The people of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster
The Costa Concordia on January 14, after the cruise ship ran aground.
January 19th, 2012
12:14 PM ET

The people of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster

Since the cruise liner Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy nearly a week ago, each day brings a new twist to the story.  At least 11 people are dead and 21 are missing. The captain was arrested for abandoning the ship as others died. The terrifying passenger accounts of finding lifeboats evoke comparisons to the Titanic. Hear from the people involved in the disaster...

The passenger — Georgia Ananias was one of the last survivors on board. She described the event as “everything you'd see on the Titanic and worse”. One family, thinking they were about to die, asked her to save their child and handed their baby to her. Georgia looked at her husband, thinking it was the end, and returned the child to the family. See the rest of Georgia’s story below.

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The captain — Captain Francesco Schettino has come under fire for the decisions he made during the emergency. He said that the rock he hit was not on his chart. Audio of his conversation with the Italian coast guard revealed that he was ordered to get back on board the ship. His ever-changing story has raised eyebrows. Now Anderson Cooper reports that this is not the first time this very ship has gone dangerously close to the coast. See the route the ship took just a few months ago.

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The divers — Emergency responders have worked around the clock to rescue survivors and ensure everyone's safety. On the first night, the Coast Guard took infrared video of the passengers scrambling to leave the sinking ship. Rescue diving expert Butch Hendrick described how a rescue dive works. He then talked to Anderson Cooper about the incredible underwater footage of the rescue and salvage efforts for the Costa Concordia.

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soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. wylie

    I can understand the children going first. But why in this era of supposed equal rights, are men expected to give up a seat on a life boat (and die) so that a woman who is a stranger to him will survive? Seems like the ERA crowd wants it both ways.
    Personally, based upon the way I was raised, I would indeed offer my seat to a woman and risk dying, but the expectation that it is my obligation to do so conflicts with modern political norms. As far as the Captain is concerned, I am a firm believer that he/she should go down with the ship (especially if your knuckleheaded maneuver caused the catastophe).

    January 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danielle

      men are stronger than women physically and have, typically, more endurance than women if they'd have to swim

      January 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • CA3b

      I think the idea is to keep the mothers with the children, since they are often the primary caregivers of small children. And if a passenger had to "swim for it", the guys would have a slight edge over the gals. I don't think the intent is to have the men go down with the ship singing "Nearer my God to thee".

      January 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • bonnie

      I think it would take a cold hearted man to ensist that he board a lifeboat before a woman that had a child on the lifeboat. Otherwise, it would be left up to the way the man.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristina

      wylie: A man giving up his seat to a woman on a bus, train, lifeboat, etc. is simply a respectful and gentlemanly act. Women don't "earn" those acts in return for accepting things like unequal pay for the same work, harassment in the workplace, etc. - so why should gentlemanly acts go away just because women are no longer willing to accept those things? I teach my sons to show respect toward women because a woman (me!) made a great sacrifice to give birth to them and raise them, and someday they will be married to a woman and will be much happier if they make the effort to be a gentleman toward her.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • JR

      Where is the integrity, courtesy, and humanitarian effort in a time of calamity and emergency? This should be a major concern around the world.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. wylie

    BTW...I second the Capt. Sullenberg comment. He walked thru the ice water flooding cabin of his downed aircraft (no fault of his own) looking for remaining passengers. And only abandoned the aircraft when none were found. ALL survived as a result of his flying mastery and concern. That there is an officer that you can follow into combat!

    January 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Eva

    So true about Captain Sullenberg..a true hero.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kudu

    This story of Kaptian Kangaroo gets better every day!!! Now they have him ordering dinner AFTER the fender bender, Oh and he had a dinner guest, female, who seems to be defending him. Sounds like a little hanky panky in the Capts quarters

    January 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • pazke

      Do not insult Kaptain Kangaroo in that manner.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      True. Captain Kangaroo was cool.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Juan Carlos Queipo

    Evacuation commands : " FOLLOW ME "

    January 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |


    January 20, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kraut

    'Chicken of the Sea' captures it nicely – what a hero.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |


    January 20, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. meermaid

    This is a really tragic accident. Some people probable went to sleep early and never had a chance to escape. I still don't get why a captain of a cruise ship plays such crazy games. Can you imagine if an airline captain suddenly started to fly under bridges just to show his kids that he is cool? This captain was smoking some funny stuff or he had too much vino. May be he was trying to uncouple form the blond assistance and he got confused?

    January 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sandy

    I suspect that the 'Captain' will eventually commit suicide...his honor has been destroyed and people actually died on what most of us consider a luxurious vacation....whoever called him 'chicken of the sea' is right on.

    January 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jennyfurme

    If the choice had to be made, I would put my husband and son on a life boat and stay behind. If something happens on the life boat or to the life boat, my husband would have the better chance of getting my son to the safty of shore... Of course, my husband would be too embarassed to leave me behind, so I would have to push him into the life boat, but Oh Well

    January 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
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