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23 April 2024

Did a Facebook prank sink the ill-fated Costa Concordia?

Rescuers wait on a boat near the Costa Concordia on January 15, 2012, after the cruise ship ran aground and keeled over off the Isola del Giglio, last night. Three people died and several were missing after the ship with more than 4,000 people on board ran aground sparking chaos as passengers scrambled to get off. Two South Korean honeymooners were rescued early today from the cruise as emergency crews searching for dozens missing. (AFP)


The captain of the doomed Italian cruise liner deliberately steered the ship close to land in a pre-planned stunt documented on Facebook, according to the UK Telegraph.

Even as the Costa Concordia's owners accused their captain of veering too close to shore in a bravura "salute" to residents of a Tuscan island, Giglio, fresh leads have come from an unlikely source - Facebook.

According to the daily, the captain made the disastrous and unauthorisied decision to move close to the island as a favour to the chief waiter who hails from the island and wanted to wave to his family members.

Apparently, minutes before the tragedy struck, the waiter's sister posted on Facebook,  "In a short period of time the Concordia ship will pass very close. A big greeting to my brother who finally get to have a holiday on landing in Savona."

A judge will decide later today whether the captain should remain jailed.

"We are struck by the unscrupulousness of the reckless manoeuvre that the commander of the Costa Concordia made near the island of Giglio," prosecutor Francesco Verusio told reporters. "It was inexcusable."

The death toll from the disaster has gone up to seven after the cruise liner ran aground off the coast of Italy, daily La Stampa said on its website.