Wednesday 7 December 2016

Jane Archer: Will this sink the cruise industry?

Published 17/01/2012 | 05:00

A view shows the Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the west coast of Italy, at Giglio island January 15, 2012.Teams were painstakingly checking thousands of rooms on the cruise ship for nearly 40 people still missing, more than a day after the huge vessel foundered and keeled over with more than 4,000 on board, killing at least three people and injuring 70. REUTERS/Max Rossi (ITALY - Tags: DISASTER MARITIME TRANSPORT)
A view shows the Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the west coast of Italy, at Giglio island January 15, 2012.Teams were painstakingly checking thousands of rooms on the cruise ship for nearly 40 people still missing, more than a day after the huge vessel foundered and keeled over with more than 4,000 on board, killing at least three people and injuring 70. REUTERS/Max Rossi (ITALY - Tags: DISASTER MARITIME TRANSPORT)

Until this weekend, the name Costa Concordia would have meant very little to anyone outside Italy. Many Italians would have known of it; it was, after all, one of the flagships of their largest cruise line, Costa Cruises. But in the space of a couple of hours late on Friday, when the ship hit rocks off the island of Giglio, all that changed. By the early hours of Saturday morning, it was being compared to the Titanic.

  • Go To

True, the disaster was on a different scale -- while there are at least six dead and 16 missing from Costa Concordia out of the 4,234 passengers and crew, more than 1,500 died when the Titanic sank. And the Costa Concordia was never hailed as unsinkable; no one was going to make that mistake again.

But there was a general understanding that over the past century lessons had been learnt about safety at sea; that modern vessels, equipped with the latest navigational and satellite equipment, would be safe from hidden rocks -- certainly in waters around the Italian coast, where numerous cruise ships like Costa Concordia sail throughout the year.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Read More

Don't Miss

Editor's Choice