Back in January 2012, a cruise ship called the Costa Concordia was passing by the Isola del Giglio when it scraped along some rocks that were located off of the island. For some reason, the ship was too far inward, and the rocks ripped open a giant gash along the cruise ship’s side. The accident happened around 9 pm at night, and many of the passengers were in the restaurants enjoying dinner and a show when all of a sudden a shudder went through the whole ship and people were thrown to the floor. The ship began to list to one side almost immediately, and that was when passengers were told to get back to their cabinets and prepare to go to their lifeboat stations.
The bridge of the Costa Concordia was also chaotic, but one person that was not present was the captain. Francesco Schettino was the captain of the ship, and it took him a while to give the order to abandon the ship, and he was among those that left. According to Italian law, the captain of a cruise ship cannot leave it until everyone is off, but Schettino claimed that he fell into a lifeboat that launched, and he was not able to get back on board despite the Coast Guard ordering him to go back.
The damage cause the Costa Concordia began to list to one side, and it began to affect the lifeboats launching because of the extreme angle of the list. However, despite the panic and chaos, the casualties were relatively low, and only a total of 32 people lost their lives in the disaster. Once the survivors got back to shore, the captain was immediately arrested for not only causing the accident, but also leaving the ship while there were still passengers on board. Francesco Schettino was facing 32 counts of manslaugher, and was facing at least 28 to 32 years in prison.
For the past 19 months, Schettino was on trial for what happened that night, and today, the sentence was handed down that the former captain would spend the next 16 years in prison for both causing the accident and for leaving the ship before the men and women that he was in charge of.
Hopefully now, the families of the 32 dead passengers can get the justice they so rightly deserve. Cruise ships are supposed to be fun, but the fact the Costa Concordia was way too close to the small island was just plain silly, and the captain’s driving skills ended up killing 32 people, and his abandoning ship early was not only selfish, but criminal as well.
Stay tuned to the Trend Guys for more information on this story as it becomes available!