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Messages - Host Mike

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Cruising Chatter / Order to evacuate was delayed for 45 minutes
« on: January 14, 2012, 05:38:09 PM »
"The collision caused mass panic, not helped by the decision to delay the order to evacuate for 45 minutes. Some passengers jumped into the water and tried to swim to shore as lifeboats could not be launched or were full. At least one passenger is thought to have died when he hit the water and suffered a heart attack.

There were fears that others, including some crew, may have drowned after becoming trapped on lower decks which flooded as the ship tilted.

Cruising Chatter / Captain investigated for abandoning the ship
« on: January 14, 2012, 05:19:39 PM »
"Local prosecutors said Francesco Schettino was being investigated for manslaughter and abandoning ship following reports his stricken vessel failed to raise a mayday alert as the disaster unfolded."

"Sky Italia reported Saturday that investigators based in the Tuscan city of Grosseto confirmed Francisco Schettino was detained for investigation of alleged manslaughter, abandoning his ship while people were still aboard and causing a shipwreck."

"The captain and the crew were the last ones to leave the ship, said a Costa Crociere spokesman, who declined to be named, citing company policy when reached before the report of Captain Schettino’s detention. The rocks weren’t on the map, Schettino said in an interview broadcast by TGCOM24. The ship was at least 300 meters from the island when it hit the rocks, and he was the last one to leave the ship, he said."

"Cruise operator Costa Crociere said in a statement: "Emergency procedures have been promptly activated, our crew members on board are professionally trained and they took all the necessary actions to assist our guests and help them to evacuate the ship."

But the sailors' union Nautilus International said that, 100 years on from the sinking of the Titanic, "many ships are now effectively small towns at sea, and the sheer number of people on board raises serious questions about evacuation".

"Authorities were looking at why the ship didn't hail a mayday during the accident near the Italian island of Giglio on Friday night, officials said. The ship is owned by Genoa-based Costa Cruises.

"At the moment we can't exclude that the ship had some kind of technical problem, and for this reason moved towards the coast in order to save the passengers, the crew and the ship. But they didn't send a mayday. The ship got in contact with us once the evacuation procedures were already ongoing," Del Santo said prior to the announcement of the arrest.

Giuseppe Orsina, a spokesman with the local civil protection agency, said 43 to 51 people were missing, though authorities are reviewing passenger lists to confirm the exact figure.

"These people could be still on the island of Giglio, in private houses or in hospitals," Orsina said.

The coast guard said 50 to 70 people could be missing.

The ship was 2.5 miles off route when it struck a rocky sandbar, according to the Italian Coast Guard. Local fishermen say the island coast of Giglio is known for its rocky sea floor.

"Captain Schettino, who was on the bridge at the time, immediately understood the severity of the situation and performed a maneuver intended to protect both guests and crew, and initiated security procedures to prepare for an eventual ship evacuation," he continued.

"Unfortunately, that operation was complicated by a sudden tilting of the ship that made disembarkation difficult," Onorato said.

Some passengers fell into the chilly waters during the rescue, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

"Italian prosecutors have detained the captain of the cruise ship that ran aground off Tuscany as three people are confirmed dead and local officials report that 69 people are still unaccounted for.

Earlier Saturday Francesco Schettino, captain of the Costa Concordia, had told Italian television that the vessel had hit a rocky spur while cruising in waters which, according to the charts, should have been safe.

"As we were navigating at cruise speed, we hit a rocky spur," he told Tgcom24 television station:

"According to the nautical chart, there should have been sufficient water underneath us," he added."

Cruising Chatter / We were told it wasn't anything dangerous
« on: January 14, 2012, 10:20:13 AM »
"We heard a crash. Glasses and plates fell down and we went out of the dining room and we were told it wasn't anything dangerous."

Cruising Chatter / 'Data transmission is temporarily suspended.'
« on: January 14, 2012, 07:24:00 AM »

"Micky Arison  @MickyArison Micky Arison  Tonight our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and crew of the CostaConcordia."

"Specialist diving teams are being brought in to search the interior of the cruise ship Costa Concordia after it ran aground off the Italian coast, fire services spokesman Luca Cari says."


"There will certainly be an investigation but at this stage it's impossible to determine exactly what happened," said Italo Spalvieri of the Guardia di Finanze in the nearby port of Livorno."

"We could only feel that the boat had hit something, we had no idea how serious it was until we got out and we looked through the window and we saw the water getting closer and closer. Everything happened really, really fast and we saw the water coming in."

Mr Costa said that once the emergency alarm was set off people started to panic and push each other in a bid to get into lifeboats.

"A lot of people were falling down the stairs and were hurt because things fell on them," he added.

The worker said it took the crew a long time to launch the lifeboats as the vessel had listed so much.

He said: "We just saw a huge rock, that was probably where the ship hit, and people were having huge trouble trying to get on the lifeboats. So at that point we didn't know what to do so it took hours for people to get off the ship.

"It was easier for people to jump into the sea because we were on the same level as that water so some people pretty much just decided to swim as they were not able to get on the lifeboats."

Mr Costa added that the rescue operation was continuing with people still in the sea."

"Passengers complained that the evacuation was delayed and disorganised, exacerbating the panic on board.

Some complained that the crew failed to give instructions on how to evacuate the ship, with a drill only scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

"It was so unorganised. Our evacuation drill was scheduled for 5pm," said Melissa Goduti, 28, of Wallingford, Connecticut, in the US. "We had joked what if something had happened today [Friday]."

Passenger Mara Parmegiani told the Italian news agency Ansa that "it was like a scene from the Titanic".

Survivor Christine Hammer, from Bonn, Germany, said she was eating her first course when the ship ran aground.

"We heard a crash. Glasses and plates fell down and we went out of the dining room and we were told it wasn't anything dangerous," she said.

The passengers were then instructed to put on lifejackets and take to the lifeboats. But Hammer, who was travelling with her husband, Gert, on her first ever cruise trip, said people could not get into the lifeboats because the liner was listing so badly that they could not be lowered into the sea."

"No one counted us, neither in the life boats or on land," said Ophelie Gondelle, 28, a French military officer from Marseille. She said there had been no evacuation drill since she boarded in France on Jan. 8.

As dawn neared, a painstaking search of the 290-meter (950-foot) long ship's interior was being conducted to see if anyone might have been trapped inside, Paolillo said.

"There are some 2,000 cabins, and the ship isn't straight," Paolillo said, referring to the Concordia's dramatic more than 45-degree tilt on its right side. "I'll leave it to your imagination to understand how they (the rescuers) are working as they move through it."

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