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The Cost of Concordia - The Novelization Pt. 2: The Rescue

Previously, on the Cost of Concordia...

Now then, back to where we left off...

[b]FRIDAY 09:57:58 PM[/b]

Captain Schettino calls the Costa crisis unit. He tells them that they've hit a rock, that they're assessing damages and that they are also in a blackout. The crisis office says to reverse the ship up onto to shore (they can't, of course, because they don't have power to the rudder, let alone the engine.)

Around this time, wind direction creates a starboard list and the ship begins to turn anyway, drifting right back towards the shore which is a very good thing because you want the ship to end up as close to shore as possible.

[b]FRIDAY 10:06:00 PM[/b]

A panicked passenger senses that something is off. This isn't like any electrical problem she's ever seen. Plus, there was a massive crashing noise and now the ship is tilting! So, she contacts her daughter in Italy. Her daughter then calls the police and the police call the harbormaster.

[b]FRIDAY 10:06:52 PM[/b]

While that goes on, a conversation between the chief engineer and the bridge...

Chief engineer: "The diesel is not starting."
Captain: "But where have we made contact?" ๐Ÿ˜ฏ (He thinks the incoming water can be reduced)
Chief engineer: "Captain, here, everything is lost. The electrical panel, everything!" ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

They're saying at this point, that the ship is going down.

[b]FRIDAY 10:10:00 PM[/b]

The captain calls the Costa crisis office again. "Uh, actually two compartments have been flooded." (he's wrong, it's three compartments) "But don't worry, the ship's stability isn't in danger." (he's wrong again, the ship's stability is in danger)

[b]FRIDAY 10:12:02 PM[/b]

Passengers begin going to muster stations on their own initiative.

The cruise director says "We have a lot of people at muster stations that I do not want to fall overboard. Do we make an announcement to tell them to go to the lounges?" The second captain answers "I think that's best."

[b]FRIDAY 10:13:20 PM[/b]

The harbormaster from Livorno calls the ship. The captain tells them...

Captain: "We just have a blackout." ๐Ÿ˜…
Harbormaster: "How long as this blackout been going on?" ๐Ÿ™
Captain: "Er, about 20 minutes." ๐Ÿ˜ฅ
Harbormaster: "Have you asked passengers to put on life vests?" ๐Ÿคจ
Captain: "I- It's just a blackout. I gotta go!" ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

The harbormaster is suspicious. He says to his superiors that he thinks something more is going on. He calls a patrol boat to the area and asks them to look at the ship.

[b]FRIDAY 10:15:37 PM[/b]

Another problem: the fan on the emergency diesel generator isn't working properly. The chief engineer manually has to turn the thing on and off with a screwdriver so that it doesn't overheat and cause a fire.

[b]FRIDAY 10:24:10 PM[/b]

The captain is on the phone to the lower decks asking pointless questions like...

Captain: "Is it still flooded?" ๐Ÿ˜ง
Engineer: "Yes. Yes, it is." ๐Ÿ˜

The captain is essentially in denial of the situation.

[b]FRIDAY 10:26:03 PM[/b]

The harbormaster calls again. Finally the captain says "The ship is taking on water through an opening in the left side and the ship is listing." He qualifies with "No one dead or injured." (he's lying. that is not something he could know) The harbormaster asks if he needs help. "Just a tugboat." When in reality, they need a full rescue.

[b]FRIDAY 10:27:05 PM[/b]

With three compartments flooded, the captain finally realizes that things are really bad and they are not going to improve.

[b]FRIDAY 10:28:00 PM[/b]

The coast guard orders every available ship to the scene.

Meanwhile up with the passengers, the cruise director's assistant tells them everything's under control and to please return to their cabins or hang out in the lounges. She said this despite knowing it was wrong and that it further endangered lives. Most passengers at this point though aren't listening to this nonsense and they're busy figuring out how to abandon ship.

[b]FRIDAY 10:29:11 PM[/b]

Local television has already picked up the story and they begin broadcasting live radio feed from the bridge.

[b]FRIDAY 10:29:20 PM[/b]

Second captain: "Captain, the passengers are going on board the boats." ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
Captain: "Okay. Let them go to shore." ๐Ÿ˜ฅ
Third officer: "So then general emergency?" ๐Ÿ˜ง
Captain: "Wait, er, let me to talk to [the crisis unit]!" ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

The chief engineer calls the bridge and tells the safety officer...

Chief engineer: "We risk the emergency generators that do not have cooling. It has cooling problems, 100 degrees. The cooling fan has stopped."

He then tells them that they need to evacuate. The safety officer relays this to the captain but after no response, he orders the engine room to evacuate on his own.

Captain: "No, stay!" ๐Ÿ˜ฐ
Safety officer: "We're leaving!" ๐Ÿ˜ 

[b]FRIDAY 10:33:16 PM[/b]

A crew member asks the captain "So what shall we do? Shall I give the emergency signal?"

[b]FRIDAY 10:33:40 PM[/b]

The captain tells the crisis unit that he's abandoning ship.

[b]FRIDAY 10:35:52 PM[/b]

The captain then gives the orders to abandon ship.

[b]FRIDAY 10:36:08 PM[/b]

Another announcement is made:
"Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. The situation is under control, please remain calm and at this time, please proceed to your muster station. They're located outside on deck 4."

[b]FRIDAY 10:36:34 PM[/b]

The Livorno coast guard calls again. The captain declares distress. The coast guard officially calls for rescue operations. They contact the helicopter base commander, who then calls in every available pilot as he rushes down to the helicopter base

[b]FRIDAY 10:36:46 PM[/b]

The chief engineer shuts down the emergency generator for the final time.

[b]FRIDAY 10:39:00 PM[/b]

The first rescue vessel arrives. By this point, the lifeboats are already going. Luckily, the ship is very close to shore.

[b]FRIDAY 10:40:00 PM[/b]

Perhaps [i]too[/i] close to shore. The ship forcefully runs aground, creating an uneven center of gravity and it begins heavily listing starboard.

[b]FRIDAY 10:43:12 PM[/b]

The captain issues a general emergency on board. The announcement to abandon ship is finally called and alarms ring out. With that comes panic and now that they're listing with many lifeboats too awkwardly positioned to enter the water, there aren't enough readily available and they have to start going back and forth to the shore picking people up and dropping them off.

[b]FRIDAY 10:45:08 PM[/b]

The patrol boats report to the Livorno harbormaster that the ship has run aground and is listing heavily. So the harbormaster asks the captain about it and the captain says "No, no, no, no, the ship is still floating! In fact, we're trying to maneuver it onto the shore." They know he's lying.

[b]FRIDAY 10:45:10 PM[/b]

The captain says to bottom out the starboard anchor, so they drop out the anchors but drop out too much chain, effectively rendering them useless.

[b]FRIDAY 10:58:00 PM[/b]

The deputy mayor of Giglio arrives at the harbor and watches the scene unfold.

[b]FRIDAY 11:02:00 PM[/b]

As the first of the lifeboats arrive on shore, the deputy mayor takes the initiative and races to board one of the lifeboats returning to the ship and starts trying to find someone in charge. He gives up and start helping passengers. The maรฎtre d' sees the deputy mayor as he's abandoning ship.

[b]FRIDAY 11:19:30 PM[/b]

Schettino tells everyone to leave and to take radios (a preparation order for abandoning ship so it can be done in an organized and orderly way,) but not before changing out his uniform and into a nice suit (priorities *wink*) The second and third officer leave with him.

By this point, approximately 300 people are still on the ship.

[b]FRIDAY 11:20:00 PM (people still on board: 300)[/b]

The helicopter commander reaches the helicopter base. The first helicopter - a slow-moving Agusta Bell - was already rising from the tarmac for the hour-long flight south.

[b]FRIDAY 11:32:55 PM (people still on board: 275)[/b]

The second captain and another officer are the last crew member left on the bridge coordinating evacuation. They then leave to help passengers board lifeboats. The bridge is now abandoned.

[b]FRIDAY 11:36:00 PM (people still on board: 256)[/b]

The ship's black box stops working. Apparently, there are technical problems with it. (that means from here on, things are not going to be super accurate in detail)

[b]FRIDAY 11:45:00 PM (people still on board: 238)[/b]

A while later, rescue helicopters arrive, but they're having trouble finding the ship because they're expecting it to still be well above water.

Passengers are scaling down the port side by ladder as lifeboats return to pick them up.

[b]FRIDAY 11:50:00 PM (people still on board: 225)[/b]

A second helicopter - a faster model - sets off.

[b]SATURDAY 12:41:01 AM (people still on board: 155)[/b]

The ship stop heeling and comes to a final resting place.

[b]SATURDAY 12:42:01 AM (people still on board: 153)[/b]

Now the coast guard captain Gregorio de Falco calls Schettino because he's just learned that he has abandoned ship. Schettino makes up some story about having slipped off the ship and fallen into one of the lifeboats and says now that he's on board one, he may as well head back to shore. But de Falco tells him to get the fuัk back on board...

de Falco: "Listen, Schettino: There are people trapped on board. You now take your lifeboat below the bow of the ship, starboard. Are we clear on this?" ๐Ÿคจ
Schettino: "Well, captain, let me tell you one thing-" ๐Ÿ˜ฅ
de Falco: "Speak up!" ๐Ÿ˜ 
Schettino: "Well, the ship is now... I am here in front of..." ๐Ÿ˜“
de Falco: "Captain, speak up! Place your hand in front of the mic and talk loudly!" ๐Ÿ˜ค
Schettino: "Captain, right now, the ship is listing." ๐Ÿ˜ฅ
de Falco: "I got it! There is people going down the bow ladder. You go up that ladder instead, you board that ship and report to me as to how many people and what they have on board. Are we clear on this?" ๐Ÿ˜ก
Schettino: "Uh-" ๐Ÿ˜ฐ
de Falco: "Look, Schettino, you may have saved yourself from the sea but I will really hurt you. I will cause you a boatload of trouble! Get back on board, for fuัk's sake!" ๐Ÿคฌ

Schettino continues to act confused and effectively refuses.

[b]SATURDAY 12:45:01 AM (people still on board: 145)[/b]

The captain makes it ashore.

[b]SATURDAY 12:50:01 AM (people still on board: 138)[/b]

It is said that Giglio's police chief finds over a hundred survivors on the rocks at Point Gabbianara and among them is the captain. It is not known whether the captain helped anyone while he was there and in fact, the police chief claimed he just sat on the rocks and watched other people do the rescuing.

[b]SATURDAY 03:50:01 AM (people still on board: 70)[/b]

A while later, a rescue boat picks up the captain and takes him to the harbor. He speaks to the police. He then finds the ship's on board chaplain and cries to him for about 15 minutes. Then he goes to the harbormaster's office to receive probably the biggest dressing down of his entire life.

[b]SATURDAY 04:55:32 AM (people still on board: 35)[/b]

Port authorities ask a taxi driver to take the captain back to his hotel. The captain takes the brief cab ride back to his hotel. According to the cabbie: "He was beaten like a dog. He was cold and afraid. He only asked me where he could buy a pair of fresh socks.

[b]SATURDAY 11:33:32 AM (people still on board: 35)[/b]

But then he perked right up again and gave an interview to a news crew. He told them that he was the last to leave!

Reporter: "The captain is usually the last to abandon ship. What happened captain?" ๐Ÿง
Captain: "We were the last to leave the ship." ๐Ÿ˜‡

All day, they rescue and search for people on the ship...

[b]SUNDAY 01:27:47 AM (people still on board: 33)[/b]

On Sunday morning, a South Korean couple is found in their cabin safe but shivering. They had slept through the crash and woke up unable to exit their cabin.

[b]SUNDAY 09:40:01 AM (people still on board: 32)[/b]

The last survivor - the cabin service director - was found with a broken leg.

In the end, 32 people died (33 counting a salvage worker who died in an accident on the ship 2 years later during the recovery.) The final body wasn't discovered until nearly three years later - a crew member Russel Rebello. It's believed he died a hero as he was last seen helping passengers off the ship.
The Costa Concordia was the largest cruise ship disaster since the Titanic.

[big]To be concluded...[/big]
[i]Credit for this goes to Internet Historian, please support the original release on YouTube.[/i]

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