MS Costa Concordia (Italian pronunciation: [ˈkɔsta konˈkɔrdja]) was a Concordia-class cruise ship built in 2004 by the Fincantieri‘s Sestri Ponente yards in Italy and operated from 2005 by Costa Crociere (a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation). The name Concordia was intended to express the wish for “continuing harmony, unity, and peace between European nations.”
Costa Concordia was the first of the Concordia-class cruise ships, followed by sister ships Costa Serena, Costa Pacifica, Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa, and Carnival Splendor built for Carnival Cruise Lines. When the 114,137 GT Costa Concordia and her sisters entered service, they were among the largest ships built in Italy until the construction of the 130,000 GT Dream-class cruise ships.
On 13 January 2012 at about 9:45 pm, in calm seas and overcast weather, under command of Captain Francesco Schettino, Costa Concordia struck a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea just off the eastern shore of Isola del Giglio, off the western coast of Italy about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Rome. This tore a 50 m (160 ft) gash on the port (left) side of her hull, which almost immediately flooded parts of the engine room and caused loss of power to her propulsion and electrical systems. With water flooding in and listing, the ship drifted back to Giglio Island, where she grounded just 500 m (550 yd) north of the village of Giglio Porto, lying on her starboard (right) side in shallow water with most of her starboard side under water.
Despite the gradual sinking of the ship, its complete loss of power, and its proximity to shore in calm seas, an order to abandon ship was not issued until over an hour after the initial impact. Although international maritime law requires all passengers to be evacuated within 30 minutes of an order to abandon ship, the evacuation of Costa Concordia took over six hours and not all passengers were evacuated. Of the 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew known to have been aboard, 30 people died, and two more passengers are missing and presumed dead
Concept and construction
The largest Italian cruise ship ever conceived, Costa Concordia was ordered on 19 January 2004 by Carnival Corporation in Fincantieri and built in the Sestri Ponente yard in Genoa, as yard number 6122. At the vessel’s launch at Sestri Ponente on 2 September 2005, the champagne bottle, released by model Eva Herzigová, failed to break, an inauspicious omen in maritime superstition. The ship was delivered to Costa on 30 June 2006. She cost €450 million (£372 million, US$570 million) to build.
Costa Concordia was 290.20 metres (952 ft 1 in) long, with a beam of 35.50 metres (116 ft 6 in) and a draught of 8.20 metres (26 ft 11 in). She had a diesel-electric power plant consisting of six 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 12V46C four-stroke medium-speed diesel generating sets with a combined output of 75.6 megawatts (101,400 hp). These main generators provided power for all shipboard consumers from propulsion motors to hotel functions like lighting and air conditioning. The ship was propelled by two 21-megawatt electric motors coupled to fixed-pitch propellers. Her service speed was 19.6 knots (36 km/h; 23 mph), but during sea trials, she achieved a speed of 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)..