On 13 January 2012, a Costa Concordia cruise liner slammed into a huge reef, which put a huge gash in the hull of the ship. In turn, this caused the ship to sink. This shipwreck led to the death of 32 people. Now Italian prosecutors have been able to blame this event, not only on the captain of the ship, but on several other staff members who were on board as well.
Francesco Schettino, the captain of the ship, has now been charged with manslaughter. Prosecutors in Grosseto do not want to stop there. They also want to charge the captain with causing the shipwreck and abandoning the vessel during evacuation of the crew and passengers.
On 13 January, the Costa Concordia cruise liner sailed close to the small island of Giglio. They did this so that the people who were on the island could see the boat as it passed by. However, during this time, the boat slammed into a big reef, which put a 230ft gash in the side of the boat. After that, the cruise liner started to take on water and very quickly capsized. The boat finally came to rest on its side near the island's port. This event caused the death of 32 passengers on board.
Of course, the prosecutors are not just going after the captain. Court reports show that the prosecutors are requesting the indictment of at least five other crew members, which does include the two officers on the bridge at the time of the crash. The charges against these five different crew members vary, but every single one of them will be accused of manslaughter.
Most passengers were in the middle of having dinner when the accident took place. At first, the officials on the boat tried to downplay what happened, telling the passengers that they merely had a blackout and no evacuation was needed. By the time the evacuation order was given, the ship was already tilting on its side. Due to this, many of the lifeboats couldn't be used.
To start with, Captain Schettino tried to claim himself a hero. He said that it was his swift navigation after the boat hit the reef that got them closer to port and saved lives. Schettino also said that the reef wasn't marked on the ship's navigational charts.
Despite these claims, many sailors have come forward to say it is hard to believe Schettino's claims. They said that the reef that he ran into was a very well-known attraction for tourists, as it's located in pristine waters.
Francesco Verusio, who is the chief persecutor, said that many technological and scientific investigations were carried out. After all was said and done, they found that the determining cause of this event, which led to the death of many passengers, was mostly due to human error.
Prosecutors went onto say that Costa Cruises, which is the Italian cruise company that owns the boat, has asked for a plea bargain. If this bargain is accepted, it will see Costa Cruises pay nearly €1 million in fines. That being said, the company claims that Schettino ignored all company policies and is fully to blame for the shipwreck.