Italy marks 10 years after the deadly Costa Concordia shipwreck

Giglio, Italy — Italy celebrates its 10th anniversary on Thursday after the Costa Concordia cruise ship’s disaster, ending with a full-day commemorative ceremony ending in candlelight vigil, marking the moment the ship crashed into a coral reef and overturned on the island of Giglio in Tuscany. ..

The church bell rang when the Memorial Mass began at the Girio Church to honor the 32 people who died in the wreck on January 13, 2012. It was the same church that opened the door on a frosty cold night, took hundreds of survivors, and after arriving at the shore on a lifeboat, gave them shelter.

Bishop Giovanni Ronkari of Grosseto told the dead, survivors, and relatives of the Coast Guard officials who helped coordinate the rescue that night, “have the courage to look forward to it.” “Hope does not undo tragedy and pain, but it teaches us to remember it and see beyond the present moment.”

Under the shining sun and blue sky, survivors and relatives later planned to put the wreath in the water. There, a giant liner eventually lay off the coast of Girio. Francesco Schettino, the captain of Concordia, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for ordering the crew to take the ship off course to approach Girio in a stunt. He then delayed the evacuation order and abandoned the ship before all passengers and crew were evacuated.

Francesco Schettino
Francesco Cestino, the captain of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, stranded off the small island of Tuscany, off Isola del Girio, was detained by Carabinieri on January 14, 2012 in Porto Santo Stefano, Italy. (Giacomo Appli / AP Photo)

The 10th anniversary also saw the residents of Gilio accepting 4,200 passengers and crew, providing food, blankets and rest areas, and living with Concordia’s wrecked corpse for another two years until it was corrected. I remember being carried away. For scrap.

These inhabitants were the last until the crew finally discovered his body while Concordia waiter brother Russel Rebello was dismantling the ship at the Genoa shipyard in 2014. We warmly welcomed the person Kevin Rebello.

Kevin Lebero
Kevin Lebero, the brother of waiter Russell Robello, who died in the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, arrives on January 12, 2022, on the small Tuscan island of Isola del Girio in Italy. (Andrew Medicini / AP Photo)

Kevin Lebero was close to many Girio residents during the months when the diver was looking for his brother. And on Thursday, when he arrived at the church for a commemorative mass, he was awarded a prize by the Civil Defense Agency.

“This is for him,” Kevin Lebero told reporters, clasping the plaque. “He will be proud of it.”

The anniversary begins when the cruise ship industry, which had been closed for several months in many parts of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is once again in the limelight with the outbreak of COVID-19, which threatens passenger safety. .. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a full warning not to take a cruise, regardless of vaccination status, due to the risk of infection.

For Concordia survivors, COVID-19 infections on cruise ships are only the latest evidence that passenger safety remains not the industry’s top priority. Passengers aboard Concordia were left almost alone to find a lifeboat functioning with a life jacket after delaying the evacuation order until it was too late for the captain: the ship is listed too heavily. As a result, many lifeboats were unable to descend into the water.

Passenger Ester Percossi recalled that the coral reef was thrown to the ground of the canteen by the first impact on the hull. She said, “I felt like an earthquake.” The lights went out and bottles, glasses and plates flew from the table to the floor.

Costa Concordia stranded a small Tuscan island
Italian firefighters are searching on the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, which stranded on the small Tuscan island of Isola del Girio on January 15, 2012. (GregorioBorgia / AP Photo)

“We got up and went out to the deck with great effort, where we got life jackets, because everyone was grabbing them from each other to save them. I was able to find it, “she recalled. “There was no law. Just survive, that’s it.”

Costa did not respond to an email asking for comments on the anniversary.

Cruise Lines International Association, the world’s largest cruise industry association, said passenger and crew safety was the industry’s top priority in its statement to the Associated Press, and cruises remain one of the safest vacation experiences. I emphasized that there is.

“Our thoughts continue to be directed at the victims of the Concordia tragedy and their families on this sad anniversary,” CLIA said. For the past decade, he has worked with the International Maritime Organization and the maritime industry to “promote a safety culture based on continuous improvement.”

Trisha Thomas and Nicole Winfield

Associated Press