I would like to express my sincerest condolences to all those who have lost family members and friends on the Costa Cordonia. Whilst the survivors have suffered unimaginable terror, hope remains that those still missing will be found quickly.
Costa Cruises were quick to lay blame solely on the rogue master of the ship - suggesting that he'd taken a bad decision by steering the vessel many nautical miles off course, sailing too close to the island and abandoning ship. Something which was "unauthorised, unapproved and unknown to Costa".
However, Lloyd's Lists tracking information shows that in August 2011 the Cordonia sailed even closer to the island of Giglio to mark the night of the Shooting Stars Festival, without incident. The route deviation was apparently authorised by Costa Cruises.
Italian Costa Cruises have surprisingly chosen Clarence Mitchell as their official spokesperson which, depending on his role, may pose a problem considering the many differing nationalities of passengers. Unless Mr Mitchell happens to be multi-lingual.
I am not defending the captain in any shape or form - after seeing and hearing the news over the last few days, I am appalled. However, with headlines such as 'Captain 'fell' into lifeboat', in depth detail and the coastguard recording freely and quickly available to the media, it could be construed that Mr Mitchell is already on the job... and not simply in his capacity as spokesperson? Deja vu? Mr Mitchell said "...there is a criminal investigation going on and we're not going to say anything that's going to compromise that or the captain's case." Too late - Costa Cruises had already publicly washed their hands of the captain, and laid the blame firmly on his shoulders.
Clearly he is representing Costa Cruises alone and not the captain.
Is there a case for corporate manslaughter? I'm not sure if even Michael Clayton could 'fix' this one, although I know who I'd rather be seeing on the news...