Coast Guard inspects cruise ships without warning

The Coast Guard began unannounced inspections of cruise ships this month, to focus more attention on ships with the most complaints during routine inspections, federal safety officials learned Tuesday.

Coast Guard Capt. Eric Christensen told the National Transportation Safety Board that his agency inspected 140 foreign cruise ships last year when they reached U.S. ports and found 351 discrepancies from international safety standards.

The most common problem in 44 cases: Fire-screen doors intended to hinder a fire didn’t close properly, he said. Other problems found included lifeboats with cracked hulls, obstructed means of escape and crews unfamiliar with what to do in an emergency.

Coast Guard inspects cruise ships without warning USA Today

Ferry Accident Death toll hits 39 in Philippines

CEBU, Philippines (AP) — As the MV Thomas Aquinas cruised toward Cebu city in the central Philippines, navy marshal Richard Pestillos prepared for a brief stop while some passengers watched a band and others soaked in the night breeze on the deck. Then the scene turned chaotic when the ferry, with 870 passengers and crew, and a cargo ship collided late Friday, ripping a hole in its hull, knocking out its power and causing it to list before rapidly sinking as people screamed, according to Pestillos and other witnesses.”The sea was very calm and we could already see the lights at the pier,” Pestillos told The Associated Press on Sunday by telephone.

Ferry Accident Death toll hits 39 in Philippines USA Today

BBC News – Philippines ferry Thomas Aquinas sinks, many missing BBC News
Philippines Looks for Causes of Deadly Maritime Crash Wall Street Journal
Divers at Philippines ferry crash site resume search CBC News
Philippine ferry disaster death toll at 52 Herald Sun
Philippines ferry disaster: bad weather forces search to be suspended with 171 still missing Australia Network News

Costa Concordia captain ordered to face trial

A judge in Italy has ordered the captain of the Costa Concordia to stand trial in the shipwreck of the cruise liner, which struck a reef off Tuscany last year, killing 32 people.Francesco Schettino will be the only defendant in the trial, which begins on July 9 in the Tuscan town of Grosseto. The indictment was announced on Wednesday. Read More

Costa Concordia captain ordered to face trial USA Today

A Quadcopter’s-Eye View Of The Costa Concordia Shipwreck

Judge in Italy orders trial for captain over shipwreck of Costa Concordia

July trial for Costa Concordia captain

Crippled cruise ship secured to Ala. terminal after breaking loose; shipyard

MOBILE, Ala. – The crippled cruise ship whose sewage-filled breakdown in the Gulf of Mexico subjected thousands to horrendous conditions tore loose Wednesday from the dock where it’s being repaired, lumbered downriver and crunched into a cargo ship. Tug boats maneuver around the Carnival cruise ship Triumph as she rests against a dock on the east side of the Mobile River after becoming dislodged from its mooring at BAE Shipyard during high winds Wednesday.Wind gusts near hurricane strength shoved the 900-foot Carnival Triumph free from its mooring in downtown Mobile, Ala., where the ship was brought in a five-day ordeal that began when an engine fire stranded it off of Mexico in February. Hours later, four tug boats used several mooring lines to secure the ship to the cruise terminal.A 20-foot gash about 2 to 3 feet wide was visible about halfway up the hull from the water and it wrapped partway around the stern. Underneath the gashed area, two levels of railing were dangling and broken. Electric cables that had been plugged in on shore were dangling from the port — or left — side of the ship. Carnival said damage, though, was limited.

Crippled cruise ship secured to Ala. terminal after breaking loose; shipyard worker missing Star tribune
Crippled cruise ship secured to Ala. terminal after breaking loose Washington Post
Cursed Carnival cruise liner secure after breaking free from dock WAFB
Carnival cruise ship Triumph breaks free from moorings, crew jump for lives
Carnival defends safety record in letter to senator USA Today

Carnival cruise ship to be towed after fire

(CNN) — A Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico with more than 4,200 passengers and crew will be towed to port after a weekend engine fire left it dead in the water, a cruise line official said. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Vigorous arrived to aid the stranded ship early Monday, the Coast Guard said.

Carnival cruise ship to be towed after fire strands it in Gulf of Mexico CNN Travel
Carnival cruise ship in Gulf of Mexico to be towed after engine fire Miami Herald
Carnival cruise ship adrift off of Mexico after fire in engine room Fox News
Carnival cruise ship on emergency power after fire USA today
Carnival Cruise Ship Adrift Following Fire ABC News
Carnival cruise ship floats in Gulf of Mexico after engine fire, will be towed CNN

Survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster mark first anniversary of capsized

Baltimore Sun
Survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster marked the first anniversary of the capsized cruise ship that left 32 dead. “After a year we are still traumatized,” said Violet Morreau, a survivor from France. Survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster and relatives of the 32 people who died returned to the Italian island of Giglio on Sunday to mark one year since the luxury cruise liner capsized.A boat ferried the visitors close to where the 290-metre-long (950 ft) ship hit rocks before keeling over on its side off the Tuscan island, where it still lies now.

Survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster mark first anniversary of capsized Baltimore Sun
Lanterns lit for victims of Costa Concordia USA today
A year after Costa Concordia shipwreck, cruise industry emphasizes safety Miami Herald
Survivors mark a year since the Costa Concordia disaster BBC News
survivors and islanders mark disaster’s anniversary. A gathering in Giglio pays tribute to the 32 people who died in the Italian shipping disaster one year ago The Guardian

Costa Concordia captain says owed apology

Gazzetta del Sud english
Rome, November 16 – The captain of Italia cruise liner Costa Concordia that hit a Tuscan island in January killing 32 people on Friday said he expected an apology from all those who called him ‘captain coward’ for abandoning ship. “All I read about me are indecent falsehoods,” Francesco Schettino told Il Giornale daily. “There is evidence that tells a completely different story…they want to make me out as a coward but that’s not so. I didn’t abandon ship”.

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Costa Concordia’s Captain’s Culpability in Crash and Deaths Weighed by Judge

Daily Beast
Francesco Schettino, the erstwhile captain of the Costa Concordia—the ill-fated cruise ship that still lies in a heap off the Tuscan island of Giglio—faced his accusers and a handful of passengers in a closed-door preliminary hearing in Grosseto. Schettino was the captain of the Costa Concordia when it crashed into an outcropping off Giglio last Jan. 13. Thirty-two people died. Few dispute that Francesco Schettino was responsible for wrecking the Costa Concordia. The tougher question for a judge bringing charges is who is most responsible for the botched evacuation and 32 deaths, Barbie Latza Nadeau reports.
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