The Costa Concordia Tragedy: Four Years Later
January 13 marked the fourth anniversary of the sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan holiday island of Giglio. 32 people died in the incident and the salvage and scrapping efforts are estimated to total in the range of $2 billion, in addition to the vessel's $500 million value. It was the most expensive maritime wreck recovery in history.
In a maneuver described in court as a “salute' to a retired cruise line commodore,” Captain Francesco Schettino brought the Concordia close in to the island; she hit a rock, tearing a long hole in her side. Flooding disabled the main engines and she drifted in to shore, eventually coming to rest on the rocks. The shipwreck set off a chaotic evacuation of more than 4,000 passengers and crew.
In 2015 Captain Schettino was convicted of multiple counts of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years. Investigators severely criticized his handling of the disaster, accusing him of delaying evacuation and abandoning ship before all the 4,229 passengers and crew had been rescued.
As of the beginning of 2016, the Costa Concordia's demolition continues at the Port of Pra Voltri, Genoa.
Among the many media tributes to the lost ship, Der Spiegel ran a haunting commemorative photo essay for the anniversary by Jonathan Danko Kielkowski, who swam across to the salvaged wreck of the Concordia before demolition to document the interior.
Highlights from Maritime Executive Magazine's coverage of the Concordia over the intervening years include: