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