Italy marks 10 years since deadly Costa Concordia shipwreck

Italy is marking the tenth anniversary of the Costa Concordia cruise ship catastrophe with a daylong commemoration that may finish with a candlelit vigil marking the second the ship slammed right into a reef after which capsized off Tuscany

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GIGLIO, Italy — Italy on Thursday is marking the tenth anniversary of the Costa Concordia cruise ship catastrophe with a daylong commemoration that may finish with a candlelit vigil marking the second the ship slammed right into a reef after which capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio.

A midday Mass in Giglio’s church is honoring the 32 individuals who died within the Jan. 13, 2012, shipwreck, whereas survivors and family members of the useless will place a wreath within the water the place the hulking liner lastly got here to relaxation on its aspect off Giglio’s coast.

The anniversary can also be recalling how the residents of Giglio gave shelter that night time to the 4,200 passengers and crew, after which lived with the Concordia’s wrecked carcass for one more two years till it was righted and hauled away for scrap.

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Those residents gave a heat welcome on Wednesday to Kevin Rebello, whose brother Russel Rebello, a Concordia waiter, remained unaccounted for till crews found his stays whereas dismantling the ship in 2014 in a Genoa shipyard.

Kevin Rebello had turn into near many Giglio residents through the months that divers looked for his brother, and his return to the island on the final ferry of the day on the eve of the anniversary become an emotional reunion.

“My brother did his responsibility. He misplaced his life defending different folks,” Kevin Rebello mentioned as he arrived on Giglio. “I’m happy with this. And I feel he could be happy with what he did, serving to so many individuals.”

The anniversary comes because the cruise ship business, shut down in a lot of the world for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, is as soon as once more within the highlight due to COVID-19 outbreaks that threaten passenger security. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control final month warned folks across-the-board to not go on cruises, no matter their vaccination standing, due to the dangers of an infection.

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For Concordia survivors, the COVID-19 infections on cruise ships are simply the latest proof that passenger security nonetheless isn’t a high precedence for the business. Passengers aboard the Concordia had been largely left on their very own to search out life jackets and a functioning lifeboat after the captain steered the ship too near shore in a stunt. He then delayed an evacuation order till it was too late, with lifeboats unable to decrease to the water as a result of the ship was itemizing too closely.

Passenger Ester Percossi recalled being thrown to the bottom within the eating room by the preliminary affect of the reef gashing into the hull, which she mentioned felt “like an earthquake.” The lights went out, and bottles, glasses and plates flew off the tables and onto the ground.

“We obtained up and with nice effort went out on the deck and there we obtained the life vests, people who we might discover, as a result of everybody was grabbing them from one another, to avoid wasting themselves,” she recalled. “There was no legislation. Just survival and that’s it.”

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Prosecutors blamed the delayed evacuation order and conflicting directions given by crew for the chaos that ensued as passengers scrambled to get off the itemizing ship. The captain, Francesco Schettino, is serving a 16-year jail sentence for manslaughter, inflicting a shipwreck and abandoning a ship earlier than all of the passengers and crew had evacuated.

Costa didn’t reply to emails in search of touch upon the anniversary.

Cruise Lines International Association, the world’s largest cruise business commerce affiliation, harassed in an announcement to The Associated Press that passenger and crew security was the business’s high precedence, and that cruising stays one of many most secure trip experiences out there.

“Our ideas proceed to be with the victims of the Concordia tragedy and their households on this unhappy anniversary,” CLIA mentioned. It mentioned it has labored over the previous 10 years with the International Maritime Organization and the maritime business to “drive a security tradition that’s primarily based on steady enchancment.”

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Winfield reported from Rome.

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