Significant’ human error, grave consequences

In a statement following the grounding of its ship, the Costa Concordia, Costa Cruises said it was “deeply saddened by this tragedy, and our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected.” The cruise line said that over the past 48 hours, more than 1,100 Costa employees have been working tirelessly in the wake of this terrible event. “We are working closely with the authorities to support ongoing search-and-rescue operations, and are focusing on ensuring that all guests and crew members return home safely,” Costa stated. “Our immediate priority is to account for all passengers and crew, and to secure the vessel to ensure that there are no environmental impacts. We have engaged the services of a top specialized salvage company to develop an action plan and help establish a protection perimeter around the ship.” The cruise line said that, “It should be noted that the Prosecutor has seized the ship and the DVR — the so-called black box containing all navigation data — and the vessel can be accessed by Costa only with permission from the authorities.” “We are working with investigators to find out precisely what went wrong aboard the Costa Concordia. While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary indications are that there may have been significant human error on the part of the ship’s master, Captain Francesco Schettino, which resulted in these grave consequences.” Costa’s statement indicated that, “The route of the vessel appears to have been too close to the shore, and in handling the emergency the captain appears not to have followed standard Costa procedures. We are aware that the lead Prosecutor has leveled serious accusations against the ship’s captain, who joined Costa Crociere in 2002 as a safety officer and was appointed captain in 2006. In light of these accusations and the continuing investigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.” However, the Costa statement adds that “As we are learning more about the event and the evacuation, however, it is becoming clear that the crew of the Costa Concordia acted bravely and swiftly to help evacuate more than 4,000 individuals during a very challenging situation. We are very grateful for all they have done.” In its statement, Costa emphasized that it is committed to ensuring that no such incident ever occurs again. “Our number-one priority is always the safety and security of our guests and crew, and we comply with all safety regulations,” the cruise line’s statement concluded.