THE SEARCH FOR survivors of the Costa Concordia capsizing on Friday night has been suspended for a third time after the ship was recorded moving in the water overnight.
The ship ran aground off the Italian island of Giglio on Friday night with over 4,200 passengers and crew on board. Eleven people have been confirmed dead and 21 people remain unaccounted for.
Concern is growing that the ship may slip into deeper waters, making it more difficult for navy divers to search for anyone left on board, and instruments registered the ship shifting again overnight.
The Italian navy has released footage of their divers searching some of the submerged section of the ship:
(Video via AssociatedPress)
Costa Concordia’s captain Francesco Schettino is being accused by Italian prosecutors of manslaughter and of abandoning ship before the evacuation had been completed. He denies the accusations and claims he accidentally fell into a lifeboat from the listing vessel while trying to coordinate the evacuation process.
The BBC reports that the deputy mayor of nearby Giglio island Mario Pellegrini says he took a boat out to the stricken vessel during the evacuation process and that he was unable to find the captain or any senior officer. He said that “nobody was directing anything” on the ship by the time he climbed aboard.
Crew member Domnica Cemortan has denied claims the captain was one of the first off the ship:
(Video via telegraphtv)
An audio recording released earlier this week by Italian officials showed Schettino being ordered to return to the ship by a coast guard official. He is told to get back on board and to report back on how many people are left on board and how they could be assisted off the vessel.
Costa Concordia’s owner Carnival Corp yesterday announced a comprehensive safety audit of each of its ten cruise ships. The company’s CEO Micky Arison said that the Costa Concordia tragedy had “called into question” Carnival’s safety and emergency response procedures.
“While I have every confidence in the safety of our vessels and the professionalism of our crews, this review will evaluate all practices and procedures to make sure that this kind of accident doesn’t happen again,” Arison said.
Footage taken by some of those on the ship have shown panicked scenes during the ensuing evacuation and some of the passengers who escaped from the ship have criticised the evacuation effort as being poorly managed.