Key dates in Costa Concordia shipwreck, trial and cleanup

Jan 12, 2022, 12:27 PM | Updated: 1:28 pm
FILE— Seagulls fly in front of the grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of ...

FILE— Seagulls fly in front of the grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy, Monday, Jan. 30, 2012. Italy on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, is marking the 10th anniversary of the Concordia disaster with a daylong commemoration, honoring the 32 people who died but also the extraordinary response by the residents of Giglio who took in the 4,200 passengers and crew from the ship on that rainy Friday night and then lived with the Concordia carcass for another two years before it was hauled away for scrap. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

(AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

By Associated Press (AP) — Italy on Thursday marks the 10th anniversary of the Costa Concordia cruise ship wreck off the Tuscan island of Giglio. Here are some key dates in the saga, including the trial of the captain and the remarkable engineering feat to right the liner from its side so it could be towed away for scrap.

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Jan. 13, 2012: The Costa Concordia slams into a reef off Italy’s Giglio island after the captain, Francesco Schettino, ordered it taken off course and brought it close to shore in a stunt. It drifts without power until it comes to rest on its side offshore. After weeks of searches, rescue crews confirm 32 people died.

Jan. 15, 2012: Prosecutor Francesco Verusio confirms passenger allegations that Schettino abandoned the Concordia before all the passengers and crew had been evacuated.

Jan. 17, 2012: Schettino is placed under house arrest.

Jan. 17, 2012: Dramatic audio of the shipwreck is broadcast in which Coast Guard Cmdr. Gregorio De Falco uses colorful expletives to order Schettino to get back on board to coordinate the evacuation. “You’ve abandoned ship! I’m in charge now,” De Falco yells. “Go back and report to me how many passengers there are and what they need. … Perhaps you saved yourself from the sea, but I’ll make you pay for this, damn it!”

Jan. 20, 2012: Costa’s CEO tells Italian state TV that Schettino relayed inaccurate information to the company and crew and downplayed the seriousness of the situation after the ship hit the rocks, delaying the mobilization of proper assistance.

July 9, 2013: Schettino goes on trial for manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing the shipwreck. The trial is held in a 1,000-seat theater on the mainland in Grossetto, a spacious venue so survivors and relatives of victims could attend.

July 20, 2013: Five Costa employees are convicted of manslaughter in a separate trial, receiving sentences of less than three years after entering plea bargains.

Sept. 17, 2013: Fog horns wail shortly after 4 a.m. to announce the Concordia had been wrenched from its side and reached vertical after 19-hour operation using chains and weighted tanks to right it from the seabed.

Oct. 8, 2013: The remains of one of the two people still missing is located by divers working on the wreck, later identified as Italian Maria Grazia Trecarichi.

Feb. 1, 2014: A Spanish diver working on the Concordia wreckage dies after apparently gashing his leg on an underwater metal sheet, news reports say.

July 23, 2014: As boat sirens wail and bells toll, the Concordia begins its final voyage as it is towed from Giglio to be turned into scrap. It arrives in Genoa’s shipyard on July 27.

Nov. 3, 2014: The body of Indian waiter Russel Rebello, the last missing victim, is found by crews dismantling the vessel for scrap in Genoa.

Feb. 11, 2015: The court in Grosetto convicts Schettino and sentences him to 16 years in prison for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the vessel before passengers and crew had been evacuated, as well as for giving false information about the gravity of the collision.

May 31, 2016: An appeals court in Florence upholds the conviction and sentence for Schettino after both the prosecution and defense appealed. The prosecution sought to toughen the sentence to 27 years while the defense argued that blame didn’t fall solely on Schettino.

May 12, 2017: Schettino loses his final appeal and heads to prison after Italy’s highest Court of Cassation upholds his previous conviction and 16-year sentence.

January 2018: Coast Guard Cmdr. De Falco, who won international fame for his rant against Schettino, nominates himself as a lawmaker for Italy’s 5-Movement political party. He is expelled from the party later that year.

December, 2021: A Genoa court orders Costa Crociere to pay 92,700 euros ($105,000) to Concordia passenger Ernesto Carusotti in one of the few civil lawsuits to reach a verdict against the company.

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Key dates in Costa Concordia shipwreck, trial and cleanup