Costa Concordia - update


Friday 17th February 2012

Time 5.30 pm (CET)
With regard to the story uncovered and reported by the Italian TV program “Striscia la Notizia”, regarding an Italian woman who allegedly suffered a miscarriage caused when the Costa Concordia ran aground, the Company has announced that it intends to file a complaint with the legal authorities and that it will take similar action in response to any similar scams or attempts at profiteering in the wake of the Concordia tragedy.

The Company has confirmed that neither the woman nor her husband was on the Costa Concordia's Guest list on January 13.

During the editions broadcast on February 14, 15 and 16, “Striscia la Notizia” discussed the case of a couple of self-styled survivors of the Costa Concordia shipwreck and their lawyer.  They have appeared on various TV programs and their story has also received substantial coverage on websites, in newspapers and in agency press releases both in Italy and abroad. Through their lawyer the couple asked Costa Crociere 1 million euros in damages. The woman was purportedly five months' pregnant when she went on the cruise and lost her baby several days after escaping the stranded ship off the coast of the island of Giglio.

“Striscia la Notizia” investigated the claims and discovered that the whole story was in fact made up: the couple were using false identities and neither of them had been on board the Concordia on the day of the shipwreck.

Time 4.00 pm (CET)
The Concordia Emergency Commissioner's Office and Costa Crociere have announced that the pumping of fuel from the cruise ship Costa Concordia has been continuing around the clock since 5 pm on February 12, in accordance with the plan devised by the Neri/Smit Salvage team.

From the time defueling began until 7 am on February 17, a total of 952  cubic meters of fuel had been pumped out of 4 tanks located in the forward part of the ship.

A total of 1,428 cubic meters of fuel is still to be removed from 13 tanks, of which 576 cubic meters in the forward part of the ship.  According to the schedule drawn up by the Neri/Smit Salvage experts, if the sea and weather conditions remain favorable, all of the fuel still on board the Costa Concordia should be extracted within 3 working weeks.

Since the outset Costa Crociere's priorities have been to guarantee maximum safety, the least possible environmental impact and protection of the environment of Giglio and the island's tourism industry, while carrying out defueling within a reasonable length of time.

Both the defueling procedure and the other operations scheduled on Costa Concordia are being conducted jointly with full cooperation between Costa Crociere and the Concordia Emergency Commissioner's Office.


Thursday 16th February 2012

In response to the decision by the Italian consumer association Codacons to lodge a complaint against the Chairman & CEO of Costa Crociere and other Company executives, reported by the Italian Ansa news agency on Wednesday, February 15, 2012, the Company reserves the right to take any and all steps necessary including any legal action required to protect its reputation and that of its executive officers.

Tuesday 14th February 2012

Costa Crociere confirms the extension of the terms for the compensation proposal to March 31st 2012. 
Such decision has been taken in order to offer all passengers with more time to evaluate the proposal and to exercise their claims with due tranquility. While extending the date for accepting the proposal the Company confirms the simple, effective and easy to redeem compensation package as it was offered from last Jan 27th, 2012.
The extension of the deadline will not have any impact on the claiming process but it is intended to meet the requests expressed by some of our guests.
The compensation package applies only to guests who have returned home.
The families of the victims and those guests who were wounded or permanently injured, will be covered under a separate proposal that will take into account their individual circumstances.

Monday 13th February 2012

Time 2.30 pm (CET)
This morning at 9.00 am it has been completed the pumping of the 103 m3 of fuel from the first tank of the ship. The pumping operations are now going on with the second tank. Pumping, which was started yesterday afternoon at 5 pm by Neri/ Smit Salvage engineers, is carried on at a speed of 10 m3 per hour, thanks to good weather conditions.

Costa Concordia January 13th, 2012. Never forget.
One month after that terrible night, we all at Costa Crociere renew our sincere condolences to the families and friends of our Guests and crew members who lost their lives in this tragic incident. In the history of our Company, for sure these have been the saddest days of ever. We have all experienced, and with us who knows us, a dismay, a sadness, a deep pain, that we not envisioned to be possible. This tragic incident should not be happened. We will never forget those who lost their lives and those who have experienced moments of fear in front of Giglio Island. We commit to make this will not happen never again.

Thursday 2nd February 2012

Time 7.00 pm (CET)
Costa Crociere has worked from the hours immediately after the Costa Concordia accident to ensure the least possible environmental impact and to safeguard the island of Giglio’s business activities and tourism. Right from the outset, the measures drawn up by the Company have constantly been shared with and approved by the competent Italian authorities, in a spirit of full, transparent and total cooperation.
After engaging leading international salvage experts Smit Salvage BV to remove the fuel contained in the Costa Concordia’s tanks, and presenting a plan to remove other materials and potential pollutants, which is ready to get under way as soon as weather conditions permit, Costa Cruises is also working with the utmost commitment and speed on the plan to remove the ship itself, fully aware that this is a priority to protect the environment on Giglio and the island’s tourism.
The Company has set up a technical committee, with representatives from Costa Cruises, Carnival Corporation & plc, Fincantieri, Rina and sector experts, including academics, who will work fo the best possible drawing up of the plan, on a joint basis with the competent authorities.
As anticipated in a letter sent to Costa Concordia Emergency Commissioner Franco Gabrielli, Costa Cruises has called for tenders 10 companies throughout the world to present a working plan to enterely remove the hull of the Costa Concordia. 
The invitation has been sent to the world’s leading operators, who have the capabilities to perform the work in the shortest time possible, while ensuring maximum safety and the least possible environmental impact: 1) Smit Salvage BV, 2) Svitzer Salvage BV, 3) Mammoet Salvage BV, 4) Titan Salvage, 5) Resolve Marine Group Inc., 6) T&T Marine Salvage Inc., 7) Donjon Marine Inc., 8) Tito Neri S.r.l., 9) Fukada Salvage & Marine Works Co. Ltd., 10) The Nippon Salvage Co Ltd. 
The plans must be presented to Costa Cruises by the beginning of March 2012, for joint assessment with the Civil Protection Scientific Committee, in order to allow the best one to be selected by the end of March 2012.
This timeline represents the best possible outcome in a situation of this kind, although it cannot be excluded that there will be delays given the complexity of the operation.

Tuesday 31st January 2012

Time 2.00 pm (CET)
VIII Permanent Commission for Public
Senate of the Italian Republic
Hearing of Pier Luigi Foschi, Chairman and CEO Costa Crociere
Listen to the Hearing

Friday, January 27th 2012

Time 4.00 pm (CET)
Costa Crociere announced a compensation proposal for guests that have returned home after the tragic Costa Concordia accident on January 13. Costa Crociere would like to express its profound condolences to the families of the victims, our continued sympathy to the families of the missing, and our deep regret and sorrow for the damages and hardship the Costa Concordia accident caused to all its guests.
This proposal is also the result of negotiations that Costa Crociere began with the consumer associations protecting guests’ interests, and with the support of multiple tourism/travel-industry associations. In Italy, the company has already reached an agreement with the National Council of Consumers and Users, a nationally representative organization.
The families of the deceased and guests who were injured and required medical treatment on site will be covered under a separate proposal that will take into account their individual circumstances.

The proposed compensation package for the guests who have returned home includes all of the following:
• a lump sum of 11,000 Euros per person as indemnification, covering all patrimonial and non-patrimonial damages, including loss of baggage and personal effects, psychological distress and loss of enjoyment of the cruise vacation;
• reimbursement of the value of the cruise, including harbour taxes;
• reimbursement of the air and bus transfers included in the cruise package;
• full reimbursement of travel expenses to reach the port of embarkation and to return home;
• reimbursement of any medical expenses borne;
• reimbursement of expenses onboard during the cruise.

This compensation package is higher than the current indemnification limits that are provided for in international conventions and the laws currently in force. The 11,000 Euro lump-sum payment will be offered to all passengers, including non-paying children, regardless of their age. Costa has also pledged not to deduct any amount paid by any insurance policy stipulated by the guests from this sum. In addition, the company will return all goods stored in the cabin safes, where retrieval is possible.
Costa Crociere has also pledged to provide a program for psychological assistance to any guests that request it. The company has further agreed to offer customers the ability to cancel any upcoming cruise booked before January 13, on any of its routes, without penalty through February 7, 2012.
Two dedicated operation units will handle the claims to ensure timely resolution. The payments will be credited by the company within seven days of receipt of the acceptance of the proposal.
A dedicated e-mail address will be provided to assist with inquiries.

Wednesday 25th January 2012

Time 2.30 pm (CET)
VIII Permanent Commission for Public Works
Senate of the Italian Republic
Hearing of Pier Luigi Foschi, Chairman and CEO Costa Crociere
Watch the Hearing

Tuesday, January 24th 2012

Time 3.00 pm (CET)
With reference to news reports on discounts and promotional offers, Costa Cruises feels bound to point out that the company has never offered any discount on future cruises to guests who were on board the Costa Concordia for the cruise of January 13th and involved in the tragic accident. The information published by a newspaper and reported in various news outlets is totally unfounded, as is confirmed by the English passenger who was quoted by the newspaper.
Costa Cruises reiterates that after the tragic accident the company’s priority has always been to provide the maximum possible assistance and solace to the people involved. From the outset the company has been fully aware of and saddened by the suffering and hardship endured by guests and crew members and has acted with this firmly borne in mind.
On a joint basis with rescue teams, the Company worked to provide evacuated passengers and crew members with all the necessary assistance to ensure they were able to return home. Subsequently it contacted guests by telephone, after they had returned home, to check on their physical and emotional wellbeing, and to confirm that they will receive a refund for the cruise and all material expenses relating to it.
As already announced, the company welcomes discussion with its guests and all consumer protection associations to determine indemnity for the hardship endured, with the support of tourism sector trade associations with which it has been in contact for days.
Driven by its sense of ethics and the values of fairness and responsibility which guide it, the Company has also given all customers with bookings for future Costa cruises the possibility, if feeling afraid, to cancel their cruise booking by giving notice no later than February 7th. All travel agents who work with the Company were informed of this days ago.
Costa Cruises would also like to clarify that starting on the day after the accident, all advertising initiatives planned were cancelled out of respect for those affected by this tragedy. The Company was unable to stop only one postal promotion which had already been sent to some customers at the end of December.
Costa Cruises is incredulous at the disgraceful and unfounded assertions made about the Company without any form of verification.

Time 9.30 am (CET)
Costa Cruises clarifies that the company has extremely strict systems in place to control access to ships, in addition to the port area access controls performed by the authorities before embarkation.
Access on board is granted only on the basis of:
- a ticket and an identity check for cruise customers;
- an optically read ID card for crew members;
- the entry of the person’s name on the visitor list, after approval by the Company and the Staff Captain, in addition to the presentation of a valid identity document which is retained on embarkation.
The name of any person who departs with the ship is registered in on board systems. In addition, a photograph is taken of passengers on embarkation, which is then associated with an ID bar code found on the embarkation form and the Costa Card given to passengers when on board (this card acts as each passenger’s personal identification badge for entering and leaving the ship and for making use of on board services).
No one on board has the power to waive security procedures. The company takes severe disciplinary action in the event of violation.
Precise lists of every person embarked on the ship and who departed with it (guests, crew and any engineers) are transmitted to the Company immediately after departure.
In the case of the accident involving the Costa Concordia, these precise lists have been given to the authorities in relation to operations to identify the survivors, victims and missing.
Furthermore, the company categorically denies the rumour that there were “clandestine workers” on board.
Costa Cruises applies the highest possible standards of security, safety and social accountability. The company is certified as regards social accountability (SA 8000) and safety (OHSAS 18001) by RINA in the framework of BEST4 certification, which also covers the environment and quality, and is subject to inspections by the certification society and the maritime authorities in Italy and in the countries visited by its ships.

Monday, January 23rd 2012

Time 12.30 pm (CET)
These days, we are receiving many messages of condolence for the victims and their families as well as many expressions of appreciation for the professionalism and competence of our crew. The Company shares the mourning and it is grateful to each demonstration of solidarity to men and women of Costa Crociere. Your expressions of closeness are really precious in such a delicate moment. Your demonstrations are touching, and they encourage us to do more to continue to deserve the trust you are granting us.

Wednesday, January 18th 2012

Time 9.15 pm (CET)
Costa Cruises confirms that it is contacting all guests on the Costa Concordia at the time of the tragic accident to make sure they have returned home and are well, and to confirm that they will receive a refund for the cruise and all material expenses relating to it.
Costa Crociere also reiterates that it is in contact with its guests and all consumer protection associations to determine indemnity for the hardship endured, with the support of the tour operator association of each country.
Costa Cruises confirms both the constant commitment and care it devotes every day to safety and its dedication to relations with the guests who represent the company’s most important asset, as they have done for more than sixty years.
Costa Cruises would like once again to express its great sadness over the victims and its support for their families.

Time 7.45 pm (CET)
For Costa Cruises protecting the environment is an integral part of its corporate mission, as it has demonstrated by obtaining the most stringent international certifications (UNIEN ISO 14001). The company therefore immediately understood the need to promptly address issues concerning the protection of the marine environment.
In the hours immediately after the accident, Costa Cruises therefore commissioned worldwide leading salvage experts Smit Salvage BV to draw up a plan to recover the reserves of fuel from the Costa Concordia. Right from the outset, this plan has been shared with the competent authorities and, as a result of full cooperation with them, will be put into effect by the end of the week.

Time 0.01 am (CET)
We are deeply saddened to learn that additional people have been found during the search of the Concordia and extend our heartfelt sympathies to their families.  We continue to cooperate with authorities to support the rescue and recovery efforts, and to help secure the vessel to ensure that there is no environmental impact. Our main priority remains the location of those passengers and crew who have not yet been accounted for. While rescue efforts continue we are reaching out to all our guests and their families to offer further assistance.

Sunday, January 15th 2012

Time 8.15 pm (CET)
We at Costa Cruises are deeply saddened by this tragedy, and our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected and offer the determined victims’ families her heartfelt condolences.

Over the past 48 hours, more than 1,100 Costa employees have been working tirelessly in the wake of this terrible event. We are working closely with the authorities to support ongoing search and rescue operations, and are focusing on ensuring that all guests and crewmembers return home safely.

Our immediate priority is to account for all passengers and crew and to secure the vessel to ensure that there are no environmental impacts. We have engaged the services of a worldwide leader specialized salvage company to develop an action plan and help establish a protection perimeter around the ship. It should be noted that the Prosecutor in charge has seized the ship and the DVR-- so called “black box” containing all navigation data and the vessel can be accessed by Costa only with permission from the authorities.

We are working with investigators to find out precisely what went wrong aboard the Costa Concordia. While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary indications are that there may have been significant human error on the part of the ship’s Master, Captain Francesco Schettino, which resulted in these grave consequences. The route of the vessel appears to have been too close to the shore, and the Captain’s judgment in handling the emergency appears to have not followed standard Costa procedures. We are aware that the lead Prosecutor has levelled serious accusations against the ship’s Captain, who joined Costa Crociere in 2002 as a Safety Officer and was appointed Captain in 2006, after acting as Staff Captain as well. As all Costa Masters, he has been constantly trained passing all tests. In light of these accusations and the continuing investigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.

As we are learning more about the event itself and the evacuation, however, it is becoming clear that the crew of the Costa Concordia acted bravely and swiftly to help evacuate more than 4,000 individuals during a very challenging situation. We are very grateful for all they have done.

Costa is committed to ensuring that no such incident ever occurs again. Our number one priority is always the safety and security of our guests and crew and we comply with all safety regulations. (See background on Costa safety below).

Background on Costa’s commitment to safety

Costa complies very strictly with all safety regulations and our personnel are committed, first and foremost, to guest safety and security.

All crew members hold a BST (Basic Safety Training) certificate and are trained and prepared to emergency management and to assist passengers abandoning the ship with numerous drills. Roles, responsibilities and duties are clearly assigned to all crew members. Every two weeks all crewmembers perform a ship evacuation simulation. A lifeboat and evacuation drill for all guests is conducted within 24 hours of embarking, as required by law. Costa has a computerised system which ensures all passengers undergo this drill.

The skills of Costa crew are periodically tested by Coastguard authorities and an independent classification organization as per SMS (Safety Management Systems) requirements.

There are lifeboats and jackets on board in excess of the number required for all passengers and crew. Lifeboats are equipped with food and water supplies, first aid kits and communication and signalling equipment. All life-saving appliances are aligned to international standards and are subject to close, regular inspection by shipboard personnel and certification authorities. All Costa ships are certified by RINA and have been built to the highest standards and technologies.

Saturday, January 14th 2012

Time 5.30 pm (CET)
" I want to express our deep sorrow for this terrible tragedy that devastates us “ - said Gianni Onorato President Costa Crociere- “ I am here only now because, as you will understand, I have been from the down until now on the Isola del Giglio to be close to the rescue operations.
First at all, I would like to thank all the authorities, law enforcement and volunteers who made all efforts to help and assist our Guests involved in this terrible event."
We are not at this time able to provide an answer to all the questions, because the competent authority are trying with our cooperative efforts to understand the reasons for this incident.
On the basis of the first evidences, still preliminary the ship Costa Concordia under the command of the Master Francesco Schettino was regularly sailing from Civitavecchia to Savona, when suddenly the ship struck a rock.
The Master who was on the bridge at that time, understood the severity of the situation immediately performed a maneuver aimed to secure Guests and crew, and started the security procedures in order to prepare for an eventual ship evacuation.
Unfortunately, this operation was complicated as result of a sudden tilt of the ship that has made difficult the disembarkation.
Thanks to the commitment of all forces coordinated by the Coast Guard, from that moment on, rescue operations have been further strengthened.
From the first time the company mobilized all its resources ashore to put in to assist our guests and crew members and prevent possible environmental impacts.

Time 12.00 pm (CET)
The Costa Concordia accident happened tonight it’s a tragedy that deeply shocked our company.
Our first thought goes to the victims and we would like to express our deepest condolences to their families and friends.
We’re close to the people who have been injured and we’re following their progress.
All our efforts are now concentrated in assisting the guests and the crew who were on board, to bring them home as soon as possible.
The Costa Cruises customer service has already started contacting by phone all the guests who were supposed to board today in Savona and starting from tomorrow in the scheduled ports.
At the moment no changes have been planned to the schedule of the other Costa Cruises ships.
People looking for assistance can contact the call centre number +39 0104206099.
All the Costa Cruises people would like to thank from the deepest of their hearts the Guardia Costiera, the authorities and the citizens of the Giglio Island and of Porto Santo Stefano who helped and assisted the guests and the crew.
They also thank the doctors who are assisting the injured and anyone in need of assistance.
The Company is cooperating with the Authorities that are investigating on the accident.

Time 5.00 am (CET)
It is a tragedy that deeply affects our company. Our first thoughts go to the victims and we would like to express our condolences and our closeness to their families and friends. In this moment all our efforts are focused on the completion of the last emergency operations, besides providing assistance to the guests and the crew who were onboard in order to have them going back home as soon as possible. The emergency procedures started promptly to evacuate the ship. The slope, gradually taken over by the ship, made the evacuation extremely difficult. We would like to express our profound gratitude to the Coast Guard and all the forces co-ordinated by the Coast Guard, including the authorities and citizens of the island “Isola del Giglio”, who have been involved in the rescue and assistance to guests and crew members. The company will fully co-operate with the relevant Authorities in order to determine the causes of what happened.

Time 1.00 am (CET)
Costa Cruises confirms the evacuation of about 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members on board of the Costa Concordia. An incident occured near the island 'Isola del Giglio' of the coast of Italy. The evacuation started promptly, but the position of the ship has worsened, making it more complicated to complete the last part of the evacuation. At this moment, the cause of the incident cannot yet be confirmed. The Company is currently working with the highest commitment to provide all the needed assistance. 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. About 1.000 passengers of Italian nationality were onboard, as well as more of 500 Germans, about 160 French and about 1.000 crew members.
The Guests had to embark today in Savona and in subsequent ports will be contacted directly by Costa Cruises.