Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cruise News: Costa Concordia Update

Earlier this week the Italian Civil Protection Agency determined that it is no longer safe for divers to continue searching the submerged portion of Costa Concordia for passengers and crewmembers who are still missing and unaccounted for. Therefore, the underwater search of the ship has been discontinued. Families of the 15 people still unaccounted for were notified of the search suspension before it was made public.

However, the search of the portion of the ship above water continues and divers will reportedly begin searching the area surrounding the ship where objects have been spotted.

On another front, unfavorable weather conditions at the site are causing delays in bebunkering of the fuel from Costa Concordia. Until that task is complete, the ship cannot be raised or cut up and removed. Hopefully, at some point, the remains of the missing will be located and returned to their families.

Naturally there has been a lot of criticism of the cruise line in the aftermath of the ship's grounding and loss of life. While I agree with some of it, in my viewpoint the most important consideration at this time should be the loved ones of those missing and their feelings. There was an American couple on the cruise, Gerald and Barbara Heil of Minnesota, who are still among those missing and presumed dead. I can only imagine the overwhelming worry and sorrow experienced by their family members in the aftermath. I can also imagine the macabre curiosity of members of the press and how the family's grief has been shattered by media inquiries.

Wisely, the family has established a website at Heil Family Update that states:

This will be the ONLY outlet used by the family which provides information to the media. We ask you to respect our privacy as we continue to search for our parents with a very difficult situation for our family.

Sincerely, the Heil family
Please visit the site and read their posts. Not only is their heartbreak obvious, but their praise of the recovery effort is uplifting.


reddevilrooney said...

The tragedy of the Costa Concordia as it happened:

Anonymous said...

A rather lengthly (14min) reconstruction with narration of the Costa Concordia's final maneuvers as she hit the rocks, then maneuvered without power to end up where she lies today.

Someone on the bridge did a great job keeping her from sinking in several hundred feet of water.

Reconstruction is simply what the ship did, not who did it.