From Lloyd's List today. Tradewinds reports that there was a problem with the vessel's diesel-electric propulsion system immediately before she grounded.
This will be expensive. AM
Italy cruise casualty latest: 80 still missing, 3 dead
Saturday 14 January 2012
CLOSE to 80 people are still missing and three are confirmed dead after the Italian cruiseship Costa Concordia ran aground overnight off the Italian coast.
Italian coastguard officials have told Lloyd's List that while the search and rescue operation is still underway at least 77 people are currently unaccounted for.
A total of 4231 people, including 1,023 crewmembers, were on board the 2006-built, 114,147gt Costa Cruises owned vessel when it is thought to have hit a sandbar near the island of Giglio at around 21:30 hours local time on Saturday. The six year old, Rina-classed vessel, built by Costa Crociere at a cost of €450m ($526m), is reportedly taking on water and is currently lying with an 80 degree list. Coast guard officials have confirmed that there is a 40m hole in the hull of the vessel.
"At the moment we cannot make any declaration about the causes of the accident," a coastguard official told Lloyd's List earlier this afternoon. "The prosecutor is already leading the criminal investigation and a technical inquiry, carried out by the Italian coast guard, now on the scene, is on-going". The coast guard of Livorno is leading the rescue operation.
A statement issued by Costa Cruises said it could not yet say what had caused the accident, however newswire reports citing rescued passengers suggest that the vessel hit an obstacle.
"The gradual listing of the ship made the evacuation extremely difficult," the statement said. "The position of the ship, which is worsening, is making more difficult the last part of the evacuation.
"We'd like to express our deepest gratitude to the coastguard and other emergency services, including the authorities and citizens of the island of Giglio, who did their best in saving and helping the passengers and crew."
Classification society Rina issued a statement Saturday afternoon confirming that the "Costa Concordia is certified to the highest safety standards by the Italian Administration and Rina in accordance with all applicable international conventions and regulations. All periodic surveys due during 2011 were carried out in accordance with the rule deadlines and with a positive outcome."
Rina confirmed that it was providing "full assistance to the owner and administration as they work to resolve the situation".
Costa Cruises has confirmed about 1,000 Italian passengers were onboard the vessel, as well as more than 500 Germans, about 160 French and about 1,000 crew members.
According to the vessel's statutory safety passenger certificate, Costa Concordia was built with a maximum passenger capacity of 4890 people.
The Costa Concordia was sailing across the Mediterranean Sea, starting from Civitavecchia with scheduled calls to Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari and Palermo.
Costa Crociere is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp.