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Carnival plc stock 17.5% down in early London trade after Costa Concordia

Carnival plc, the British holding company in Carnival Corp & plc group, suffered a sharp fall in its share price at London opening on Monday, the first trading day after grounding of Costa Concordia on Friday.

At 0915 local time, the shares traded 17.5% lower since the opening at £18.55. However, they had hot a low of £16.00 earlier in the day.

The current share price means that the company has lost almost half of its value since a 52 week high of £31.71 early last year. The shares trade nevertheless well below their lows reached earlier in the economic downturn as in late 2008, they hit a five year low of below £13.00.

“Significant human error” likely cause of Costa Concordia disaster

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

A “significant human error” has emerged as likely cause of grounding and subsequent capsizing of the 114,5000 gross ton Costa Concordia on Friday night, media reports say.

“Owners of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship said ‘preliminary indications’ suggested the captain may have been guilty of "significant human error", the Daily Telegraph newspaper in London reported on its website. In the early stages after the incident, a major technical problem with the ship’s diesel-electric propulsion plant was suggested as a possible cause, but this now looks increasingly remote reason to the accident.

"We are aware that the lead prosecutor has levelled serious accusations against the ship's Captain, who joined Costa Crociere in 2002 as a Safety Officer and was appointed Captain in 2006, after acting as Staff Captain as well,” Costa Crociere, owner of the 2006 built Costa Concordia, was reported by Daily Telegraph as saying.

Prosecutors believe Mr Schettino had been intending to perform the nautical equivalent of a fly-by past the island's main port when the accident happened. It had apparently become a long-standing practice for the Costa Concordia to sail close to the island in order to greet its inhabitants with a siren from the ship. The tradition appears to have begun when the wife of a former senior officer lived on the island.

The tradition appears to have begun when the wife of a former senior officer lived on the island and he would take the ship close to Giglio to greet her. There were reports last night that the vessel's current officers had a friend ashore, from the Italian merchant navy, that they wanted to salute in a similar manner. As the ship approached the port from the south, it sailed too close to the coastline and struck a rocky reef, known to locals as "Le Scole", a few hundred yards out. Islanders said they had never seen the ship try to pass so close before. Ships usually pass by up to five miles away. A 160ft gash was torn in the £370 million ship's hull, causing it to take on large quantities of water in minutes and list violently. The 4,200 passengers and crew were told to abandon ship, Telegraph said..

Reports about this practise started to circulate in the media on Sunday after La Stampa, an Italian newspaper, reported it had obtained copy of a letter in which mayor of Giglio had thanked the ship's officers for sailing past the island at close range and founding its foghorn 

Telegraph continued by saying that Franco Verusio, the procurator of Grosseto who is leading the investigation, said: "Schettino approached the island of Giglio in a carelessly clumsy manner. The ship hit a reef which embedded itself in the left flank, the ship listed and took on lots of water in the space of two or three minutes. Captain Schettino was in command at that point. "He was the one who ordered that course to be taken, at least according to what we have discovered. There was someone in particular that wanted to be signalled from the ship."

Mr Schettino, who is being questioned on suspicion of multiple manslaughter, claimed yesterday that the reef had not appeared on the nautical charts and had not been picked up by the ship's navigation systems. "We should have had deep water beneath us," he said. "We were about 300 metres [1,000ft] from the rocks more or less."

Prosecutors also accused Mr Schettino of abandoning his ship "well before" the last of his passengers, a criminal offence that can carry a sentence of up to 12 years in jail. The captain denied this, insisting he was the last to leave.

The Concordia capsized after the captain tried to turn around and head into the island’s port in an apparent attempt to make it easier to evacuate. Mr Schettino’s lawyer, Bruno Leporatti, said his client’s manoeuvre had saved the lives of “several hundred people”. The rescue of the Korean honeymoon couple and Mr Giampetroni, who had a broken leg, gave hope to divers searching thousands of cabins for the missing. The ship’s “black box” navigation system is being examined — with officials saying that the vessel was up to four miles off course.

The death toll from Friday night's disaster, one of the worst in the cruise industry's recent history, rose to six today after rescuers discovered three more victims, including the bodies of two elderly men wearing life vests inside the vessel. A further 15 people remained missing, Daily Telegraph reported.

Passenger Shipping association (PSA) statement regarding Costa Concordia

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Our thoughts are with those passengers and crew involved with the Costa Concordia. 

Incidents of this nature are isolated and very rare. Ships' crews undertake rigourous training, drills and scenarios for emergency situations including the evacuation of a vessel. 

The ships themselves comply with stringent regulations and procedures from the governing maritime authorities covering every aspect of their build and operation. 

While focus should rightly be on attending to the immediate incident at hand there will, of course, be a full and thorough investigation into the causes of this event and the full cooperation of both the company and the wider industry is assured.  

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PSA is the cruise and ferry industries’ ceiling organisation in the UK.

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