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Dublin: 14°C Saturday 20 August 2022

Hopes of finding more Costa Concordia survivors fading

The search for survivors was suspended yesterday because the ship had moved in the water.

The cruise ship Costa Serena passes its sister ship Costa Concordia lying off the Italian coast.
The cruise ship Costa Serena passes its sister ship Costa Concordia lying off the Italian coast.
Image: Angelo Carconi/AP/Press Association Images

DETAILS ON SOME of the more than 20 people who remain unaccounted for after the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy last weekend have been emerging as hopes fade of finding any more survivors.

An Italian man and his five-year-old daughter are among the missing, as are three crew members.

Eleven people have been confirmed dead but Italian authorities have only released the name of one victim so far: 38-year-old Hungarian crew member Sandor Feher.

The AP reports that Feher worked as an entertainer on board the ship and that one of his colleagues said that he had helped put lifejackets on several children before returning to his cabin to retrieve his violin. His remains were identified yesterday.

The search for survivors was suspended yesterday after the ship was found to have shifted. There are concerns the ship could slip into deeper waters or could begin to leak fuel.

There were over 4,200 people on board when the ship struck rocks near the island of Giglio on Friday night, and the captain Francesco Schettino has been accused by Italian prosecutors of manslaughter and of abandoning ship before the complete evacuation of passengers.

He claims he did not intentionally abandon ship, but was thrown from the vessel when it listed, according to reports in Italian media. An audio recording of a call between Schettino and a coast guard official showed the official repeatedly ordering Schettino to return to the ship to coordinate the evacuation and rescue from on board the Costa Concordia.

The cruise operator says Schettino passed closer to the island than he was permitted.

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It has emerged that the ship travelled a similar route in August which was approved by the cruise company. Leading maritime publication Lloyd’s List Intelligence said that in August, the ship actually passed closer to Giglio than it did on Friday and the List’s editor Richard Meade said this “is not a black and white case”.

- Additional reporting by the AP

Read: Watch: Footage shows nighttime Costa Concordia evacuation>

Read: Costa Concordia: Search suspended as ship shifts >

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