HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (Jan. 15, 2012, 4:30 p.m. ET) We at Costa Cruises are
deeply saddened by this tragedy, and our hearts and prayers go out to
Over the past 48 hours, more than 1,100 Costa employees have been working
tirelessly in the wake of this terrible event. We are working closely with the
authorities to support ongoing search-and-rescue operations, and are focusing
on ensuring that all guests and crewmembers return home safely.
Our immediate priority is to account for all passengers and crew, and to secure
the vessel to ensure that there are no environmental impacts. We have
engaged the services of a top specialized salvage company to develop an
action plan and help establish a protection perimeter around the ship. It should
be noted that the Prosecutor has seized the ship and the DVR— the so-called
“black box” containing all navigation data — and the vessel can be accessed by
Costa only with permission from the authorities.
We are working with investigators to find out precisely what went wrong
aboard the Costa Concordia. While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary
indications are that there may have been significant human error on the part
of the ship’s master, Captain Francesco Schettino, which resulted in these
grave consequences. The route of the vessel appears to have been too close to
the shore, and in handling the emergency the captain appears not to have
followed standard Costa procedures. We are aware that the lead Prosecutor
has leveled serious accusations against the ship’s captain, who joined Costa
Crociere in 2002 as a safety officer and was appointed captain in 2006.
In light of these accusations and the continuing investigation, it would be
inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.
As we are learning more about the event and the evacuation, however, it is
becoming clear that the crew of the Costa Concordia acted bravely and swiftly
to help evacuate more than 4,000 individuals during a very challenging
situation. We are very grateful for all they have done.
Costa is committed to ensuring that no such incident ever occurs again. Our
number-one priority is always the safety and security of our guests and crew,
and we comply with all safety regulations. (See background on Costa safety
Background on Costa’s Commitment to Safety
Costa complies very strictly with all safety regulations and our personnel are
committed, first and foremost, to guest safety and security.
All crewmembers hold a BST (Basic Safety Training) certificate and are trained
and prepared in emergency management and to assist passengers abandoning
the ship with numerous drills. Roles, responsibilities and duties are clearly
assigned to all crewmembers. Every two weeks all crewmembers perform a
ship evacuation simulation. A lifeboat and evacuation drill for all guests is
conducted within 24 hours of embarking, as required by law. Costa has a
computerized system that ensures all passengers undergo this drill.
The skills of Costa crew are periodically tested by Coast Guard authorities and
an independent classification organization, per SMS (Safety Management
There are lifeboats and jackets on board in excess of the number required for
all passengers and crew. Lifeboats are equipped with food and water supplies,
first-aid kits and communication and signaling equipment. All life-saving
appliances meet international standards and are subject to close, regular
inspection by shipboard personnel and certification authorities. All Costa ships
are certified by RINA and have been built to the highest standards and