Costa Concordia accident – Captain took an “unauthorised” route


Costa Concordia Accident
The Costa Concordia off the island of Giglio

The captain of the Costa Concordia made an “unauthorised” deviation off course that led to the accident on Friday, according to the ship’s owners.

“We believe it was human error,” the chief executive of Costa Cruises Pier Luigi Foschi told a packed news conference in Genoa earlier today.

“The Captain did not follow authorised routes. Costa cruise ships make this journey more than 100 times a year, and this is a tragic event.

“The Captain was not following training, policy or procedures. We would never expect this to happen,” Foschi stated.

Earlier, Costa Cruises had put out a statement saying “significant human error” may have been to blame for the accident on Friday night which has so far claimed six lives.

He also said – in response to a query about why no other crew member pointed out to Captain Franceso Schettino that the course was not authorised:

“The Captain has authority by law to take a decision on board and that decision may be a difficult decision to take.

“In this instance the Captain decided to change the route and went into water that was not authorised.”

Responding to reports that no safety drill had been carried out Foschi explained that the full safety drill had been carried out when the ship left port at the start of the cruise, but not for those passengers joining at Civitavecchia.

“The security training was not carried out for people who boarded at Civitavecchia, but there is a video in every cabin that is automatically displayed.”

Responding to comments that the crew were inadequately trained, Foschi said: “The crew from what we have seen and understood behaved according to policy procedures.

“We are very grateful to our crew with the way they conducted themselves.”

Foschi explained that part of the issue with getting people on board lifeboats was due to the ship listing dramatically very quickly, thus making it extremely difficult to access them.

Foschi said Costa would wait until the investigation was complete before it conducted a full review of what happened:

“We are not in a position to say whether there will be any changes [in terms of safety procedures]. We need to understand the full cycle of the accident.”

Foschi also tried to allay fears about an environmental spill, claiming that so far there were no signs of any leakage.

He said 2,300 tonnes of fuel oil were contained in 17 double-hulled tanks and more oil was in another four reservoirs.

More on the Costa Concordia accident