CEO Admits Costa Sometimes Encouraged Its Captains to Sail Near the Coast
Pier Luigi Foschi, chief executive officer of Costa Cruises, admitted to a Senate committee in Rome that the company “did sometimes encourage its captains to sail close to the coast, saying the practice was ‘in demand’ and ‘helps enrich the product,’” according to the Vancouver Sun. Such a maneuver caused the tragic COSTA CONCORDIA accident on Jan. 13, when Captain Francesco Schettino strayed from the ship’s authorized course to sail near Giglio in a move known as a “sail-by.” The ship struck a reef and capsized, resulting in the loss of at least 16 lives. Foschi says Costa did not authorize the sail-by.
According to the BBC, Captain Schettino has admitted to making a navigational mistake, telling an investigating judge that he “‘was navigating by sight’” because he “‘knew the depths well and . . . had done this manoeuvre three or four times,’” but that this time, he “‘ordered the turn too late’” and “‘ended up in water that was too shallow.’” Satellite tracking information obtained by the BBC indicates a similar Giglio sail-by in August 2011 — pre-approved by Costa — took the ship even closer to Giglio and within 200 meters of where the cruise ship accident occurred.
Regardless of whether Costa authorized the maneuver this time, the company is responsible for the actions of its employees, including Captain Schettino. Furthermore, if a company “sometimes” encourages sailing near coastlines, its captains may come to believe such maneuvers are okay, perhaps taking liberties in performing sail-bys without prior authorization, as did Schettino.
COSTA CONCORDIA survivors and those who lost a loved one in this tragic accident should contact an experienced maritime trial lawyer at Latti & Anderson LLP to learn about their rights. You may have a cause of action, but you must act before the time for filing a lawsuit passes.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime attorneys