Which Cruise Ship Had an Accident?

By Michael Ferguson

The cruise ship industry is one of the most popular forms of holiday travel. With its all-inclusive packages and beautiful views, it’s no wonder that so many people opt for a life at sea.

Unfortunately, as with any form of maritime travel, there are risks associated with cruising. Recently, one such tragedy occurred when the Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Italy, resulting in multiple fatalities.

The Costa Concordia was a massive 115,000 ton vessel owned and operated by Costa Crociere SpA. On January 13th 2012, it departed from the port of Civitavecchia near Rome for a Mediterranean cruise with 3,206 passengers and 1,023 crew members aboard. That night at approximately 9:45 pm local time the vessel struck an uncharted rock formation off the coast of Giglio Island in Tuscany.

The impact caused a large gash in the hull which caused water to flood into one side of the vessel. The captain ordered an evacuation but due to confusion and lack of organization many passengers were unable to get to safety. In total 32 lives were lost in what is now considered one of Italy’s worst peacetime maritime disasters.

The investigation into the incident revealed that it had been caused by human error – specifically that of Captain Francesco Schettino who had deliberately deviated from his planned route and sailed too close to Giglio Island. He has since been charged with multiple counts including manslaughter and abandoning ship before all passengers had been evacuated.


The accident involving the Costa Concordia was a tragedy that could have been avoided had it not been for negligence on behalf of its captain. It serves as a reminder that safety must always be taken seriously when travelling on open waters.