Did Carnival Sink a Cruise Ship?

By Robert Palmer

On October 13th, 2012, the Costa Concordia cruise ship capsized off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio. This tragic accident killed 32 of the 4,229 passengers, and marked one of the most devastating disasters in recent maritime history. But what caused this massive cruise ship to sink?

The initial investigation into the disaster concluded that the ship had been steered too close to shore by its captain, Francesco Schettino. He had attempted to perform a salutation maneuver near Giglio, which required him to bring the ship within a few hundred meters of the island’s shoreline.

However, due to a miscalculation in his navigation, he sailed directly into a submerged rock formation just off Giglio’s coast. This caused significant damage to Costa Concordia’s hull and resulted in its eventual sinking.

But some have speculated that Carnival Corporation & plc –– the parent company of Costa Cruises –– is also partially responsible for this tragedy. It has been argued that Carnival bears some responsibility for not having proper safety procedures in place or for not training its crew members properly on how to respond in emergency situations. Furthermore, some critics claim that Carnival should be held accountable for not providing adequate life-saving equipment on board its ships or for not having enough trained personnel available at the time of emergency.

The official court ruling on this matter was issued on February 17th 2017, and it declared that both Captain Schettino and five other members of Costa Concordia’s crew were ultimately responsible for causing this disaster. However, it also found that Carnival Corporation & plc was guilty of “serious omissions” related to safety procedures which contributed to this tragedy. While Carnival was ultimately fined 10 million euros as punishment for these omissions, many believe that this is still far too lenient given the severity of what happened here.

Ultimately, while Captain Schettino was primarily responsible for what happened due to his miscalculated maneuvering of Costa Concordia near Giglio’s coast –– it is clear from the evidence presented in court that Carnival Corporation & plc also played an important role in causing this disaster due to their “serious omissions” related to safety procedures and training aboard their ships.

Conclusion: The tragic sinking of Costa Concordia was caused by a number of factors including Captain Schettino’s miscalculation when navigating near Giglio’s coast as well as serious omissions from Carnival Corporation & plc related to their safety procedures and training aboard their ships. As such, while Captain Schettino holds primary responsibility for what happened –– it is clear that Carnival also played an important role in causing this devastating disaster.