costa Concordia cruise ship when it hit rocks and sank off the Italian coast and who is being tried for manslaughter, for abandoning ship and other crimes, has blamed his officers for the disaster.
“It’s the fault of my officers. It’s stated in the maritime code,” he said.
“We were half a mile away from the coast and at that distance the crew on duty is responsible for steering the ship,” he said.
“We found ourselves on the rocks and nobody said: ‘captain, we are very close, or captain, watch out’,” he claimed, adding he had tried a last-ditch manoeuvre that failed because the helmsman got it wrong.
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.”
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
Costa Concordia captain accused of mounting cover up
Francesco Schettino, who steered the doomed cruise ship Costa Concordia onto rocks in 2012, tried to blame the collision on a black out, a witness at his trial claimed on Monday.
Schettino is accused of piloting the 114,000 tonne Costa Concordia onto the Tuscan island of Giglio during a ‘sail past’ of the island, ripping a hole in the ship which tilted onto its side in shallow water. As 4,200 passengers and crew fled the vessel, 32 drowned.
Schettino Accused of Cover Up Maritime Security Review
The captain of the Costa Concordia tried to persuade the crisis coordinator of the cruise line to pretend an electrical blackout had caused the shipwreck, a court was told on Monday.
The luxury liner hit rocks as it sailed close to the island of Giglio in January 2012, killing 32 people and setting off a chaotic evacuation of crew and passengers, some of who jumped into the sea and swam ashore.