On January 13, 2012, at approximately 9:30 pm (2030 GMT), the Italian cruise liner, the Costa Concordia hit a rocky outcrop as it sailed past the island of Giglio just two hours after leaving the port of Civitavecchia, according to reports received by New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter. The ship began taking on water and evacuations began. As of January 19, 2012, 11 people were known to be dead and 21 more were missing.
According to reports, the ship’s demise and resultant injuries, deaths and missing person reports were allegedly the result of the captain’s “unapproved [and] unauthorized” deviation in course, which took the cruiser too close to the island. Captain Francesco Schettino was reportedly taking the ship close to shore to show the ship to the locals. Upon cruising off course and hitting the underwater rocks, the hull of the boat was punctured. As the ship took on water, the captain tried to turn the boat back toward the island’s port, but the ship tilted further and began to sink.
New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter explains, 40 minutes after the initial impact, the abandon ship signal was given. Most passengers were able to escape in lifeboats, but the tilt in the ship hampered evacuation efforts. A helicopter was sent to the ship, and winched other passengers to safety as well.
Captain Francesco Schettino was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, and later released on house arrest. He claimed the rocks were not marked on maps, nor were they detected by navigation systems. Recent reports may further incriminate the captain though, as passengers onboard claim to have seen him drinking wine with a woman less than an hour prior to the crash.
New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter explains the captain’s alleged errors in judgment put passengers in direct danger. The ship’s crew and owners have a legal responsibility to maintain safe and secure conditions at all times. As New York City injury attorney explains, “When an individual is injured or killed as the result of unsafe or, hazardous conditions, failure to comply with laws governing the navigation of the ship, or if the operators engage in willful misconduct, the owner may be held liable for damages.”
For more information about maritime accident cases or The Law Firm of Jonathan C. Reiter visit www.jcreiterlaw.com or call 888-464-1952 to schedule an appointment with a New York City injury attorney.