For Titanic fans such as myself, the Costa Concordia disaster must “seem like deja vu all over again,” as the great Yogi Berra would say. A few weeks ago the unthinkable happened as the humongous ocean liner Costa Concordia hit a reef full of rocks off the coast of Italy and partiallycapsized, leaving many injured, 17 dead and at this time 15 people missing. What is even more bizarre is that the captain allegedly abandoned ship before all passengers and crew were safely off board.
It is one of the most known laws of sea that a captain is to go down with the ship. Since the captain of the Costa Concordia left his post before all were off the ship, he is being charged with a plethora of charges, such as manslaughter, negligence, abandoning ship and a whole host of others. Along with abandoning ship, the captain is being accused of sailing the boat too close to the coast and going against strict protocol that would rule out such a maneuver. It is alleged that the captain sailed the boat closer to shore than normally permitted in order to do a “salute” to the island. The captain now claims that this type of maneuver is often done and even encouraged by management in order to promote business.
The captain of the Costa Concordia has not officially been convicted of any of the pending charges and remains on house arrest. From a legal stand point, the captain looks to have a long road ahead of him in clearing his name due to the fact that his actions can no doubt be considered negligent and reckless to prosecutors. As it pertains to the charges of manslaughter, it goes without saying that the captain did not actually intend for any of the more than 4,200 people on board to perish. However, if his alleged actions prove to be true, he can be charged with such a terrible crime since it was reasonably foreseeable that said actions could cause serious danger to all those onboard the nearly 1,000 foot long ship. Based on this forseeabily factor, it then becomes irrelevant whether or not there was specific intent. Just the fact that the negligent actions were commenced by the captain would be enough to apply said charges.
On a personal note, I have been a self-professed Titanic fanatic ever since my late great Poppy Zurlo told be about the tragedy at the age of 7. I have read countless books on the topic and watched every single movie and documentary there is pertaining to the “unsinkable” ship. With all the technological advancements that are available now 100 years later, I would have never dreamed that an eerily similar disaster would remotely transpire again. I guess even with all the great strides in technology, there still is no accounting for human error.