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10 years later, Costa Concordia survivors share their stories from doomed cruise ship

Ten years after the deadly Costa Concordia cruise line disaster in Italy, survivors still vividly remember scenes of chaos they say were like something straight out of the movie "Titanic."

NBC News correspondent Kelly Cobiella caught up with a group of survivors on TODAY Wednesday, a decade after they escaped a maritime disaster that claimed the lives of 32 people. The Italian cruise ship ran aground off the tiny Italian island of Giglio after striking an underground rock and capsizing.

"I think it’s the panic, the feeling of panic, is what’s carried through over 10 years," Ian Donoff, who was on the cruise with his wife Janice for their honeymoon, told Cobiella. "And it’s just as strong now."

More than 4,000 passengers and crew were on board when the ship crashed into rocks in the dark in the Mediterranean Sea, sending seawater rushing into the vessel as people scrambled for their lives.

The ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, had been performing a sail-past salute of Giglio when he steered the ship too close to the island and hit the jagged reef, opening a 230-foot gash in the side of the cruise liner.

Passengers struggled to escape in the darkness, clambering to get to the life boats. Alaska resident Nate Lukes was with his wife, Cary, and their four daughters aboard the ship and remembers the chaos that ensued as the ship started to sink.

"There was really a melee there is the best way to describe it," he told Cobiella. "It's very similar to the movie 'Titanic.' People were jumping onto the top of the lifeboats and pushing down women and children to try to get to them."

The lifeboats wouldn't drop down because the ship was tilted on its side, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded on the side of the ship for hours in the cold. People were left to clamber down a rope ladder over a distance equivalent to 11 stories.

"Everybody was rushing for the lifeboats," Nate Lukes said. "I felt like (my daughters) were going to get trampled, and putting my arms around them and just holding them together and letting the sea of people go by us."

Schettino was convicted of multiple manslaughter as well as abandoning ship after leaving before all the passengers had reached safety. He is now serving a 16-year prison sentence .

It took nearly two years for the damaged ship to be raised from its side before it was towed away to be scrapped.

The calamity caused changes in the cruise industry like carrying more lifejackets and holding emergency drills before leaving port.

A decade after that harrowing night, the survivors are grateful to have made it out alive. None of the survivors who spoke with Cobiella have been on a cruise since that day.

"I said that if we survive this, then our marriage will have to survive forever," Ian Donoff said.

Scott Stump is a trending reporter and the writer of the daily newsletter This is TODAY (which you should subscribe to here! ) that brings the day's news, health tips, parenting stories, recipes and a daily delight right to your inbox. He has been a regular contributor for TODAY.com since 2011, producing features and news for pop culture, parents, politics, health, style, food and pretty much everything else. 

'We all suffer from PTSD': 10 years after the Costa Concordia cruise disaster, memories remain

GIGLIO, Italy — Ten years have passed since the Costa Concordia cruise ship slammed into a reef and capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio. But for the passengers on board and the residents who welcomed them ashore, the memories of that harrowing, freezing night remain vividly etched into their minds.

The dinner plates that flew off the tables when the rocks first gashed the hull. The blackout after the ship's engine room flooded and its generators failed. The final mad scramble to evacuate the listing liner and then the extraordinary generosity of Giglio islanders who offered shoes, sweatshirts and shelter until the sun rose and passengers were ferried to the mainland.

Italy on Thursday is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration that will end with a candlelit vigil near the moment the ship hit the reef: 9:45 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2012. The events will honor the 32 people who died that night, the 4,200 survivors, but also the residents of Giglio, who took in passengers and crew and then lived with the Concordia's wrecked carcass off their shore for another two years until it was righted and hauled away for scrap.

► CDC travel guidance: CDC warns 'avoid cruise travel' after more than 5,000 COVID cases in two weeks amid omicron

“For us islanders, when we remember some event, we always refer to whether it was before or after the Concordia,” said Matteo Coppa, who was 23 and fishing on the jetty when the darkened Concordia listed toward shore and then collapsed onto its side in the water.

“I imagine it like a nail stuck to the wall that marks that date, as a before and after,” he said, recounting how he joined the rescue effort that night, helping pull ashore the dazed, injured and freezing passengers from lifeboats.

The sad anniversary comes as the cruise industry, shut down in much of the world for months because of the coronavirus pandemic, is once again in the spotlight because of COVID-19 outbreaks that threaten passenger safety. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control last month  warned people across-the-board not to go on cruises, regardless of their vaccination status, because of the risks of infection.

► 'We found out while we were flying': Last-minute cruise cancellations leave travelers scrambling

► 'The Disney magic is gone' ... or is it?: Longtime fans weigh in on changes at Disney World

'We all suffer from PTSD'

For Concordia survivor Georgia Ananias, the COVID-19 infections are just the latest evidence that passenger safety still isn’t a top priority for the cruise ship industry. Passengers aboard the Concordia were largely left on their own to find life jackets and a functioning lifeboat after the captain steered the ship close too shore in a stunt. He then delayed an evacuation order until it was too late, with lifeboats unable to lower because the ship was listing too heavily.

“I always said this will not define me, but you have no choice," Ananias said in an interview from her home in Los Angeles, Calif. “We all suffer from PTSD. We had a lot of guilt that we survived and 32 other people died.”

Prosecutors blamed the delayed evacuation order and conflicting instructions given by crew for the chaos that ensued as passengers scrambled to get off the ship. The captain, Francesco Schettino, is serving a 16-year prison sentence for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning a ship before all the passengers and crew had evacuated.

Ananias and her family declined Costa’s initial $14,500 compensation offered to each passenger and sued Costa, a unit of U.S.-based Carnival Corp., to try to cover the cost of their medical bills and therapy for the post-traumatic stress they have suffered. But after eight years in the U.S. and then Italian court system, they lost their case.

“I think people need to be aware that when you go on a cruise, that if there is a problem, you will not have the justice that you may be used to in the country in which you are living,” said Ananias, who went onto become a top official in the International Cruise Victims association, an advocacy group that lobbies to improve safety aboard ships and increase transparency and accountability in the industry.

Costa didn’t respond to emails seeking comment on the anniversary.

► Royal Caribbean cancels sailings: Pushes back restart on several ships over COVID

'We did something incredible'

Cruise Lines International Association, the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, stressed in a statement to The Associated Press that passenger and crew safety was the industry's top priority, and that cruising remains one of the safest vacation experiences available.

“Our thoughts continue to be with the victims of the Concordia tragedy and their families on this sad anniversary," CLIA said. It said it has worked over the past 10 years with the International Maritime Organization and the maritime industry to “drive a safety culture that is based on continuous improvement."

For Giglio Mayor Sergio Ortelli, the memories of that night run the gamut: the horror of seeing the capsized ship, the scramble to coordinate rescue services on shore, the recovery of the first bodies and then the pride that islanders rose to the occasion to tend to the survivors.

► Cruising during COVID-19: Cancellation, refund policies vary by cruise line

Ortelli was later on hand when, in September 2013, the 115,000-ton, 1,000-foot long cruise ship was righted vertical off its seabed graveyard in an extraordinary feat of engineering. But the night of the disaster, a Friday the 13th, remains seared in his memory.

“It was a night that, in addition to being a tragedy, had a beautiful side because the response of the people was a spontaneous gesture that was appreciated around the world,” Ortelli said.

It seemed the natural thing to do at the time. “But then we realized that on that night, in just a few hours, we did something incredible.”

mediterranean cruise ship sank

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The Costa Concordia Disaster: How Human Error Made It Worse

By: Becky Little

Updated: August 10, 2023 | Original: June 23, 2021

Night view on January 16, 2012, of the cruise liner Costa Concordia aground in front of the harbor of Isola del Giglio after hitting underwater rocks on January 13.

Many famous naval disasters happen far out at sea, but on January 13, 2012, the Costa Concordia wrecked just off the coast of an Italian island in relatively shallow water. The avoidable disaster killed 32 people and seriously injured many others, and left investigators wondering: Why was the luxury cruise ship sailing so close to the shore in the first place?

During the ensuing trial, prosecutors came up with a tabloid-ready explanation : The married ship captain had sailed it so close to the island to impress a much younger Moldovan dancer with whom he was having an affair.

Whether or not Captain Francesco Schettino was trying to impress his girlfriend is debatable. (Schettino insisted the ship sailed close to shore to salute other mariners and give passengers a good view.) But whatever the reason for getting too close, the Italian courts found the captain, four crew members and one official from the ship’s company, Costa Crociere (part of Carnival Corporation), to be at fault for causing the disaster and preventing a safe evacuation. The wreck was not the fault of unexpected weather or ship malfunction—it was a disaster caused entirely by a series of human errors.

“At any time when you have an incident similar to Concordia, there is never…a single causal factor,” says Brad Schoenwald, a senior marine inspector at the United States Coast Guard. “It is generally a sequence of events, things that line up in a bad way that ultimately create that incident.”

Wrecking Near the Shore

Technicians pass in a small boat near the stricken cruise liner Costa Concordia lying aground in front of the Isola del Giglio on January 26, 2012 after hitting underwater rocks on January 13.

The Concordia was supposed to take passengers on a seven-day Italian cruise from Civitavecchia to Savona. But when it deviated from its planned path to sail closer to the island of Giglio, the ship struck a reef known as the Scole Rocks. The impact damaged the ship, allowing water to seep in and putting the 4,229 people on board in danger.

Sailing close to shore to give passengers a nice view or salute other sailors is known as a “sail-by,” and it’s unclear how often cruise ships perform these maneuvers. Some consider them to be dangerous deviations from planned routes. In its investigative report on the 2012 disaster, Italy’s Ministry of Infrastructures and Transports found that the Concordia “was sailing too close to the coastline, in a poorly lit shore area…at an unsafe distance at night time and at high speed (15.5 kts).”

In his trial, Captain Schettino blamed the shipwreck on Helmsman Jacob Rusli Bin, who he claimed reacted incorrectly to his order; and argued that if the helmsman had reacted correctly and quickly, the ship wouldn’t have wrecked. However, an Italian naval admiral testified in court that even though the helmsman was late in executing the captain’s orders, “the crash would’ve happened anyway.” (The helmsman was one of the four crew members convicted in court for contributing to the disaster.)

A Questionable Evacuation

Former Captain of the Costa Concordia Francesco Schettino speaks with reporters after being aboard the ship with the team of experts inspecting the wreck on February 27, 2014 in Isola del Giglio, Italy. The Italian captain went back onboard the wreck for the first time since the sinking of the cruise ship on January 13, 2012, as part of his trial for manslaughter and abandoning ship.

Evidence introduced in Schettino’s trial suggests that the safety of his passengers and crew wasn’t his number one priority as he assessed the damage to the Concordia. The impact and water leakage caused an electrical blackout on the ship, and a recorded phone call with Costa Crociere’s crisis coordinator, Roberto Ferrarini, shows he tried to downplay and cover up his actions by saying the blackout was what actually caused the accident.

“I have made a mess and practically the whole ship is flooding,” Schettino told Ferrarini while the ship was sinking. “What should I say to the media?… To the port authorities I have said that we had…a blackout.” (Ferrarini was later convicted for contributing to the disaster by delaying rescue operations.)

Schettino also didn’t immediately alert the Italian Search and Rescue Authority about the accident. The impact on the Scole Rocks occurred at about 9:45 p.m. local time, and the first person to contact rescue officials about the ship was someone on the shore, according to the investigative report. Search and Rescue contacted the ship a few minutes after 10:00 p.m., but Schettino didn’t tell them what had happened for about 20 more minutes.

A little more than an hour after impact, the crew began to evacuate the ship. But the report noted that some passengers testified that they didn’t hear the alarm to proceed to the lifeboats. Evacuation was made even more chaotic by the ship listing so far to starboard, making walking inside very difficult and lowering the lifeboats on one side, near to impossible. Making things worse, the crew had dropped the anchor incorrectly, causing the ship to flop over even more dramatically.

Through the confusion, the captain somehow made it into a lifeboat before everyone else had made it off. A coast guard member angrily told him on the phone to “Get back on board, damn it!” —a recorded sound bite that turned into a T-shirt slogan in Italy.

Schettino argued that he fell into a lifeboat because of how the ship was listing to one side, but this argument proved unconvincing. In 2015, a court found Schettino guilty of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship before passengers and crew were evacuated and lying to authorities about the disaster. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison. In addition to Schettino, Ferrarini and Rusli Bin, the other people who received convictions for their role in the disaster were Cabin Service Director Manrico Giampedroni, First Officer Ciro Ambrosio and Third Officer Silvia Coronica.

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10 years later, Costa Concordia disaster is still vivid for survivors

The luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia lays on its starboard side after it ran aground off the coast of Italy in 2012.

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Ten years have passed since the Costa Concordia cruise ship slammed into a reef and capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio . But for the passengers on board and the residents who welcomed them ashore, the memories of that harrowing, freezing night remain vividly etched into their minds.

The dinner plates that flew off the tables when the rocks first gashed the hull. The blackout after the ship’s engine room flooded and its generators failed. The final mad scramble to evacuate the listing liner and then the extraordinary generosity of Giglio islanders who offered shoes, sweatshirts and shelter until the sun rose and passengers were ferried to the mainland.

Italy on Thursday is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration that will end with a candlelit vigil near the moment the ship hit the reef: 9:45 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2012. The events will honor the 32 people who died that night, the 4,200 survivors, but also the residents of Giglio, who took in passengers and crew and then lived with the Concordia’s wrecked carcass off their shore for another two years until it was righted and hauled away for scrap.

“For us islanders, when we remember some event, we always refer to whether it was before or after the Concordia,” said Matteo Coppa, who was 23 and fishing on the jetty when the darkened Concordia listed toward shore and then collapsed onto its side in the water.

“I imagine it like a nail stuck to the wall that marks that date, as a before and after,” he said, recounting how he joined the rescue effort that night, helping pull ashore the dazed, injured and freezing passengers from lifeboats.

The sad anniversary comes as the cruise industry, shut down in much of the world for months because of the coronavirus pandemic, is once again in the spotlight because of COVID-19 outbreaks that threaten passenger safety. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control last month warned people across-the-board not to go on cruises , regardless of their vaccination status, because of the risks of infection.

A couple stands on a rear balcony of the Ruby Princess cruise ship while docked in San Francisco, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a cruise ship that docked in San Francisco on Thursday after a dozen vaccinated passengers tested positive for coronavirus. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

A dozen passengers on cruise ship test positive for coronavirus

The passengers, whose infections were found through random testing, were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, according to the Port of San Francisco.

Jan. 7, 2022

For Concordia survivor Georgia Ananias, the COVID-19 infections are just the latest evidence that passenger safety still isn’t a top priority for the cruise ship industry. Passengers aboard the Concordia were largely left on their own to find life jackets and a functioning lifeboat after the captain steered the ship close too shore in a stunt. He then delayed an evacuation order until it was too late, with lifeboats unable to lower because the ship was listing too heavily.

“I always said this will not define me, but you have no choice,” Ananias said in an interview from her home in Los Angeles. “We all suffer from PTSD. We had a lot of guilt that we survived and 32 other people died.”

Prosecutors blamed the delayed evacuation order and conflicting instructions given by crew for the chaos that ensued as passengers scrambled to get off the ship. The captain, Francesco Schettino, is serving a 16-year prison sentence for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning a ship before all the passengers and crew had evacuated.

Ananias and her family declined Costa’s initial $14,500 compensation offered to each passenger and sued Costa, a unit of U.S.-based Carnival Corp., to try to cover the cost of their medical bills and therapy for the post-traumatic stress they have suffered. But after eight years in the U.S. and then Italian court system, they lost their case.

“I think people need to be aware that when you go on a cruise, that if there is a problem, you will not have the justice that you may be used to in the country in which you are living,” said Ananias, who went onto become a top official in the International Cruise Victims association, an advocacy group that lobbies to improve safety aboard ships and increase transparency and accountability in the industry.

Costa didn’t respond to emails seeking comment on the anniversary.

Cruise Lines International Assn., the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, stressed in a statement to the Associated Press that passenger and crew safety were the industry’s top priority, and that cruising remains one of the safest vacation experiences available.

“Our thoughts continue to be with the victims of the Concordia tragedy and their families on this sad anniversary,” CLIA said. It said it has worked over the past 10 years with the International Maritime Organization and the maritime industry to “drive a safety culture that is based on continuous improvement.”

For Giglio Mayor Sergio Ortelli, the memories of that night run the gamut: the horror of seeing the capsized ship, the scramble to coordinate rescue services on shore, the recovery of the first bodies and then the pride that islanders rose to the occasion to tend to the survivors.

Ortelli was later on hand when, in September 2013, the 115,000-ton, 1,000-foot long cruise ship was righted vertical off its seabed graveyard in an extraordinary feat of engineering. But the night of the disaster, a Friday the 13th, remains seared in his memory.

“It was a night that, in addition to being a tragedy, had a beautiful side because the response of the people was a spontaneous gesture that was appreciated around the world,” Ortelli said.

It seemed the natural thing to do at the time. “But then we realized that on that night, in just a few hours, we did something incredible.”

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Key dates in Costa Concordia shipwreck, trial and cleanup

FILE— Seagulls fly in front of the grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy, Monday, Jan. 30, 2012. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

FILE— Seagulls fly in front of the grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy, Monday, Jan. 30, 2012. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

FILE— The grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia is seen through a window on the Isola del Giglio island, Italy, Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

FILE— Oil removal ships near the cruise ship Costa Concordia leaning on its side Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, after running aground near the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, last Friday night. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

FILE— The Costa Concordia ship lies on its side on the Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

FILE— A sunbather gets her tan on a rock during the operations to refloat the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia on the tiny Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy, Saturday, July 19, 2014. Once the ship has refloated it will be towed to Genoa’s port, about 200 nautical miles (320 kilometers), where it will be dismantled. 30 months ago it struck a reef and capsized, killing 32 people. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

FILE— The wrecked hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise ship is towed along the Tyrrhenian Sea, 30 miles off the coast of Viareggio, Italy, Friday, July 25, 2014. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap. (AP Photo/Fabio Muzzi)

FILE— A view of the previously submerged side of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, off the coast of the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

FILE— A woman hangs her laundry as the grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia is seen in the background, off the Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap.(AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

FILE— In this photo taken on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, Francesco Schettino, right, the captain of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, which ran aground off the tiny Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, is taken into custody by Carabinieri in Porto Santo Stefano, Italy. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap. (AP Photo/Giacomo Aprili)

Experts aboard a sea platform carry oil recovery equipment, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, as they return to the port of the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, where the cruise ship Costa Concordia, visible in background, ran aground on Ja. 13, 2012. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

FILE — The luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia lays on its starboard side after it ran aground off the coast of the Isola del Giglio island, Italy on Jan. 13, 2012. Italy is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap. (AP Photo/Giuseppe Modesti)

FILE— Italian firefighters conduct search operations on the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia that ran aground the tiny Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

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By Associated Press (AP) — Italy on Thursday marks the 10th anniversary of the Costa Concordia cruise ship wreck off the Tuscan island of Giglio. Here are some key dates in the saga, including the trial of the captain and the remarkable engineering feat to right the liner from its side so it could be towed away for scrap.

Jan. 13, 2012: The Costa Concordia slams into a reef off Italy’s Giglio island after the captain, Francesco Schettino, ordered it taken off course and brought it close to shore in a stunt. It drifts without power until it comes to rest on its side offshore. After weeks of searches, rescue crews confirm 32 people died.

Jan. 15, 2012: Prosecutor Francesco Verusio confirms passenger allegations that Schettino abandoned the Concordia before all the passengers and crew had been evacuated.

Jan. 17, 2012: Schettino is placed under house arrest.

Jan. 17, 2012: Dramatic audio of the shipwreck is broadcast in which Coast Guard Cmdr. Gregorio De Falco uses colorful expletives to order Schettino to get back on board to coordinate the evacuation. “You’ve abandoned ship! I’m in charge now,” De Falco yells. “Go back and report to me how many passengers there are and what they need. ... Perhaps you saved yourself from the sea, but I’ll make you pay for this, damn it!”

Jan. 20, 2012: Costa’s CEO tells Italian state TV that Schettino relayed inaccurate information to the company and crew and downplayed the seriousness of the situation after the ship hit the rocks, delaying the mobilization of proper assistance.

July 9, 2013: Schettino goes on trial for manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing the shipwreck. The trial is held in a 1,000-seat theater on the mainland in Grosseto, a spacious venue so survivors and relatives of victims could attend.

July 20, 2013: Five Costa employees are convicted of manslaughter in a separate trial, receiving sentences of less than three years after entering plea bargains.

Sept. 17, 2013: Fog horns wail shortly after 4 a.m. to announce the Concordia had been wrenched from its side and reached vertical after 19-hour operation using chains and weighted tanks to right it from the seabed.

Oct. 8, 2013: The remains of one of the two people still missing is located by divers working on the wreck, later identified as Italian Maria Grazia Trecarichi.

Feb. 1, 2014: A Spanish diver working on the Concordia wreckage dies after apparently gashing his leg on an underwater metal sheet, news reports say.

July 23, 2014: As boat sirens wail and bells toll, the Concordia begins its final voyage as it is towed from Giglio to be turned into scrap. It arrives in Genoa’s shipyard on July 27.

Nov. 3, 2014: The body of Indian waiter Russel Rebello, the last missing victim, is found by crews dismantling the vessel for scrap in Genoa.

Feb. 11, 2015: The court in Grosseto convicts Schettino and sentences him to 16 years in prison for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the vessel before passengers and crew had been evacuated, as well as for giving false information about the gravity of the collision.

May 31, 2016: An appeals court in Florence upholds the conviction and sentence for Schettino after both the prosecution and defense appealed. The prosecution sought to toughen the sentence to 27 years while the defense argued that blame didn’t fall solely on Schettino.

May 12, 2017: Schettino loses his final appeal and heads to prison after Italy’s highest Court of Cassation upholds his previous conviction and 16-year sentence.

January 2018: Coast Guard Cmdr. De Falco, who won international fame for his rant against Schettino, nominates himself as a lawmaker for Italy’s 5-Star Movement political party. He is expelled from the party later that year.

December, 2021: A Genoa court orders Costa Crociere to pay 92,700 euros ($105,000) to Concordia passenger Ernesto Carusotti in one of the few civil lawsuits to reach a verdict against the company.

This version corrects the spelling of Grosseto.

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Costa Concordia Victims' Last Moments Revealed

The story of a passenger who drowned after giving up his seat in a lifeboat features in a report released by prosecutors.

By Nick Pisa, Sky Reporter

Tuesday 5 March 2013 12:46, UK

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The capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia is pictured outside Giglio harbour

Details of the final moments of the 32 people who died in the Costa Concordia cruise ship tragedy have emerged in a prosecution report.

The 60-page document makes up the official request to have captain Francesco Schettino - who was in charge at the time - sent for trial.

He is accused of multiple manslaughter, causing a disaster, failing to inform authorities of what had happened and abandoning ship while dozens of passengers were still onboard.

More than 4,000 passengers and crew were onboard the doomed Costa Concordia when it struck rocks after Schettino allegedly changed course in order to carry out a sail-by salute of a Mediterranean island to impress holidaymakers.

Costa Concordia crash victims

The 70-metre gash allowed water to pour in and the ship eventually capsized and came to rest on its side at a location known as Seagull Point, just outside the harbour on the island of Giglio in January last year, hours into a seven-day cruise.

The chaotic scenes of panic and disorganisation that gripped the ship as it started to sink are evident throughout the report.

In one part, Francecso Verusio relives the moment when the youngest victim of the disaster, five-year-old Dayana Arlotti, and her father, William, drowned.

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Mr Verusio wrote that they died ''because they were unable to find any space in a lifeboat on deck four, on the left-hand side, and they were then directed to the right-hand side by crew members on the same deck but as they were crossing the inside corridor ... they fell into a hole that had been created when the ship rolled onto its right side.

"They dropped into an area that was already flooded and they died from drowning," he added.

Other stories include that of bartender Erika Fani Soria Molinala, who fell from a lifeboat as it pulled away from the Concordia but as she was not wearing a lifejacket she was dragged underwater from the current created as the Concordia tilted on its side.

It also emerged that holidaymaker Maria D'Introno - whose body has yet to be recovered - was told to get out of a lifeboat because it was too full and the tilt of the ship made it impossible to launch safely.

She was later seen terrified by the edge of the ship, jumping into the water without a lifejacket despite not being able to swim.

The last moments of musician Giuseppe Girolamo are described in another section of the report.

It emerged he had been directed to the right-hand side of the boat to get into a lifeboat and had actually got into one when he decided to give up his place - only to later drown.

The prosecution report also details how Schettino was distracted by the ''inopportune presence of unauthorised persons'' on the bridge of the Concordia, including several crew members and passenger hostess Domnica Cemortan - who was seen enjoying dinner with the captain minutes before the ship struck the rocks.

It also details how Schettino was distracted as he was speaking on the telephone while he was ''in close proximity to the coast in a dangerous situation and with the helm under manual control".

It goes on to list 157 passengers who are suffering from post-traumatic stress following the disaster.

Schettino, 52, has insisted he is innocent of all charges and that the rocks were not marked on his charts. He says he should be thanked as his actions in steering the ship back towards the port at Giglio saved hundreds of lives.

However, he was ridiculed by the world's media after it emerged he had told coastguards he "tripped and fell" into a lifeboat as the Concordia began to list to one side, while recordings later emerged of him refusing orders to get back onboard and co-ordinate the rescue efforts.

Some other crew members also face charges, as do management figures from the company Costa Cruises, which owns the ship that is still lying on its side and not expected to be removed until September at the earliest.

The initial part of the trial is expected to last a week and once again will take place in a theatre in the town of Grosseto.

Prosecutors have also requested the indictment of five other crew members, including two officers Ciro Ambrosio and Silvio Coronica and the Concordia's helmsman Jacob Rusli.

In an unusual move, Mr Verusio has posted details of the case on a Facebook site in various languages and invited those who may have a claim to contact him.

It has also emerged that Costa Cruises asked for a plea-bargaining agreement, which would see them pay a fine of one million euros. They insist Schettino is solely to blame.

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The Wreck of the Costa Concordia

  • Alan Taylor
  • January 16, 2012

On the night of Friday, January 13, the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, with more than 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members on board, struck a reef, keeled over, and partially sank off Isola del Giglio, Italy. Six people are now confirmed dead, including two French passengers and one Peruvian crew member, apparently after jumping into the chilly Mediterranean waters after the wreck. Fourteen more people still remain missing, as search and rescue teams continue their efforts to find survivors. The incident occurred only hours into the cruise, and passengers had not yet undergone any lifeboat drills -- that plus the severe list of the ship made evacuation chaotic and frightening. Captain Francesco Schettino has been arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship. Gathered here are images of the Costa Concordia, as efforts are still underway to find the fourteen passengers that remain missing.

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mediterranean cruise ship sank

View of the Costa Concordia taken on January 14, 2012, after the cruise ship ran aground and keeled over off the Isola del Giglio. Five passengers drowned and about 15 still remain missing after the Italian ship with some 4,200 people on board ran aground. The Costa Concordia was on a trip around the Mediterranean when it apparently hit a reef near the island of Giglio on Friday, only a few hours into its voyage, as passengers were sitting down for dinner. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

This photo acquired by the Associated Press from a passenger of the luxury ship that ran aground off the coast of Tuscany shows fellow passengers wearing life-vests on board the Costa Concordia as they wait to be evacuated, on Saturday, January 14, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

The luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia leans after it ran aground off the coast of the Isola del Giglio island, Italy, early Saturday, January 14, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Passengers of the Costa Concordia arrive at Porto Santo Stefano on January 14, 2012, after the cruise ship ran aground and keeled over the night before. Some of the passengers jumped into the icy waters. The ship was on a cruise in the Mediterranean, leaving from Savona with planned stops in Civitavecchia, Palermo, Cagliari, Palma, Barcelona and Marseille," the company said. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

A survivor of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, arrives at the harbor, in Marseille, southern France, on January 14, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

The Costa Concordia, off the west coast of Italy at Giglio island, on January 14, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

The Costa Concordia leans on its side after running aground, on January 14, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Gashes in the hull of the Costa Concordia, off the west coast of Italy, on January 14, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Firefighters on a dinghy examine a large rock emerging from the side of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, the day after it ran aground on Sunday, January 15, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

The Costa Concordia, surrounded by smaller boats, on Saturday, January 14, 2012, after running aground. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

An evening view of the Costa Concordia, on January 15, 2012 in the harbor of the Tuscan island of Giglio. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

A rescue boat points a light at the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia leaning on its side on January 14, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Italian firefighters climb on the Costa Concordia on January 14, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Firemen inspect the Costa Concordia on January 15, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Rescuers check the sea near the Costa Concordia on January 15, 2012, after the cruise ship ran aground the night before. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

People look at the deck chairs piled on the deck of the leaning Costa Concordia, on January 15, 2012, after the cruise ship ran aground on January 13. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Partially submerged cabins of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, photographed on January 14, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

An Italian firefighter helicopter lifts a passenger from the cruise ship Costa Concordia on January 15, 2012. Firefighters worked Sunday to rescue the crew member with a suspected broken leg from the overturned hulk of the luxury cruise liner, 36 hours after it ran aground. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Divers inspect the Costa Concordia on January 15, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Italian Coast guard personnel pass on the black box of the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia, on January 14, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Costa Concordia cruise liner captain Francesco Schettino (right) is escorted by a Carabinieri in Grosseto, Italy, on January 14, 2012. Schettino, the captain of the Italian cruise liner that ran aground off Italy's west coast, was arrested on the charges of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship, police said. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

In this underwater photo taken on January 13 and released by the Italian Coast Guard on January 16, 2012, a view of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, after it ran aground near the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

A breach is seen on the body of the cruise ship Costa Concordia in this underwater photo released by the Italian Coast Guard on January 16, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

An Italian Coast guard diver inspects the wreckage of the Costa Concordia on January 16, 2012. Over-reliance on electronic navigation systems and a failure of judgement by the captain are seen as possible reasons for one of the worst cruise liner disasters of all time, maritime specialists say. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

An Italian Coast guard diver inspects inside the Costa Concordia cruise ship on January 16, 2012. #

mediterranean cruise ship sank

An Italian Coast guard diver swims through debris inside the partially-submerged Costa Concordia, on January 16, 2012. Rescuers resumed a search of the hulk of a giant cruise liner off the west coast of Italy on Monday after bad weather forced them to halt operations, but hopes were fading of finding more survivors. #

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The 11-hour anguished search for survivors of the shipwreck in Greece: ‘Ship sinking. We’re asking you to come to the rescue’

In the early hours of the morning of june 14, the captain of an oil tanker received a call to help save the trawler that sank 30 miles off the coast of greece. the sea had swallowed everything up. navigational data show contradictions in greece’s official account of events.

Naufragio Grecia

It was a clear, windless dawn, and the sea was as smooth as glass. The Rekon , a 122-meter Maltese-flagged tanker, was going about its route to the port of Haifa in Israel. Then the radio announced a distress call: “Ship sinking. Large number of people. Vessels in the vicinity are asked to proceed with search and rescue operations.” The officer immediately alerted the captain. It was June 14 at 2:12 a.m. local Greek time.

Captain Sait Bektasoglu, a 63-year-old Turk with four decades of experience at sea, ran to the bridge. “We changed our course immediately to the wreck site, we adjusted our radars for sensitivity, and I mobilized the crew,” he recalls. His account of 11 hours of fruitless searching is harrowing and rich in heretofore unknown details.

It took the Rekon an hour and 15 minutes to reach the coordinates it received, an area some 50 miles off the Greek coast. When it arrived, the luxury yacht Mayan Queen IV and two other cargo ships were already searching the water for survivors. The tanker then slowed down, turned on its search lights and its crew of 14 sailors began scanning the vast stretch of black water with binoculars. They didn’t see or hear anything. “It was as if nothing had happened,” recalls the captain. “There were no life jackets, no floats, no trace of oil, no trash, no floating material from the ship, nothing,” he recounts.

The Adriana , a ramshackle fishing boat of about 25 meters, had set sail for Italy with some 750 occupants on board. Women and children were crammed into the hold and many of the men were on deck. They were Syrian and Afghan refugees, Egyptians, Pakistanis and Palestinians. The Greek authorities had been aware of the ship’s presence since 11 a.m. on June 13 and, in addition to keeping it under surveillance, ordered two ships in the area to deliver food and water to those onboard. They never activated a rescue operation, despite the conditions in which the ship was sailing, not even when the ship’s engine broke down at 1:40 a.m. Between 2:04 a.m. and 2:19 a.m., the old metal fishing trawler jolted violently and then disappeared right before the eyes of the Greek coastguard. It is still not clear what happened, but the sea swallowed everything up.

Greece’s official version of events claims that the castaways refused any help and continued on their way to Italy. But navigation data contradicts that assertion. The coordinates of the distress call place the trawler just over a mile from its location at 7.30 p.m. when a first vessel approached it to supply it with food. In other words, in the seven hours between the delivery of supplies and when it sank, the Adriana was not approaching Italy as the Greek authorities claim ; the ship made practically no progress and moved just over a mile away towards its presumed destination.

Captain Sait Bektasoglu participated in the search for survivors of the wrecked fishing boat in Greek waters, on June 13.

While Bektasoglu was scanning the sea from the deck, between 3:00 and 4:00, a Greek patrol boat arrived and took command of the operation. The radio continued to instruct nearby vessels to approach the area. One passenger cruise ship, the Celebrity Beyond , “asked if it could lower its rescue boat and join the search, but was told no,” Bektasoglu explains. “There were already too many ships searching without detecting anything,” the captain theorizes. As many as eight large ships participated in the search for survivors. EL PAÍS unsuccessfully tried to contact them all.

The radio was constantly broadcasting messages to all the ships involved in the rescue. The Mayan Queen IV , a luxury yacht owned by a multimillionaire Mexican family, reported that it had already pulled a hundred or so castaways out of the water alive. “I don’t know how it sank at a depth of 4,500 meters, but I am sure that if this superyacht had not been there, the freighters could not have rescued more than two people each. The survivors were lucky to come across a ship that could rescue them and reunite over 100 people. A superyacht is much better equipped than the coast guard boats,” Bektasoglu explains.

“I couldn’t stand it,” Bektasoglu recounts. “I suggested that [the Turkish bulk carrier] ask the cruiser for help, but he was ordered to wait. [The Rusander ] kept asking for medical assistance for more than an hour, and again I recommended that he approach the cruiser for help. They ignored me in both Turkish and English,” the veteran sailor maintains.

The helicopter finally appeared as dawn was breaking. “It picked up the living and the lifeless bodies that were transferred to the Greek ship,” Bektasoglu explains. A new Greek patrol boat joined the operation. In all, 81 bodies were recovered.

The veteran captain, who had gone 11 hours without rescuing anyone, eating or sleeping, began to lose hope. “We did not experience a chaotic situation because there was nothing to be seen, there was no dramatic scene. The water was still like a mirror and after a few hours we lost morale,” he explains.

At 7:00 a.m. he asked for permission to continue his trip but was denied. A half an hour later, a military frigate arrived, took over command and gave the ships new coordinates to continue the search. “They sent me to two different places, I increased speed, arrived and searched,” he recounts. Again, the search was unsuccessful. Over the radio, he heard a freighter being ordered to “raise your boat, pick up the body and bring it to the Greek ship.” Other ships also used their lifeboats, while two helicopters flew overhead, he says.

The Turkish captain appreciates the measures the Greeks deployed, even though they only activated the search and rescue operation when the trawler was already sinking. “For several hours they deployed a plane, a patrol boat, two coast guard frigates, a rescue ship, three helicopters and a navy frigate; it’s a great effort,” he says.

At 8:30 a.m., Bektasoglu tried to leave again. He was in a hurry because he had to unload 5,200 tons of methyl tertiary butyl ether (a liquid that increases fuel efficiency) in Israel and then arrive in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, by June 20. He was not cleared to leave the operation until 11:45. As he left, he heard other ships being radioed to join the search. “I was tired, went to the bridge at 2.20 and couldn’t stop for lunch until after 12:00 the next day. I spent 11 hours on the search,” he recalls.

The captain learned what happened next from the press. He is frustrated that he didn’t find anyone to save. He also curses the human traffickers “who do business this way” and “buried” hundreds of people at a depth of 4,500 meters. He muses that “in a few centuries, when they find these bodies, they will serve as evidence for historians.”

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Aerial image of the fishing trawler 'Adriana' taken by Frontex on June 13 in the Greek SAR zone.

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Especialízate en Project Management con esta maestría presencial en Madrid, España

The wreck of former cruise ship Mediterranean Sky at Eleusis in Greece.

‘A race against time’: how shipwrecks hold clues to humanity’s future

New revelations about the 3m vessels scattered across the ocean floor, from Titanic to Shackleton’s Endurance to the slave ship Clotilda, are not only rewriting our history but could determine our survival

A n immense railing, gnawed at by metal-eating bacteria for more than a century, emerged amid the pitch black waters. For more than two hours, the submersible had plunged through the water column to reach the depths of the Atlantic; now its lights bobbed over the prow of a ship dripping in red and orange icicle-like formations.

“My heart just started beating,” says Bill Price. “It was just like ‘Oh my God, this is amazing. This is the actual Titanic.’”

The 2021 expedition catapulted the 70-year-old retiree on to a shortlist – believed to number fewer than 300 people – who have visited the wreckage of the tragedy since the site was discovered 2.5 miles underwater, more than three decades ago.

The hours-long visit came at a steep cost, with Price, the former travel company president, digging into his life savings to fork out the $250,000 (£212,000) fee. “It was a worthwhile investment for me,” says Price.

More than a century after the luxury liner collided with an iceberg – its sinking in 1912 claimed the lives of at least 1,500 people and gave rise to a wave of books, films and songs – today, the scattered debris, 400 nautical miles off the coast of Canada, is at the centre of an ambitious push to foster deep-sea tourism.

Since 2021, the Bahamas-based OceanGate Expeditions has ferried about 60 paying customers and 15-20 researchers to the site in a deep-diving submersible, aiming to bring them within inches of one of the world’s best-known shipwrecks.

“We started the business and it was this idea of researchers and wealthy people,” says Stockton Rush, the company’s president. “Is there a way to match those people who wanted to have an adventure travel experience with researchers who need funding and a sub?”

What is the Shipwrecked series?

There are 3m lost vessels under the waves, and with new technology finally enabling us to explore them, Guardian Seascape is dedicating a series to what is being found: the secret histories, hidden treasures and the lessons they teach. From glimpses into storied wrecks such as the Titanic and Ernest Shackleton’s doomed Endurance, to slave vessels such as the Clotilda or Spanish galleons lined with plundered South American gold that confront us with our troubled history, shipwrecks are time capsules, holding clues to who we are.

But they are also ocean actors in their own right, home to huge colonies of marine life. They are victims, too, of the same threats faced by the ocean: invasive species eating away at their hulls, acidification slowly causing them to disintegrate. Shipwrecks are mirrors showing us not just who we’ve been, but what our future holds on a fast-heating globe.

The pull of these wrecks has been a boon for science, shedding light on a part of the planet that has been shrouded in mystery. “If shipwrecks are the sirens that lure us into the depths, they encourage exploration into what truly is the last frontier of the planet,” says James Delgado of shipwreck company Search Inc. “A frontier that we don’t really know much about.” Chris Michael and Laura Paddison, Seascape editors

The initiative hints at the outsized role that shipwrecks – whether ill-fated behemoths like the Titanic or Tudor warships – continue to play in our collective psyche. More than 3m vessels are believed to be scattered across the ocean floor, collectively offering a tale of triumphs and disasters that stretch back millennia.

The ex-USS Kittiwake submarine rescue vessel, which lies at the northern end of Seven Mile Beach, on the west of Grand Cayman.

Scores of these sunken vessels continue to shape our present. Some, such as the gold-laden Spanish galleon San José, found off the coast of Colombia, have forced a reckoning with colonialism, as several parties lay claim to a cargo that could be worth as much as $17bn. Others, like the near-perfectly preserved Endurance, found this year in the Antarctic, add a thrilling instalment to Sir Ernest Shackleton’s odyssey to save his crew after his ship was swallowed by the icy landscape.

The existence of these wrecks sits somewhere between life and death; their decaying structures often bearing witness to the tragic loss of human life, even as corals, fish and anemones flock to them, transforming them into sites teeming with marine animals.

This duality has been key to unlocking the story of these wrecks, says Jay Haigler, a board member and one of the lead instructors for Diving With a Purpose, a US-based volunteer group that focuses on locating and documenting shipwrecks connected to the global slave trade.

“One of the signatures of the slave ship is what we call a ballast pile, which are rocks or some kind of weighted material that offset the weight of human cargo,” says Haigler.

Divers explore a rusted motorbike inside the wreck of SS Thistlegorm in the Red Sea.

If a ship sinks, the nooks and crannies of these piles often end up becoming hotspots for marine life. “So if you see a coral mound, it could actually be a ballast pile, which could be connected to an actual ship that was involved in human trafficking and the global slave trade.”

His group aims to reclaim the painful legacy of these ships, to honour their ancestors by telling the stories of the people forced on to them. But the transformative power of these waterlogged wrecks hit home for Haigler in May, after he was among those invited to explore the Clotilda, the last known ship to have transported enslaved Africans to the US.

More than 160 years after the schooner was deliberately sunk in an Alabama river, Haigler slowly dived through its cargo hold, forced by zero visibility conditions to feel his way through an enclosure that once held 110 men, women and children.

The Endurance in 1915 as it submerged.

It was a glimpse of what the journey may have been like for the captives onboard. “Because it was designed specifically for these captured Africans, it was completely dark,” he says. “Imagine 110 people in a space that is less than 500 sq ft, who travelled for over two and a half months in this cargo hold.”

Shortly after emerging from the wreck, Haigler met some of the descendants of the ship’s captives, offering his experience as tangible evidence of their long-silenced stories of resilience and identity, as well as the pervasiveness of the slave trade. “It was a very surreal experience,” he says. “I came out of that cargo hold a different person than when I went into it.”

The story of the Clotilda has been kept alive through the oral histories of the descendants of captives who were freed, though it was ignored by those in power because of the uncomfortable link to a wealthy, influential family. The tale has since given rise to documentaries, books and works of art.

It’s little wonder, says James Delgado, the senior vice-president of SEARCH, Inc, the company involved in the search for the wreck. “In many ways, the shipwreck has become a muse because it has a powerful story to tell,” he says. “Shipwrecks are a mirror that we can look into, that tell us more about ourselves as people.”

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The pull of these wrecks has been a boon for science, as the often deep-sea locations help shed light on a part of the planet that has been shrouded in mystery. “If shipwrecks are the sirens that lure us into the depths, they encourage exploration into what truly is the last frontier of the planet,” says Delgado. “A frontier that we don’t really know much about.”

The SS Ayrfield, with mangroves growing out of its rusting shell in Homebush Bay near Sydney.

In recent years, researchers have begun to understand how shipwrecks interact with the environment, scrambling to glean as much information as possible from sites before wrecks are reclaimed by the sea. Even in the case of big vessels such as the Titanic, researchers have documented the steady deterioration of the wreckage, with one expedition speculating that nothing would be left by 2030.

At times, researchers have found themselves on the losing end of this battle, watching in exasperation as history takes a backseat to the explosion of marine life at these sites.

“We would hope that the shipwreck is a bit of a time capsule that has lain undisturbed for thousands of years,” says Lisa Briggs, a research fellow in underwater archeology at Cranfield University in the UK. “But when you get a cheeky little octopus bringing important artefacts inside a piece of pottery or inside another artefact, it really starts to skew our impression of what was contained in those pots.”

A close-up image of a Moray Eel as it hides in a shipwreck

Their race against time is exacerbated by the climate crisis. Stronger storms have left wrecks facing off against fiercer swells and currents, while the increasingly acidic nature of the ocean has prompted concerns that the erosion of their structures could be accelerated.

Briggs has watched as rising water temperatures have transformed the sites where she works. In Turkey, populations of invasive, venomous lionfish have flourished, making the work of cataloguing shipwrecks far more dangerous, while a worm-like marine mollusc that ravages wood has moved northwards into the Baltic Sea. “I’m terrified to think that some of these incredible shipwrecks might disappear due to these really annoying little worms that target wood underwater,” says Briggs.

As the climate crisis tightens its grip, exposed shipwrecks have become an unexpected symbol of an ailing planet; in 2016, melting ice in the Arctic led to the discovery of two whaling ships that had sunk in 1871, while Italy’s worst drought in 70 years revealed a 50-metre cargo barge sunk during the second world war.

The Eduard Bohlen in its sandy grave, now more than 1,000ft from the ocean, in the Namib Desert, Namibia.

In the case of the Titanic, the doomed liner has become a potent metaphor amid humanity’s steadfast refusal to heed more than six decades of climate warnings. “Part of the Titanic parable is of arrogance, of hubris, of the sense that we’re too big to fail,” James Cameron, the director of 1997’s Titanic movie, told National Geographic in 2012.

“We can see that iceberg ahead of us right now, but we can’t turn,” he added. “We can’t turn because of the momentum of the system, the political momentum, the business momentum. There are too many people making money out of the system, the way the system works … and those people frankly have their hands on the levers of power and aren’t ready to let them go.”

For the Titanic, this inertia resulted in a staggering loss of life; of the more than 2,200 on board, just 706 survived. The magnitude of the tragedy was not lost on Price, the retired former travel executive, as he eyed the wreckage strewn across the floor of the Atlantic.

“On the internet you read things like, ‘Don’t go there, it’s a graveyard, or you shouldn’t be visiting the area,’” says Price. “But we had moments of silence and things of that nature to be respectful of people who did lose their lives in that tragedy.”

A submersible surveys the wreck of the Titanic, in a still from James Cameron’s 2003 documentary, Ghosts of the Abyss.

It was a nod to the myriad roles the luxury liner plays in our collective consciousness – a repertoire that the company behind the expeditions is hoping to build on.

Ultimately, OceanGate Expeditions envisions a frontline role for the shipwreck – and all that it represents – in demystifying how one of the planet’s least-understood environments is changing. More than 80% of the ocean remains unexplored , even as humans expand their reach into it through activities such as deep-sea mining and overfishing.

“We spend 1,000 times as much exploring space as we do exploring the ocean in the US,” says Rush, the company’s president. “How the ocean responds to climate change is going to dictate everything. We need to understand it.”

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At Least 79 Die as Boat Carrying Migrants Sinks Near Greece

The sinking was the deadliest off Greece since 2015.

Thousands die along these routes each year.

Migration is a central issue in Greece’s election .

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By Niki Kitsantonis and Cora Engelbrecht

Niki Kitsantonis reported from Athens, and Cora Engelbrecht from London.

At least 79 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea after a large boat carrying migrants sank early Wednesday, the Greek authorities said, in the deadliest such episode off the country’s coast since the height of the 2015 migration crisis.

More than 100 people were rescued, but the Greek Coast Guard warned that the death toll would probably increase.

What happened?

The boat foundered on Wednesday about ‌50 miles southwest of Pylos, a city in southern Greece. A day earlier, Greek officials were alerted to the boat’s unusual movements, according to a statement from the Greek Coast Guard, which said that the boat’s crew had declined assistance offered by the authorities.

The cause of the sinking was unclear as of Wednesday afternoon. A Greek Shipping Ministry official said that the boat was traveling to Italy from Tobruk, Libya.

Officers on a Coast Guard vessel dispatched to the area saw “a large number of migrants on the outside deck of the boat” on Tuesday night, the agency said. The boat’s crew declined aid, according to the statement.

The Greek Coast Guard learned about the boat’s engine failure shortly before 2 a.m., the Shipping Ministry said. Coast Guard officers tried to approach the vessel after receiving a request for help, it said, then “saw the boat take a right turn, then a sharp left, and then another right so big that it caused the vessel to capsize.”

Ten to 15 minutes later, it said, the boat had sunk and many people had fallen into the sea.

People pulling a stretcher with a covered body on it.

After the sinking, the Greek authorities said, the Coast Guard and the military deployed a large number of vessels to reach survivors and locate the dead. Many of the migrants were believed to be from Egypt, Pakistan and Syria, according to the Shipping Ministry.

It was unclear how many people were still missing by late Wednesday. The ship appeared to have sunk in an area that is about 13,000 feet deep, which could put the wreck and victims beyond divers’ reach.

Greece’s caretaker prime minister, Ioannis Sarmas, declared three days of national mourning on Wednesday. President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, who holds a largely ceremonial office, visited the port of Kalamata, in southwestern Greece, where some people were protesting the government’s tough stance on migration.

How deadly are these migrant routes?

The sinking was the deadliest such episode off the Greek coast since 70 people died when a boat carrying migrants sank near the island off Lesbos in October 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Last year, nearly 3,800 migrants died on routes within and from the Middle East and North Africa region, according to a new annual report by the organization — the highest death toll in five years, the report said . And given the scarcity of official data, the actual number of deaths on those routes is probably much higher, it said.

“As many as 84 percent of those who perished along sea routes remain unidentified, leaving desperate families in search of answers,” the report said.

Some of the worst disasters at sea took place in 2015 and 2016, as hundreds of thousands of people were trying to reach Europe. In one sinking, in April 2015, an estimated 800 people died near Libya; a year later, the United Nations said that as many as 500 died when a boat packed with migrants capsized en route to Italy.

What is Greece’s stance on migration?

Migration has been a central issue in the Greek election, and two leading politicians, the conservative Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the left-wing Alexis Tsipras, canceled speeches on Wednesday. Mr. Mitsotakis, a former prime minister, has defended his tough migration policy , arguing that a more lenient stance had caused undue pressure on Greece and a rise in deaths at sea.

While in office, Mr. Mitsotakis cracked down on migration, heightening border controls in an effort that led to a 90 percent drop in migrant arrivals since 2015. Rights groups accused his government of illegally pushing back migrants at sea and building camps with prisonlike conditions, and video verified by The New York Times showed the Greek Coast Guard in April rounding up asylum seekers, among them children, and abandoning them on a raft at sea.

In a statement, Mr. Mitsotakis said he was “stunned” by Wednesday’s sinking, which he said underlined a need for Europe to respond to criminal smuggling networks.

“This is a time for solidarity and humanity. The priority is to save as many lives as possible,” he said. “The new incident, however, highlights in a dramatic way that the issue of migration remains a problem that demands a coherent European policy.”

Many people in Greece, particularly in border areas, have welcomed the reduced number of migrant arrivals, and Mr. Mitsotakis’s party did well in a vote in May , though it fell short of a majority to lead the government.

An earlier version of this article misidentified the location of a migrant ship sinking. It was in the Mediterranean Sea, not the Aegean.

How we handle corrections

Niki Kitsantonis is a freelance correspondent for The Times based in Athens. She has been writing about Greece for 20 years, including more than a decade of coverage for The Times. More about Niki Kitsantonis

Cora Engelbrecht is a reporter and story editor on the International desk, based in London. She joined The Times in 2016.  More about Cora Engelbrecht

Watch CBS News

Cruise Ship Sinks Near Greece; 2 Missing

April 6, 2007 / 12:32 PM EDT / CBS/AP

A Mediterranean cruise ship that struck a volcanic reef and forced the evacuation of hundreds of tourists sank on Friday, 15 hours after it began taking on water off the coast of the Greek island of Santorini. A Frenchman and his daughter were missing, officials said.

The death throes of the Sea Diamond were broadcast around the world Friday morning, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips .

Passengers on Thursday climbed down rope ladders to coast guard boats below in a three-hour rescue that involved Greece's military, commercial ships and the island's local fishermen. About 700 of the 1200 passengers on the five-day cruise were American, many of them students. There were also groups from Canada and Spain.

Authorities said two French passengers — a 45-year-old man and his 16-year-old daughter — had still not been accounted for, and lists of rescued passengers were being rechecked.

Tourism Minister Fanny Palli Petralia said she had spoken with the missing passenger's wife.

"The lady said her cabin filled with water when the ship struck rocks and that she narrowly escaped," Petralia said. "She was not sure whether her husband and daughter made it out because things happened so suddenly ... in a few seconds. Her other child was up on deck and was evacuated safely."

Those rescued said most people remained calm though there were some tense moments.

The Sea Diamond struck rocks in the sea-filled crater formed by a volcanic eruption 3,500 years ago. But the waters are well-charted, reports Phillips .

Tourists gathered on clifftop towns and villages to watch the rescue.

"We realized there was a serious problem ... We exited our cabin and it was tough to be able to walk out of the ship. A lot of people were very emotional over it, upset, very frightened," said Stephen Johnson, a Canadian passenger.

An Australian passenger, Katie Sumner, said the early stages of the rescue were chaotic.

"We heard a big shudder and then the whole boat started to tilt," Sumner said.

"All of our glasses were sliding everywhere and our warning that the ship was sinking was some of the staff running down the corridor screaming out 'life jackets' and banging on doors, so we got no time to, sort of, get ready or anything, we just left as we were."

The 469-foot Sea Diamond was operated by Louis Cruise Lines, part of a Cyprus-based tourism group. The Merchant Marine Ministry said 1,195 passengers and 391 crew members were on board.

"Whoever is responsible for this will be held accountable in the strictest way," Petralia said. "Greece is a major tourism destination and incidents like this must not be allowed to occur. ... Authorities handled the rescue very well."

Most of the rescued passengers arrived at Athens' main port of Piraeus Friday on a chartered ferry and a Louis cruise ship.

Authorities on Santorini said they were working to contain a small oil spillage from the sunken ship.

The Sea Diamond's captain and three officers were being interviewed Friday by coast guard investigators who flew to Santorini.

More than 300 rescued passengers arrived at Athens' main port of Piraeus early Friday on a chartered ferry, and more were due to arrive later in the day on another Louis cruise ship.

More from CBS News

Cruise ship drags dead whale into New York, prompting investigation

The collision with the 44-foot-long, endangered sei whale could have been avoided, experts said.

mediterranean cruise ship sank

A cruise ship arrived in New York Harbor with a dead sei whale pinned to its bow, a revelation that has spawned a federal investigation and has led biologists to examine the whale’s carcass to determine the cause of death.

The MSC Meraviglia was returning Saturday from a Bermuda cruise when it sailed into the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal with the 44-foot-long sei whale affixed to its front. MSC, a Geneva-based cruise line, confirmed the incident “with deep regret” in a statement and said it had immediately notified authorities. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement is investigating.

On Wednesday, the whale was towed to Sandy Hook, N.J., for a necropsy. According to NOAA, officials discovered broken bones in the right flipper, tissue trauma in the right shoulder blade region and a belly full of food. Biologists took samples for biotoxin and histopathologic analyses. NOAA spokeswoman Andrea Gomez said the tissue and bone samples can help biologists determine whether the whale died before the collision with the ship or because of it.

The Atlantic Marine Conservation Society is leading the whale examination. Results from the exam could take days to weeks, said Kathleen Collins, senior marine campaign manager with the International Fund for Animal Welfare .

Based on the findings released so far, Andy Rogan, science manager at Ocean Alliance , a whale research and conservation nonprofit, said the cruise ship probably caused the whale’s demise. If so, it would have been a sudden death.

“Whales are huge animals, but compared to a ship that size, it’s still a massive impact. So much weight and power is hitting that whale,” he said. “It’s almost certain that a ship strike killed that whale.”

According to NOAA, vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear are the biggest threats to sei whales, an endangered species that inhabits deeper waters off the coastline. Population figures are elusive, but NOAA documented roughly 6,300 sei whales between Florida and Nova Scotia from 2010 to 2013.

Sei whales are feeding during this time of year, and Collins said the whales eat on the surface, placing them in the potential bull’s eye for collisions with a ship’s bow. She said crew members and passengers might not have felt the bump because of the ship’s size. The MSC Meraviglia weighs 171,598 tons; sei whales weigh up to 50 tons.

“It really is a tragic case where this strike likely happened and everyone was oblivious until they came into port,” Collins said. “They likely don’t even know exactly where they struck the whale, either.”

NOAA urges boaters operating along the East Coast to cruise slowly, stay alert and report any sightings of right whales or dead, injured or entangled whales. In its statement, MSC said it follows comprehensive measures to avoid accidents with marine life, such as training deck officers with the Ocean Research & Conservation Association and adjusting itineraries in regions populated by whales.

Collins said voluntarily reducing vessel speeds can help avoid run-ins. However, she said, cruise ships and large tankers prefer to move briskly because they are on tight schedules.

Macinzie McFarland, a spokesperson for Cruise Lines International Association, said in an email that cruise ships take several measures to protect marine mammals, including whale observation training for crews and reducing vessel speed.

“The chance of mortality with a vessel strike goes down pretty substantially as you reduce the vessel speed,” Collins said.

Cruise lines also rely on technology such as underwater radiated noise management systems and specially designed hulls, propellers and noise suppression devices that minimize underwater vibrations. .

Marine outlets, agencies such as the Coast Guard and the Whale Alert app share information about whale sightings and locations.

Rogan said there is no “silver bullet” for ships to avoid whales, but advances in technology can help lower the threat. He said hydrophones can pick up whale acoustics, information that NOAA could then disseminate to vessels. At a recent workshop, Rogan said, he learned about infrared cameras that can detect whales within a 360-degree range, particularly in front of a vessel.

Rogan urged the public Thursday to share its outrage about the incident with government agencies and with the cruise line. Collins said she hoped the incident would inspire the cruise industry to act as a better steward in the waters it shares with vulnerable marine life.

The MSC Meraviglia, she noted, is headed next to Canada, a critical ground for North Atlantic right whales, including mothers and their newborn calves.

A previous version of this article misstated the maximum weight of sei whales. It is 50 tons, not 10 tons. The article has been corrected.

More cruise news

Living at sea: Travelers on a 9-month world cruise are going viral on social media. For some travelers, not even nine months was enough time on a ship; they sold cars, moved out of their homes and prepared to set sail for three years . That plan fell apart, but a 3.5-year version is waiting in the wings.

Passengers beware: It’s not all buffets and dance contests. Crime data reported by cruise lines show that the number of sex crimes has increased compared to previous years. And though man-overboard cases are rare, they are usually deadly .

The more you know: If you’re cruise-curious, here are six tips from a newcomer. Remember that in most cases, extra fees and add-ons will increase the seemingly cheap price of a sailing. And if you happen to get sick , know what to expect on board.

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Roman-Era Ship Was Carrying Jugs Full of Fish Sauce When It Sank 1,700 Years Ago

Discovered in the summer of 2019, the Ses Fontanelles wreck likely ran aground sometime during the fourth century

Sarah Kuta

Daily Correspondent

Jugs underwater

Roughly 1,700 years ago, a ship sank to the bottom of the Mediterranean near present-day Spain. Not long after it sank, the Roman-era vessel became covered in sand and sediment, which preserved the ship and many of its contents.

Now, researchers are unraveling some of the wreck’s mysteries, including the cargo it was transporting on its ill-fated final voyage. When it sank during the fourth century, the vessel was carrying a rare culinary delicacy: a fermented fish sauce known as liquamen , or garum .

Researchers described their fishy findings in a new paper published in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences .

Archaeologists found the umami-packed condiment in many of the 300 sealed pottery jugs, known as amphorae , that went down with the ship. They also identified bits of fish bones in some, which suggests the liquamen was made with both anchovies and sardines.

Other amphorae also held edible delights, including olive oil, wine or vinegar, and possibly olives preserved in a wine reduction sauce. Each jug was labeled with a painted inscription that identified the vessel’s contents. Archaeologists also found grape vines, reeds and other woody plants likely meant to help protect the amphorae during the journey.

Among the wreckage, researchers also identified ropes, shoes, a wooden drill and a coin from Roman Siscia embedded within the wood that connected the mast to the hull. The coin, which was made under the rule of emperor Constantine the Great, is consistent with Roman ship-blessing rituals. The coin also indicates that the ship was built after 320 C.E., which matches up with previous age estimates.

Researchers also took samples of the ship’s wood. To make the vessel, Roman shipbuilders used pine, as well as a selection of harder woods, including cypress, olive and bay laurel.

Underwater archaeologists investigating shipwreck

Together, all of the findings suggest that the ship departed from the area of present-day Cartagena on the southeastern Iberian Peninsula.

Known as the Ses Fontanelles wreck , the ship was exposed by a strong storm in July 2019. It’s located near one of the most popular tourist beaches on Mallorca, the largest of Spain's Balearic Islands.

Just a few feet of water cover the wreck, which is situated several miles from Palma, the capital of Mallorca. The shallow depth presented several challenges. For starters, researchers were worried about looters stealing from or damaging the ship. On top of that, the shallowness made excavations tricky because strong winds caused waves that stirred up the sediment on the bottom of the sea. The waves also rocked a work platform installed to help archaeologists investigate the ship.

It’s not clear what caused the vessel to sink. However, based on its location, archaeologists suspect it ran aground on a sandbar. The ship is 39 feet long and 16 to 19 feet wide.

The vessel is significant because it's the “only Late Roman shipwreck we know of so far from the area of Carthago Spartania [and] one of a few from the fourth century in the Mediterranean," says study co-author Miguel Ángel Cau Ontiveros, an archaeologist at the University of Barcelona and the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, to Live Science ’s Tom Metcalfe.

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Sarah Kuta

Sarah Kuta | READ MORE

Sarah Kuta is a writer and editor based in Longmont, Colorado. She covers history, science, travel, food and beverage, sustainability, economics and other topics.

Boats still aren't safe from orcas as the Mediterranean yachting season kicks off and killer whales sink another yacht

  • Killer whales took down another yacht on Monday as the Mediterranean yachting season begins.
  • It's the latest incident of orcas clashing with boats, which has been on the rise in recent years.
  • Marine biologists say the orcas are likely playing and may be learning the behavior from each other.

Insider Today

The Mediterranean yachting season has kicked off for the summer — and it didn't take long for another yacht to fall victim to a killer whale encounter .

A group of orcas sank a 50-foot sailing yacht in Moroccan waters on Sunday in the latest of several similar incidents involving the highly social species that have occurred over the past four years.

An unknown number of orcas were involved in the incident, which took place in the Strait of Gibraltar, Spain's maritime rescue service said Monday, according to Reuters .

Related stories

The incident is the most recent in a spate of bizarre orca encounters with boats that have been on the rise in recent years, primarily in Mediterranean waters south of Spain, where many yachts cruise during the summer months.

Two passengers were on board the Alboran Cognac around 9 a.m. local time on Sunday when they felt sudden hits to the hull and rudder, Reuters reported, citing the maritime service. Water soon started to pour into the yacht.

A nearby oil tanker came to the people's rescue, saving them from the waterlogged ship and delivering them to land.

But the yacht wasn't as lucky. The Alboran Cognac stayed adrift for a time until it ultimately sank.

Since 2020, hundreds of similar encounters between boats and orcas have been documented off the southern coasts of Spain and Portugal, often near the Strait of Gibraltar. And it's not just yachts. The orcas have also rammed into sailboats, and some mariners have even created heavy-metal playlists in hopes of deterring the killer whales — though experts say it'll do little to help .

Researchers say the clashes typically follow a similar pattern, with a killer whale repeatedly ramming into the rudder of a ship, often until it breaks and the boat is stranded. Most of the time, the ships are able to escape with minimal damage, but several boats have sunk .

While the so-called orca "attacks" may appear violent, marine biologists have said it's unlikely the encounters are actually malicious. Several experts told Business Insider last year that the orcas are probably just playing .

Andrew Trites, director of the Marine Mammal Research Unit at the University of British Columbia in Canada, said ramming into the boats may simply be a "playful activity that's gotten way out of hand."

Researchers have also said the killer whales may be learning the behavior from each other through simple imitation.

Watch: Billionaire's $20 million plan to send orca home after 50 years in captivity

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Houthis claim attacking USS Mason that shot down missile in Red Sea

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Wednesday claimed targeting a U.S. Navy destroyer and a commercial ship in the Red Sea. However, the attack on the warship apparently happened nearly two days earlier and saw the vessel intercept the missile targeting it.

The latest statement from the Houthis comes as their attacks on shipping, which have disrupted trade through a vital corridor leading onto the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, have slowed in recent weeks. Though the rebels have not acknowledged the slowdown, the U.S. military has suggested its airstrikes and interceptions of Houthi fire have disrupted their assaults and chewed into their weapon stockpiles.

mediterranean cruise ship sank

All the Houthi-US Navy incidents in the Middle East (that we know of)

A non-exhaustive, running list of houthi attacks in the middle east and the u.s. strikes back at them..

Recently, the Houthis have been claiming days-old attacks.

Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree said the rebels targeted the USS Mason with missiles and launched an attack on a ship he identified as the Destiny. Multiple vessels have that name in shipping registries.

The Mason, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, has been in the Red Sea and the wider region as part of a U.S.-led coalition trying to prevent Houthi attacks on shipping. On Monday night, the Mason “successfully engaged and destroyed one inbound anti-ship ballistic missile launched by (the) Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen over the Red Sea,” the U.S. military’s Central Command said.

mediterranean cruise ship sank

The USS Carney, salty and battle-tested, is back in the United States

The warship carney has wrapped up its unprecedented cruise in the middle east, where it battled iran-backed houthi rebel barrages on a near-daily basis..

The U.S. Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the claimed attack on the Destiny.

The Houthis say their attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden are aimed at pressuring Israel to end its  war against Hamas in Gaza , which has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians there, according to local health officials. The war began after Hamas-led militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking some 250 others hostage.

The Houthis have  launched more than 50 attacks  on shipping, seized one vessel and sunk another since November, according to the U.S. Maritime Administration. Shipping through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden has declined because of the threat.

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A change in how the military pays for care at civilian children's hospitals may cause significant health care access problems, advocates warn..

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Military’s novel floating pier arrives in Gaza amid security concerns

The gaza aid pier is made possible by an oft-neglected but vital military capability known as joint logistics over-the-shore, or jlots..

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Military sexual assault totals down, but trust among women remains low

Less than half of women in the military trust leaders to properly handle reports of sexual assault, according to new pentagon data..

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Meet the namesake of the Navy’s newest ship, the USS Robert E. Simanek

This marine threw himself onto a grenade to save his entrenched comrades in korea. he absorbed the full blast — yet survived..

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Academy athletes could jump to pro sports right away under House plan

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mediterranean cruise ship sank

10 Key Differences Between a Modern Cruise Ships vs Titanic

Most people associate the Titanic with a gigantic cruise ship when the subject of modern cruise ship v titanic comes up.

Camilla Amadi • May 16, 2024

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Who wins in the debate: modern cruise ship vs titanic? Most people associate the Titanic with a gigantic cruise ship , but even though it was the biggest passenger liner in the world in 1912, the Titanic was actually much smaller than modern-day cruise ships. Modern cruise ships are often 1,000 feet long; at 882 feet long, the Titanic ship was dwarfed by larger ships by height and beam.

The largest cruise ship in the world, Royal Caribbean ‘s Icon of the Seas, with a gross tonnage (GT) of 248,663, sailed from the US port of Miami on January 27, 2024. Advancements in technology, safety regulations, and design have transformed the cruise industry and today’s modern cruise ships offer unparalleled luxury, comfort, and safety features, making them vastly different from the ill-fated Titanic. However, there continues to be a debate about the modern cruise ship vs the Titanic. Let’s break the argument down: here are some differences between a current cruise ship and the Titanic in case your definition of a cruise ship is based on a ship that sailed more than a century ago.

Modern Cruise Ships vs The Titanic

mediterranean cruise ship sank

Size and Capacity

The Titanic was considered the largest and most luxurious ship of its time, measuring about 882 feet in length and accommodating approximately 2,200 passengers and crew. In contrast, modern cruise ships are much larger, with some exceeding 1,000 feet in length and carrying over 6,000 passengers and crew members. These massive vessels feature multiple decks, amenities, and entertainment options to cater to a diverse range of travelers.

Safety Features

Following the tragic sinking of the Titanic, stringent safety regulations were implemented to prevent similar disasters. Modern cruise ships are equipped with state-of-the-art safety features, including advanced navigation systems, radar technology, and satellite communications for real-time monitoring and emergency response. Additionally, modern ships undergo rigorous safety drills and inspections to ensure compliance with international maritime standards.

Technology and Innovation

Advancements in technology have revolutionized the cruise industry, enhancing the onboard experience for passengers. Modern cruise ships feature amenities such as onboard Wi-Fi, interactive touch-screen displays, digital key systems for cabin access, and smartphone apps for booking excursions and dining reservations. High-speed internet connectivity allows passengers to stay connected with loved ones and share their travel experiences in real time.

Comfort and Luxury

While the Titanic was celebrated for its opulent interiors and lavish amenities, modern cruise ships set a new standard for luxury and comfort. From spacious staterooms and suites with private balconies to gourmet dining options and world-class entertainment, today’s cruise ships offer unparalleled levels of indulgence and relaxation. Passengers can enjoy spa treatments, fitness centers, swimming pools, theaters, casinos, and more, ensuring a memorable and enriching vacation experience.

Environmental Sustainability

In recent years, the cruise industry has made significant strides in promoting environmental sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint . Modern cruise ships are designed with eco-friendly features such as advanced wastewater treatment systems, energy-efficient propulsion systems, and LED lighting. Cruise lines also implement recycling programs, shore power connections, and alternative fuel sources to minimize environmental impact and preserve marine ecosystems.

Global Accessibility

Unlike the Titanic, which primarily operated transatlantic voyages between Europe and North America, modern cruise ships offer global itineraries spanning all seven continents. Passengers can embark on cruises to exotic destinations such as the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Alaska, South Pacific , and even Antarctica. With a wide range of destinations and shore excursions available, cruise travel has become more accessible and inclusive than ever before.

Dining Options

While the Titanic offered extravagant dining experiences in its grand dining saloons, modern cruise ships take culinary offerings to new heights. Passengers can choose from a variety of dining options, including gourmet restaurants , casual eateries, specialty cuisine venues, and 24-hour room service. Many cruise lines also accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences, ensuring that all guests can enjoy delicious meals prepared by world-class chefs.

Entertainment and Activities

From Broadway-style shows and live music performances to comedy clubs and themed parties, modern cruise ships offer a diverse array of entertainment options to suit every taste and age group. Passengers can participate in onboard activities such as cooking classes, dance lessons, fitness programs , water sports, and enrichment lectures. With something for everyone, boredom is simply not an option on today’s cruise ships.

Health and Wellness Facilities

In addition to traditional spa services, modern cruise ships feature comprehensive health and wellness facilities designed to promote relaxation, rejuvenation, and overall well-being. Passengers can unwind in saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs, indulge in massages and beauty treatments, and participate in yoga and meditation classes. Fitness enthusiasts can take advantage of fully equipped gyms, jogging tracks, and group exercise sessions to stay active while at sea.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

One of the most significant differences between the Titanic and modern cruise ships is the focus on accessibility and inclusivity. Today’s cruise ships are designed to accommodate passengers with disabilities, offering wheelchair-accessible cabins, public areas, and amenities. Cruise lines also provide specialized services and assistance to ensure that all guests can enjoy a comfortable and memorable vacation experience, regardless of their physical abilities.

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  3. Costa Concordia captain to face trial over deadly shipwreck

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  4. Dozens Are Dead And Hundreds Feared Missing From Migrant Ship Sinking

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  5. 41 people dead in latest Mediterranean shipwreck: UN

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  6. 15 Sinking Ships Caught On Camera

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  1. This Cruise Ship Sank #shorts

  2. TODAY! The Russian President's Cruise Ship sank in the Red Sea due to a Ukrainian attack

  3. Russia says its Black Sea flagship, the 'Moskva', has sunk after fire

  4. Mediterranean Cruise Ship 🚢 #europe

  5. Sunset from Cruise ship in the Mediterranean part 1 of 3 #cruiseship #cruise #travel #sunset

  6. Mediterranean Cruise Ship 🚢 #mediterranean #travel #europe

COMMENTS

  1. Costa Concordia disaster

    On 13 January 2012, the seven-year-old Costa Cruises vessel Costa Concordia was on the first leg of a cruise around the Mediterranean Sea when she deviated from her planned route at Isola del Giglio, Tuscany, sailed closer to the island, and struck a rock formation on the sea floor.This caused the ship to list and then to partially sink, landing unevenly on an underwater ledge.

  2. 10 years later, Costa Concordia survivors share their stories from

    Survivors remember scenes of chaos like something out of 'Titanic,' a decade after the Italian cruise ship ran aground in the Mediterranean Sea, killing 32 people. Jan. 12, 2022, 1:20 PM UTC.

  3. Survivor recounts Costa Concordia cruise capsizing 10 years later

    0:00. 1:35. GIGLIO, Italy — Ten years have passed since the Costa Concordia cruise ship slammed into a reef and capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio. But for the passengers on board and the ...

  4. Costa Concordia disaster

    Costa Concordia disaster, the capsizing of an Italian cruise ship on January 13, 2012, after it struck rocks off the coast of Giglio Island in the Tyrrhenian Sea.More than 4,200 people were rescued, though 32 people died in the disaster.Several of the ship's crew, notably Capt. Francesco Schettino, were charged with various crimes.. Construction and maiden voyage

  5. The Costa Concordia Disaster: How Human Error Made It Worse

    The Italian captain went back onboard the wreck for the first time since the sinking of the cruise ship on January 13, 2012, as part of his trial for manslaughter and abandoning ship.

  6. How the Wreck of a Cruise Liner Changed an Italian Island

    Mr. Schettino tried to steer the cruise ship toward the port to make evacuation easier, but the vessel was out of control and began to tip as it neared the harbor, making many lifeboats useless.

  7. 10 years later, Costa Concordia disaster haunts survivors

    Associated Press. Jan. 12, 2022 2 PM PT. GIGLIO, Italy —. Ten years have passed since the Costa Concordia cruise ship slammed into a reef and capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio. But for ...

  8. Key dates in Costa Concordia shipwreck, trial and cleanup

    2 of 12 | . FILE— The grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia is seen through a window on the Isola del Giglio island, Italy, Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers ...

  9. Costa Concordia Victims' Last Moments Revealed

    Victims of the Costa Concordia disaster. The 70-metre gash allowed water to pour in and the ship eventually capsized and came to rest on its side at a location known as Seagull Point, just outside ...

  10. Costa Concordia: How cruise ship tragedy transformed an island ...

    The body of a woman was recovered by Italian coast guard divers from the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia, raising the death toll to 12. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images) Getty Images

  11. The Wreck of the Costa Concordia

    January 16, 2012. 27 Photos. In Focus. On the night of Friday, January 13, the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, with more than 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members on board, struck a reef ...

  12. What happened to the Costa Concordia?

    On January 13, 2012, Costa Concordia departed from Civitavecchia, Italy on a 7-night Mediterranean cruise with 3,206 passengers and 1,023 crew members onboard around 7:20pm. The ship was en route to its first port of call when Captain Francesco Schettino, who had worked for Costa Cruises for eleven years, strayed from the ship's original course, sailing close to the Tuscan island of Giglio.

  13. Dozens are dead and hundreds feared missing from migrant ship sinking

    KALAMATA, Greece — Rescue workers transferred the bodies of dead migrants to refrigerated trucks as a major search continued Thursday for possible survivors of a sea disaster in southern Greece ...

  14. Hundreds of Pakistanis dead in Mediterranean migrant boat ...

    Karachi, Pakistan CNN —. More than 300 Pakistani nationals have been killed in the sinking of a overcrowded fishing trawler off the coast of Greece, the latest tragedy to expose the refugee ...

  15. The 11-hour anguished search for survivors of the shipwreck in Greece

    One passenger cruise ship, the Celebrity Beyond, "asked if it could lower its rescue boat and join the search, but was told no," Bektasoglu explains. "There were already too many ships searching without detecting anything," the captain theorizes. As many as eight large ships participated in the search for survivors.

  16. Greek migrant boat wreck may be Mediterranean's 'worst ever ...

    The sinking of a packed migrant boat off the coast of Greece may be "the worst tragedy ever" in the Mediterranean sea, according to the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson.

  17. 'A race against time': how shipwrecks hold clues to humanity's future

    James Delgado. More than a century after the luxury liner collided with an iceberg - its sinking in 1912 claimed the lives of at least 1,500 people and gave rise to a wave of books, films and ...

  18. At Least 79 Die as Boat Carrying Migrants Sinks Near Greece

    June 14, 2023. At least 79 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea after a large boat carrying migrants sank early Wednesday, the Greek authorities said, in the deadliest such episode off the ...

  19. At least 209 migrants died after a fishing vessel crossing the ...

    Over 200 people from the country are confirmed dead after a fishing vessel carrying migrants sank last week. The boat was crossing the Mediterranean Sea loaded with over 700 passengers.

  20. The Haunting Wreck of Cruise Ship "Mediterranean Sky" Near Athens

    The now-abandoned ship was then towed to shallow water where it was intentionally beached on November 26, 2002. There, it remained abandoned, a victim of the company's debts. Slowly the "Mediterranean Sky" began to tilt, until it finally capsized and sank by January 2003. The half-submerged wreck is still clearly visible.

  21. Sister Ship of Sunken Russian Cruiser Moskva Departs Mediterranean, U.S

    The sister ship of the Russian guided-missile cruiser sunk by the Ukrainian Navy has left its position in the Mediterranean Sea after six months, USNI News has learned. RTS Marshal Ustinov (055 ...

  22. Cruise Ship Sinks Near Greece; 2 Missing

    A Mediterranean cruise ship that struck a volcanic reef and forced the evacuation of hundreds of tourists sank on Friday, 15 hours after it began taking on water off the coast of the Greek island ...

  23. How Many Cruise Ships Have Sunk in History?

    Here, in chronological order, are the 24 cruise ships that have sunk in history: 1. April 1912: Titanic. Titanic Ocean Liner. Perhaps the most infamous cruise ship sinking took place on April 14 ...

  24. A cruise ship dragged a dead whale into New York Harbor. What went

    The MSC Meraviglia leaves New York in December. On Saturday, it returned to Brooklyn with a 44-foot endangered whale dead on its bow. (Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images) A cruise ship arrived in ...

  25. Roman-Era Ship Was Carrying Jugs Full of Fish Sauce When It Sank 1,700

    Roughly 1,700 years ago, a ship sank to the bottom of the Mediterranean near present-day Spain. Not long after it sank, the Roman-era vessel became covered in sand and sediment, which preserved ...

  26. Orcas Sink Another Yacht Off Gibraltar

    May 13, 2024, 6:48 PM PDT. A pod of orca whales feeds in the Atlantic Ocean. In the Mediterranean, a different group of orcas sank another yacht. Arturo de Frias photography. Killer whales took ...

  27. Houthis claim attacking USS Mason that shot down missile in Red Sea

    The Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks on shipping, seized one vessel and sunk another since November, according to the U.S. Maritime Administration. Shipping through the Red Sea and Gulf ...

  28. 10 Key Differences Between a Modern Cruise Ships vs Titanic

    Most people associate the Titanic with a gigantic cruise ship, but even though it was the biggest passenger liner in the world in 1912, the Titanic was actually much smaller than modern-day cruise ships. Modern cruise ships are often 1,000 feet long; at 882 feet long, the Titanic ship was dwarfed by larger ships by height and beam.

  29. The greatest ships ever built by Harland & Wolff

    By the 1920s she was the largest cruise vessel in the world. ... and spent most of her career patrolling the Mediterranean. ... which later flooded. The ship almost sank, but emergency services ...