Cruise Ship Runs Aground
Expert lawyers from Irwin Mitchell have expressed serious concerns after the Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground in Italy last night, claiming the lives of three people onboard, with dozens more still unaccounted for.
Clive Garner, Partner and head of the International Law team at Irwin Mitchell – said: "We are deeply concerned to hear about this terrible incident. Our thoughts are with those affected by this weekend's tragic events.
"The position of sand bars and the seabed should have been detected by the ships navigation systems including radar. This type of incident simply should not have happened on a modern state of the art cruise liner."
Concerns have also been raised about the adequacy of the evacuation of the vessel.
While as recently as February 2010 the Concordia's sister ship, the Costa Europa, collided with the quayside in Sharm El Sheikh killing 3 members of crew and injuring several English passengers. Both ships are under the ownership of the Carnival Corporation.
Garner added, "Questions will need to be asked about the Cruise line's recent safety record, including the adequacy of its safety procedures and its training of crew to deal with onboard emergencies."
Garner who has acted for the victims and family's of many other marine accidents around the world including the 2006 capsize of the Al Dana Dhow off the coast of Bahrain with the loss of almost 60 lives added, "We will be working with our Italian colleagues to investigate how this latest incident occurred. From experience of other similar marine accidents around the World, it is too early to rule out equipment failures or human error by the Captain or crew. Indeed, it is quite possible that a combination of both equipment malfunction and human factors are to blame for this tragedy.
“At the same time there will be a full investigation by the Italian Marine Accident Investigation Bureau and the Coast Guard."
British nationals are thought to be among the 3,000 passengers on the ship, which struck a sandbank and listed at a 20 degree angle. Reports suggest that the UK Foreign Office is sending a team to help with efforts and gain more information in relation to the incident.