On the night of January 13th, 2012, the Costa Concordia cruise ship struck a rock off the coast of Italy. The impact caused a 160-foot long gash in the hull of the ship.
As a result, the water filled up inside, causing it to capsize and sink to its watery grave in a matter of hours. Nearly 4,000 passengers and crew were on board at the time of the crash.
The cause of this devastating accident was human error. The Captain of the ship had diverted its course from its normal route in order to perform what he called “a salute” to a group of passengers on the island.
This was an unauthorized maneuver that put them dangerously close to shore. It was only moments after they hit this rock that they realized their mistake.
In response to this tragedy, Italian authorities launched an investigation into what happened and placed blame on both the captain and Costa Cruises for failing to properly monitor their vessel’s course and preventing such an accident from occurring. The captain was ultimately charged with manslaughter and received 16 years in prison for his role in this disaster.
The Costa Concordia incident also resulted in changes being made within the cruise industry as a whole. In addition to increased safety measures, some countries have now implemented regulations that require cruise ships to travel at slower speeds while traveling near coastlines so as to reduce potential risks.
What happened to the Costa Concordia Cruise Ship is a tragic event that resulted from human error. It led not only to criminal charges for those involved but also reform within the entire cruise industry. Despite these changes, it is important for travelers today to remain vigilant about safety protocols when on board any vessel at sea so as not to experience similar disasters in the future.