Salvage Company Employees jailed for stealing Costa Concordia backpack

In Italian court, Irishman Sean Ruddy and Brit David Freeburn got a six month prison sentence and a €200 fine on Saturday. They were caught souvenir hunting in November 2013 in Isola del Giglio, Tuscany, and convicted for stealing a bag with the Costa Concordia logo on it.They were detained by Italian police after they were caught on CCTV entering the vessel.

Two South Africans (Melvin Lotter (31) and Hendrick Johannes Venter (33))were imprisoned for four months and received a €200 fine each. All of them were formerly employed by salvage firm Titan Micoperi. They were all fired after their arrests.

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Brawl Cuts Short Legend Cruise

A brawl involving a large family, guests and staff members became life threatening until over twenty Carnival Cruise Line passengers were removed from the Carnival Legend. The brawl was described as a “bloodbath.”

The Carnival Legend was scheduled to dock in Melbourne Saturday after ten days in the South Pacific. The brawl forced an unscheduled stop in Eden, New South Wales. Police unloaded the unruly passengers after the early morning fight.

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Dirty 2017: Filthy Cruise year

More ships failed sanitation inspections in 2017 than any year since the Vessel Sanitation Program began in 1990. Failures included 5 Doral-based Carnival Cruise Line, one from Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line, one from Miami-based Oceania Cruises and one from Deerfield Beach-based Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and the Caribbean ferry, Ferries Del Caribe’s Kydon failed twice.

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Hundreds Sick Again

Over three hundred passengers became ill on a Royal Caribbean cruise out of Florida with over 332 cases of gastrointestinal illness. The Independence of the Seas returned Saturday to Port Everglades, Fla., after a five-night cruise. Reports were made of passengers throwing up all over the ship while trying to get to the ships doctors.
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Costa Concordia survivors in legal battle

The cruise operator failed to accept the findings of UK medical experts, so Costa Concordia survivors will be flying back to Italy. Those who were injured “are now having to undergo further medical assessments, say that returning to Italy is “likely to only serve to compound the trauma” experienced by the victims.”

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Italian court: Costa Concordia Captain’s 2012 shipwreck sentence Upheld

The 16-year prison sentence for Francesco Schettino, former captain of the Costa Concordia was upheld by an Italian appeals court. Francesco Schettino appealed against the sentence handed down in 2015. Schettino was found guilty of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning passengers. The appeals court rejected the prosecutor’s request to extend the term to 27 years.Schettino can appeal. The ruling also bars him from working on a ship for five years. Schettino was sentenced in February 2015 to 16 years and one month in prison after a judge ruled that his recklessness was responsible caused Costa Concordia to hit underwater rocks off the coast of the Tuscan island of Giglio.

Florida: No Appeal in Italian Shipwreck

Florida Appeals court denies Costa Concordia Appeal

A Florida appeals court denied a U.S. lawsuit over the 2012 Costa Concordia shipwreck in spite of the fact that the parent company is based in Miami and 5 plaintiffs are from the U.S.

The Costa Concordia sank when it struck a coral reef off the Italian island of Giglio. The 3rd District Court of Appeal dismissed the Miami-Dade Circuit Court lawsuit “by 57 plaintiffs on forum non conveniens grounds” according to the Daily Business Review and the Miami Herald.

Whale Boat Sinks

The sixty-five foot cruiser, Leviathan II, operated by Jamie’s Whale Watching, with 27 whale watchers aboard went down near Tofino on the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre is searching around Plover Point. Plover Point is a popular area to watch sea lions, but there are rocks nearby that must be avoided. BC Ambulance Service confirms three fatalities. Two patients were flown to critical care hospitals. Four were driven to hospitals and five are recuperating at home. The exact number of those missing is unknown. The boat sank near Plover Reefs, west of Vargas Island and northwest of Tofino.

Search for El Faro


There is still no sign of Sea Star Lines’El Faro cargo ship, last heard from around 7:20 a.m. Thursday. 28 Americans were aboard when it went missing during Hurricane Joaquin. Families anxiously wait for news of their loved ones. Coast Guard is combing weather-ravaged waters for the 735-foot vessel which disappeared between Jacksonville and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Information from

updated: 8:30am EST, Saturday Oct. 3, 2015

What is the current status of the El Faro?
On September 29, the El Faro, one of TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico’s two ships departed Jacksonville en-route to San Juan Puerto Rico
As of 720am EST on Thursday October 1, TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico lost all communication with the El Faro
The US Coast Guard was immediately notified and since then we have been unable to reestablish communication
At the time of last communication, the ship’s Master reported the vessel had lost propulsion and had taken on water but the issue was contained and the crew was pumping it successfully
Vessel had a reported 15 degree list due primarily to weather conditions but it was reported to be manageable
What is known at this point in time regarding her situation?
We have been working with the USCG to locate the vessel since Thursday morning, Oct 1. when we lost communication
On Friday, the Coast Guard deployed Coast Guard Cutter Northland, MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew forward deployed in Great Inagua, Bahamas and HC-130 Hercules airplanes from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida to search for the El Faro
The US Department of Defense has deployed Navy assets to aid in the search
Unfortunately weather conditions in the area continue to impede the search
Search operations were suspended overnight on Friday and resumed at first light Saturday morning October 3. Coast Guard assets deployed include: Three C130 aircraft, one Helo helicopter, Navy P-8 aircraft. The USCG Cutter Northland, USCG Cutter Resolute, a Navy ship and three commercial tugs are enroute to the location as well.
Why was she sailing when you knew there was bad weather?
t the time of the El Faro’s departure, the vessel’s officers and crew were monitoring what was then Tropical Storm Joaquin
Our crew are trained to deal with unfolding weather situations and are best prepared and equipped to respond to emerging situations while at sea
Who authorized the voyage? Should the ship have been sailing?
TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico authorized the sailing knowing that the crew are more than equipped to handle situations such as changing weather
Have you communicated with families/loved ones of those affected?
Yes, we have reached out to all the families of the 33 individuals onboard and are in constant communication with them regarding situation updates
A 24 hour phone line and dedicated family website has been active since Thursday afternoon
TOTE has assisted family members and loved ones in travel to Jacksonville where in-person family meetings are being held
When do you expect to reestablish communication with the ship?
We are doing all that we can in conjunction with the USCG to reestablish communication with the ship
How large is the area being searched?
oast Guard search crews have covered approximately 850 square nautical miles in the search for the El Faro crew
What is the ship carrying?
The El Faro is carrying TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico’s standard cargo – grocery, cars, retail products – products need for daily life in Puerto Rico
What is the age of ship?
The El Faro was built in 1975 and was updated in 2006
What is the mechanical condition of ship?
El Faro is a well maintained vessel that is classed by ABS. We are not fully aware of her current condition, as we are not able to communicate with the vessel.
What is the competency of crew?
The crew are fully qualified members of the Seaman’s International Union and the American Maritime Officers
All crew are fully trained to US and international standards
What are the names and hometowns of crew members?
The crew consists of 28 U.S. citizens and five Polish nationals
Out of respect for the families and loved ones, we are not releasing personally identifying information at this time

TOTE Maritime > Home News > Oct. 2 Update from TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico on El Faro

Posted on October 2, 2015 by TOTE Communications
Statement from TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico Regarding the Current Situation with El Faro
Jacksonville, FL (October 2, 2015) – Tim Nolan, President of TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico issued the following statement regarding the current situation with the El Faro.

“On September 29, the El Faro, one of TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico’s two ships departed Jacksonville en-route to San Juan Puerto Rico. At the time of the El Faro’s departure, the vessel’s officers and crew were monitoring what was then Tropical Storm Joaquin. As of 720am EST on Thursday October 1, TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico lost all communication with the El Faro. The US Coast Guard was immediately notified and since then we have been unable to reestablish communication. There are a number of possible reasons for the loss of communications among them the increasing severity of Hurricane Joaquin.

TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico’s primary concern is for the safety and well-being of the 33 individuals on board. We are working to ensure clear and frequent communications with their families and loved ones as we learn more.

We have reached out to the families of those impacted and have established open lines of communication to provide them with timely updates. Our thoughts and prayers are with the individuals and their families.

TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico is working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and all available resources to establish communication by whatever means possible.”