Costa Concordia sailed aground off the coast of Italy one year ago this Sunday. Today, the ship sits off the coast of Italy where it ran aground on Friday, January 13, 2012, taking the lives of 32 passengers in the process. Ongoing work is underway to remove the grounded ship. Also ongoing is a renewed focus on safety that exceeds previous efforts, covers all major cruise lines and aims to convince many travelers that cruise travel is safe.
Those on board the Costa Concordia at the time initially said it was “like being on the Titanic.” The loss of life may not have been as great but parallels drawn between the Titanic and Concordia were undeniable.
Passengers in the wrong place at the wrong time were left without life jackets. Confusion about what to do and where to go reined over already-in-place safety procedures. Over-confident ship owners were forced to take another look at how they go about their business.
In the aftermath came rules requiring mandatory safety drills before ships leave port, including mandates that each ship carry extra life jackets and that crews practice loading lifeboats with people. New rules also call for cruise lines to file a voyage plan showing exactly where ships are going, much like a pilot’s flight plan.
Still, questions remain about the role ship’s Captain Francesco Schettino had in the event. Also of concern: progress on the removal of Costa Concordia from the coast of Italy and enduring environmental risks to marine life.
Costa Cruises, along with its salvage company, has launched a website with detailed information, plans and images relating to the Costa Concordia wreck-removal project. See more on this extensive engineering task via this video:
A ceremony is set for the island of Giglio on Sunday where sirens will go off at 9:42 p.m, marking the one-year anniversary of the Costa Concordia grounding.
[Photo Credit- Flickr User EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection]