Costa Crociere has issued a statement of some of the findings from this week’s hearing in Grosseto regarding the Costa Concordia. The blame is basically put on the captain as before and the crew credited with their response to the emergency despite the difficult conditions. Shipboard systems and procedures and the design of the ship have been confirmed to be in compliance with all safety rules.
According to the statement, the ship’s crisis unit was promptly convened, but was unable to provide the necessary support to the ship, due to the speed with which the ship sank. The crisis unit did however provide logistic support to passengers and crew members ashore.
Costa said that according to existing laws, the role of the crisis unit is to provide support in emergency situations. Any decision to ensure the safety of the persons onboard or the ship falls under the captain’s sole responsibility, since he is the person who is most aware of the situation onboard and cannot abdicate his responsibilities.
The duty to notify the authorities of any accident that might jeopardize the safety of the ship lies exclusively with the captain by virtue of articles 17 and 19 of Legislative Decree no. 196 of 2005. The Master has the duty to inform the company. The Master and the company have the duty to remain at the disposal of the authorities and offer their full cooperation.
As for the Concordia, Costa said that the ship and the navigation systems have been designed, built and tested in compliance with the advanced safety criteria provided by national and international standards. The navigation instruments installed on the Costa Concordia have sufficient backup systems to ensure that they function properly even in the event of a failure during navigation.
The Costa fleet operates under the provisions of the Italian flag in compliance with the international legislation in the sector. The ships underwent over 107 inspections during 2011, certifying compliance with national and international provisions and the highest safety standards.
At the time of departure from the port of Civitavecchia, the Costa Concordia had all the main certifications in accordance with legislation in force.
As for the safety procedure, Costa stated it was proven that its safety procedures are adequate and fully comply with all existing laws and regulations.
The difficulties met during the abandonment of the ship were influenced mainly by the delay with which the captain made the decision to sound the general alarm and then to abandon the ship. From the moment the order to abandon the ship was given, the ship was evacuated rapidly assisted mainly by the crew, that worked under difficult conditions because of the ship’s list, making it very challenging for the crew to carry out operations as provided by planned procedures.
With respect to the route taken by the ship on the night of Jan. 13, the notification obligation lies with the Master of the ship. According to Costa, neither the port authorities nor the company were informed of the variation of the route.
Costa continued stating it is basically recognized as a company that implements exhaustive procedures that comply with national and international provisions that are applied both for ordinary and emergency procedures. A company whose ships are built in accordance with the highest standards, especially in terms of safety, and that trains its staff in full compliance with enforceable legislations.
The statement ends with: “While we will never forget the tragic events and deaths that took place, Costa Cruises has only one aim: to understand what happened that night and what caused this tragic accident. Once the facts have been fully ascertained, the future of the company will be based on sound foundations always operating in full compliance with laws and regulations, environmental principles, and the society where we operate. This is the reason why we will continue to cooperate with the prosecutor’s office, which we trust, as was already stated.”