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Most people know the story of the Titanic. (Well at least the Leonardo de Caprio version). The general population knows the big screen movie plot, however, I think they forget to remember not only that it was the basis a true story, but that it could also happen again.
Well last week that day became a reality. On Friday, Jan. 13, in Italy, the Carnival cruise ship, Costa Concordia crashed off the side the Giglio Island.
While the ship was not on its intended path, it was on an approved route to come closer to the land in order to show the boat off to the people of Italy. Ironically, according to previous GPS coordinates, this ship did this same route in August and came even closer to the rock without touching it.
Not only is this a travesty because of the lost lives and passengers who are now scared and currently still missing, but to add on to the mess, the story of the crazy cruise captain Francesco Schettino continues.
Among the Italian people, the Coast Guard, Commander Cosimo Nicastro, is the man who is being considered the hero. He was the one communicating with Schettino (who has become the most hated man in Italy) as the whole disaster was unfolding.
When Nicastro was talking to Schettino, he ordered him to get back onto his ship. Schettino replied that he was not able because he was already off. How did he get off you ask? Schettino claims to have tripped and fell into a lifeboat and was able to get to land. The coast guard then ordered Schettino back to his ship.
According to passengers of the cruise line, everyone could have been saved. A Michigan couple claims they were at dinner when they felt the thud into the rock. They then took immediate action in trying to get themselves and others into the lifeboats. Then a ship worker told them no and that everything was fine. It was not until an hour and a half later when they heard, via the intercom, “abandon ship.”
Once this couple was in the lifeboat, they were not brought right to shore like other lifeboats. This boat’s driver circled around in the water until the whole boat started to chant out of frustration and fear, “We want land! We want land!” It was not until then did the group of 150 plus people finally hit land.
To add onto the mess, this abandoned ship has been sitting in the water for over a week decaying by the minute and hurting the environment. The ship is also full of over 500,000 gallons of fuel. Although the fuel has not leaked, the 185 tons of diesel that runs the rescue and life boats have, right into the Giglio port.
As of now there are still over 15 people missing after the wreck. There are rescue divers working to find them, however, they can only work when the ship is at a stand still. The cruise ship is wired with a machine that tells officials when the ship is moving. Because of the vast amounts of movement, rescuers have now been going in from above by being lifted down by helicopters. This is not as effective; however it’s the only thing that can be done during this tragic time.