Ten years after the sinking of the Costa Concordia, an Irish couple recount the nightmare of that fateful day.
T was Seamus and Carol Moore’s first cruise vacation, and it would be their last.
The Tipperary couple spoke of their near brush with death as the world celebrates today the 10th anniversary of the sinking of the luxury cruise ship off Italy, which claimed 33 lives.
Mr Moore said the sad day in 2012 was, in fact, Friday the 13th.
total cost of the disaster – which resulted in the dismantling of the eight-year-old cruise ship – Estimated €1.5bn.
The tragedy killed about three dozen people at Isola del Giglio on the Tuscan coast – 27 passengers, five crew members and, later, a member of the rescue team.
After sinking the 114,000-ton ship attempted a sail-by salute behind the Giglio, an impromptu maneuver previously performed by the captain, Francesco Scitino, to impress passengers and locals.
However, the liner collided with an underwater rock listed on its starboard side and partially capsized.
Captain Skitino, who abandoned his ship while 300 passengers were still stranded, was later sentenced to murder, shipwreck, abandonment of his passengers, and 16 years in prison.
Moores, who lives in Clonmel, chose the Italian cruise break as a special holiday to mark Carol’s 50th birthday.
Recalling the night of the disaster, he told how he was fearing for his life.
“Around this time of year – I think it is the 10th anniversary and a lot of people are texting me – but I want to forget about it. We just want to move on,” said Mr. Moore.
“Me and Carol have said this is the past – this is 10 years ago and we want to leave it there. We just said, ‘Look, it’s gone – let’s go’.
“We’re getting a lot of calls, but we’ve decided we don’t want to revisit it. It’s a fact of life — it happened, but we don’t want to be any part of it.”
The Costa Concordia cruise was the first the pair ever booked—and they never opted for an at sea vacation again.
“No, I wouldn’t be interested in another cruise. We had to take a ship from the island back to the mainland [after the tragedy],” said Mr. Moore.
“We’ve always wanted to do a cruise. We thought it would be great to stay in a hotel room and wake up in another country — plus, if you’re on a ship, you’re on a ship.
“item [the sinking] Definitely helped make the decision for us. It was our first cruise – our only cruise.”
The couple admitted that, 10 years ago, they feared they would not survive as the giant ship began to tip over.
Mrs Moore said that as the list began, her first thought was to contact her adult and teenage children – Luke, Claire and James – in Tipperary.
“I just needed to talk to the kids because I thought we were finished,” she said. “You just wonder, how do you get off this ship? Then peace comes upon you.
“You kind of resign, and then you think, Maybe there’s something else to be expected. So you just keep going.”
Mr Moore recalled that shortly after 9.20 a.m. that night, he noticed that the ship had begun to judge and then began listing heavily.
“The boat is listed and everything was crashing one way and then the next,” he said.
“And one thing I did notice was that the piano player kept playing. I thought I was on Titanic.
“While we were sitting on the side of the ship [waiting for rescuers] I told Carol, ‘Now we know how Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet felt’.”
His wife replied: “Well, at least Kate lived.”
“I think that’s what was driving him,” said Mr. Moore.