Third Survivor Resured from Italian Cruise Ship; 17 Still Missing

Posted January 15th, 2012 at 9:15 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

A third survivor has been rescued from that Italian cruise ship that ran around late Friday off the coast of northern Italy as the number of missing has been reduced from around 40 to 17.

A helicopter lifted a crew member from the ship on Sunday, 36 hours after the incident. He was hospitalized with a broken leg.

On Saturday, a South Korean couple on their honeymoon was rescued uninjured from the ship, the Costa Concordia. The more than 4,000 people who were on board were about to sit down to dinner when the huge vessel hit a rock and flipped onto its side.

At least three people were killed, two French passengers and a Peruvian crew member. More than 30 others were injured.

The vessel's Italian captain has been arrested and is facing charges of manslaughter. Italian authorities say he had sailed off course and then abandoned the ship.

Survivors have described a chaotic and terrifying evacuation. One of them was an American tourist who said some people had to swim to the shore.

“We were all standing there, and as the boat started going a little quicker, turning, I saw one of the cranes… It popped the life raft, and it exploded and it went boom! And it just crashed. There were two people on it, they got off I think.. we saw like five people jump in the water and start swimming, and I looked and the other crane next to me, which was three feet above water, one meter above water, was like two meters below water.”

An investigation is under way to determine why the ship ran aground. When it hit the rocks, officials say, passengers were instructed to put on life jackets and to take to life rafts. However, those on board said the hull tilted so sharply and quickly that many lifeboats could not be lowered into the water.

The Costa Concordia is 290 meters long, with 13 decks. It had 13 bars, five restaurants, four swimming pools and 500 balconied staterooms.