What's the real truth behind this terrible ordeal of a nightmare aboard this cruise ship? According to CNN, the bodies of two elderly people have been recovered from the wreck of the ill-fated cruise ship Costa Concordia, the Italian Coast Guard said Sunday, bringing the number of dead in the sinking to at least five. The dead were found near the ship's restaurant, still wearing their life jackets, Coast Guard spokesman Capt. Cosimo Nicastro told reporters. News of the grim discovery came hours after a survivor was rescued.
Crews found the man -- an Italian purser whose name was not released -- trapped in a restaurant, more than a day after the ship hit rocks off the coast of Tuscany, injuring at least 20 others in addition to the dead, authorities said. He was suffering from hypothermia when rescue crews found him, said Commander Filippo Marini, spokesman for the Port Authority of Porto Santo Stefano. Survivors of the wreck spoke of "chaos" as people tried to get to lifeboats on Friday.
"It was just battling, mad scrambles," said American student Brandon Warrick, who called it "a giant every man for himself." His sister Amanda said she had feared she was going to die as they waited for up to two hours for rescue. "Waiting was definitely the worst. Because we didn't know who was going to be coming, how much longer we would have to wait," she said. Speaking on Italian television, the captain of the ship insisted the rocks were not marked on his map. "On the nautical chart it was marked just as water," Francesco Schettino said, insisting that his ship should have been more than 100 meters from the rocks.
The captain has been arrested and faces multiple charges of manslaughter, Italian police say. But Nicastro, the Coast Guard spokesman, insisted that the waters where the ship ran aground were well mapped. "Every danger in this area is on the nautical chart," he said. "This is a place were a lot of people come for diving and sailing. ... all the dangers are known." He said the Coast Guard was investigating why the ship took the course it did. "We know where the ship was," he said. "We know it was too close to the island. ... we don't know why."
Divers resumed their search Sunday morning for people unaccounted for after rocks tore a gash in the hull Friday evening, causing the Concordia to turn over on its side off the coast of the island of Giglio. At least 17 people were still unaccounted for, the mayor of Giglio, Sergio Ortelli, said Sunday before the two bodies were found.
Six of the missing were ship staff members and 11 were passengers, Ortelli said. Like a scene out of the film 'Titanic,' chaos consumed listing ship There were fears the death toll could rise as rescuers searched the ship, which was nearly 50 percent submerged, authorities said. Italian prosecutors ordered the ship's data recorders seized, they told reporters Sunday, and expect to analyze them within days.
Rescuers overnight reached two South Korean passengers, who had been trapped in the ship for more than 24 hours, authorities said. "It's a miracle that we found the Korean couple alive, and we hope we'll find more people," said Nicastro of the Italian Coast Guard. The couple, both age 29, were found in a cabin after they heard rescuers calling out and managed to make contact, according to Italy's ANSA news agency. Video showed the couple, reportedly on their honeymoon, being taken ashore and loaded into a waiting ambulance. Authorities are reviewing passenger lists to confirm the exact number of missing people, said Giuseppe Orsina, a spokesman with the local civil protection agency.
"These people could be still on the island of Giglio, in private houses or in hospitals," Orsina said.
(Picture: Francesco Schettino, captain of the Costa Concordia, is taken into custody Saturday)
The captain, Schettino, was detained later Saturday for investigation of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship while passengers were still on board, chief prosecutor Francesco Verusio told ANSA.Verusio also said first officer Ciro Ambrosio also was being detained for questioning on similar charges, according to ANSA.
Two French tourists and a crew member from Peru were killed, port authorities in Livorno said. One of the victims was a 65-year-old woman who died of a heart attack, authorities said.The ship began taking on water Friday night, and the crew kept going because they believed the vessel could continue sailing normally, Nicastro said. Realizing there was a significant safety problem, the commander steered the Costa Concordia closer toward the port of Giglio, he said. Authorities also were looking at why the ship didn't hail a mayday during the accident.
Local fishermen say the island coast of Giglio is known for its rocky sea floor. Schettino, the Concordia's captain, said in an interview before his detention that the "rock was not indicated on the chart," according to ANSA. "Me and the crew, we were the last to abandon ship," he said.
Many of those rescued in the early hours were taken to small churches and other buildings around the island for shelter. Some were still wearing the pajamas and slippers they had on as the ship went down.Gianni Onorato, president of Genoa-based Costa Cruises, said the cruise line was unable to answer all the questions that authorities are now investigating. Concordia was carrying about 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members when it ran aground. Costa Cruises, owned by parent company Carnival Corp., said it was focusing on the final stages of the emergency operation and helping passengers and crew return home. The Concordia, built in 2006, was on a Mediterranean cruise from Rome with stops in Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari and Palermo.
The passengers onboard included Italian, Peruvians, Brazilians, French and Britons, according to CNN affiliate reports.
Does this story give you fears of cruising now? Or will you still continue to go on cruises? Comments