Raising Shipwreck; Costa Concordia Rises


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The painful reminders from the horrific incident when the cruise liner Costa Concordia sank still haunt people in Giglio, Italy. That fateful night last January resulted in maritime tragedy where thirty people died, sixty-four people were injured, and two people still remain missing from the voyage. On that night, Captain Francesco Schettino moved closer to the island of Giglio in order to allow passengers to have a closer view of the island; however, in doing so the cruise liner collided with the rocky reef and the ship was unable to sustain the damage.

Efforts are underway to lift the vessel, which began around 9 a.m. on September 16, 2013. Though original plans called for the process to begin at 6 a.m. there were overnight storms that delayed the process. The event still traumatizes local residents of the island, but will rising the ship stop the nightmares?

According to local resident Matteo Bellomo who has maintained a second home on the island of Giglio for fifty years, the event still serves as a source of pain. "To wake up every morning and to see this thing, from my point of view, it is terrible. Every time you look at it, you think to the people there, and people that died, and to the two people they have not found," Bellomo said.

Captain Francesco Schettino has recently been released from house arrest where he faces multiple charges of manslaughter as well as charges for abandoning the ship and causing the wreck. He shared his opinion of the accident in his first TV interview.

"This was a banal accident in which, fate would have it, there was a breakdown in communication between people. And this created misunderstandings and anger. It was as if there had been a breakdown in people's heads as well as in the instruments," Francesco Schettino said.

Sergio Ortelli, the mayor of Giglio, is not convinced by Schettino's assertion of miscommunication being the main cause behind the wreck. "A captain cannot shift blame onto his officers,and a ship with more than 4,000 people on board cannot be put under the command of such an amateur," Sergio Ortelli said.

The husband of Maria Grazia, who is one of the two passengers who still remains missing, articulates his concern and blame behind the event as being something other than mechanical or communication failure.

Elio Vincenzi, Maria Grazia's husband said, "It was not the sea that took my wife away. It was human stupidity."

[Image Via Wikimedia Commons and Courtesy of Jean-Philippe Boulet]