Earlier tonight I watched CNN’s documentary, Cruise to Disaster, which recapped the events of the Costa Concordia sinking on January 13, 2012 along with how the industry has and is still changing in response to this tragic disaster.
It was interesting to relive the events that happened on that fateful night. It started with a salute, hitting a rock that tore a hole in the hull that measured the width of a football field, then a complete power failure, and finally ending with the Concordia lying on her side in the rocks of Giligo Island. It was a terrible night that took the lives of 32 and terrified thousands. But one man stands at the center of the tragedy, Costa Concordia’s Captain Schetinno. It was Schetinno’s decision to salute the island, and ultimately caused the sinking of the ship. Today, Captain Schetinno is awaiting trial for manslaughter and is under house arrest within his city.
Today, while the Concordia still lies on her side off Giligo, the industry is slowly changing to keep us safe. Since the Concordia, there have been numerous changes to maritime law. Some of the most important changes include…
- Holding mandatory muster drills before the ship even leaves the dock.
- The addition of more life jackets in public areas.
- Live tracking of cruise ships in real-time. (Costa & MSC)
- Limiting captains’ powers and giving more power to officers.
- Standardizing muster drill procedures across all lines.
- Limiting access to the navigational bridge.
- Retraining off crew.
Most of these new policies are already implanted worldwide across all cruise lines. Over the past few months, the cruise industry has done a pretty good job of implementing new safety policies to further increase our safety on board their ships. Even though there have been a few other minor incidents since the Concordia, there hasn’t been a death linked to these incidents, such as the Silversea Shadow collision and the Costa Allegra fire.
Many people will tell you how dangerous the industry is, but in reality cruising is one of the safest forms of travel, even safer than air travel. Trust me. If I didn’t believe in the cruise industry, I wouldn’t be embarking on a Mediterranean cruise this Saturday, but I am, because I trust the cruise line’s will take care of me and do what is in the best interest of me and my other passengers. It’s been a rough year for the cruise industry and especially Costa Cruises, but with bookings up and public confidence back in the favor of the cruise lines, the cruise industry is finally sailing back into the right direction.
Header image: Roberto Vongher