Costa Concordia cruise ship survivors mark 1-year anniversary off Italy's coast
GIGLIO, Italy — Survivors of the Costa Concordia shipwreck and relatives of the 32 people who died marked the first anniversary of the grounding on Sunday with the unveiling of memorials to the victims, a tearful Mass in their honor and a minute of silence to recall the exact moment that the cruise ship rammed a reef off Tuscany.
One of the most moving tributes came first, with the daybreak return to the sea of part of the rock that tore a 230-foot gash into the hull of the ship on Jan. 13, 2012, when the captain took it off course in a stunt. The boulder remained embedded in the mangled steel as the 112,000-ton vessel capsized off Giglio island along with its 4,200 passengers and crew.
As fog horns and sirens wailed, a crane on a tug lowered the boulder back onto the reef off Giglio where it belonged, returning it to the seabed affixed with a memorial plaque. Relatives of the dead threw flowers into the sea and embraced as they watched the ceremony from a special ferry that bobbed in the waves under a gray sky.
They wept during the Mass and ran their fingers over the names of the 32 dead that were engraved on a bronze plaque unveiled at the end of Giglio's jetty, near where the Concordia still lies on its side. Later, amid a cold rain, they gathered on the jetty holding candles to observe a moment of silence at 9:45 p.m., the exact moment when the Concordia slammed into the reef after Capt. Francesco Schettino took it off its pre-programmed course and brought it closer to Giglio as a favor to friends from the island.
While many tears were shed on Sunday, relatives to have found comfort in coming to the tiny fishing island of Giglio, where residents opened their homes and hearts to the survivors that frigid night.
“Having the possibility to see everything, we can accept it a bit more, but there is still a long way to overcome this loss, especially for my mother who suffered a lot for her son,” said Madeleine Costilla Mendoza, whose brother Tomas Alberto Costilla Mendoza of Peru was a steward on the ship.
Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and leaving the ship before all passengers were evacuated. He has not been charged but is living under court-ordered restrictions pending a decision on whether to indict him.
The captain maintains he saved lives by bringing the ship closer to shore rather than letting it sink in the open sea, and claims the reef his ship hit was not indicated on his nautical charts.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Teen girls’ suicide bombs rip into Nigerian village marketplace
- Brits blame web services in soldier’s death
- Crowds in Ukraine show lingering tensions amid Biden visit to back pro-West officials
- Islamic State got up to $45M in ransom payments
- Israeli mayor suspends jobs of some Arabs, citing synagogue attack
- Afghan forces may resume night raids
- Homes of Palestinians linked to attacks targeted by Israel
- China reportedly assembling island big enough for airstrip
- Suicide blast kills 45 at Afghan volleyball tournament
- With sanctions, sliding oil prices, Russia losing more than $100B a year, finance minister says
- Abduction in Mexico to spur police, judicial system changes