I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the 11 confirmed dead and the 21 still missing in the tragic incident on the Costa Concordia off the Island of Giglio on the 13 January 2012. My best wishes also go out to the many injured and traumatised in the incident. I would also like to commend those members of the crew of the Costa Concordia who assisted passengers, under extremely difficult conditions, during the assembly and abandonment phases of the evacuation. The fact that so many lifeboats were launched at all and so many lives were saved is testimony to their actions. Thanks and praise should also be heaped on the Italian Coastguard and Fire Fighters who assisted in the rescue of hundreds of passengers and crew stranded on the Costa Concordia after she heeled over to almost 90 degrees and who are still putting themselves in harm’s way, searching the flooded interior of the stricken vessel in the hope of finding survivors. Finally, we must not forget the 1500 inhabitants of the Island of Giglio, who comforted and supported the 4000+ survivors of the Costa Concordia into the night and early hours of the morning on the 13th and 14th of January.
As in most disasters of this type, so soon after the incident, information concerning the nature of this incident is far too sketchy to draw any firm conclusions. Indeed, at the time of writing there are more questions than answers. Hopefully the inquiry into this incident will reveal what happened and why it happened. It is hoped that from this tragic incident lessons will be learned that will lead to the improved safety of those who take to the sea.