Calgary cruise couple comes home
Published Tuesday, January 17, 2012 12:43PM MST
A couple from Calgary is back home after a harrowing couple of days in Italy.
Laurence and Andrea Davis were on the ship, the Costa Concordia, when it hit rocks near the port area of Giglio and capsized late Friday.
The couple was forced to save their own lives as the giant cruise ship started to tip over.
The Davis' jumped from the ship and swam more than 100 meters to shore, the whole time wondering if the ship was going to tip right on top of them as it took on millions of litres of water.
Laurence Davis says when passengers realized the ship was sinking, panic took over.
"People were just coming down like ten pin bowling they're coming as human balls knocking anybody else over and slamming against the walls. People's limbs breaking, like legs. It was absolute pandemonium," said Laurence Davis.
The couple is on their way to Calgary from Rome and will be back in their home by Monday night.
Andrea Davis says surviving the ordeal has given both of them a new perspective on life.
"The only thing I can say to you is today is the first day of the rest of our lives," said Andrea Davis.
The investigation into the cause of the crash continues and the vessel's owner says the captain deviated from course without approval.
Pier Luigi Foschi, CEO of Costa Crociere, the company that owns the Costa Concordia luxury cruise liner, said the captain made an unauthorized deviation from the programmed course, a "human error" that caused the ship to hit rocks near the port area of Giglio and capsize late Friday.
4,200 people were on board when the ship began taking on water off the Tuscan coast.
At least six people died in the incident while 29 passengers and crew are still missing. The 12 Canadians on board are all reported safe.
The partially submerged ship is still on its side, perched on the rocks, and is starting to shift slightly. Officials fear a more significant shift could result in a massive fuel leak.
The ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, is under investigation for suspected manslaughter and abandoning ship before ensuring all passengers were evacuated safely. Coast Guard officials and passengers said they saw Schettino on land while people were still scrambling to get off the ship.
There have been suspicions Schettino may have ventured too close to shore in an effort to entertain islanders and passengers with a move known as a navigational "fly by."
Residents of Giglio said they had never seen the Concordia, which makes a weekly Mediterranean cruise, come so close to the dangerous reef area near the southern tip of the island.
Costa Crociere, which is owned by the world's largest cruiseline, Carnival Corp., said it will stand by Schettino and provide him with legal assistance even though it doesn't approve of his behaviour.
Schettino has insisted he didn't abandon the liner, telling Italian television that he had done everything he could to save lives.
Under the Italian navigation code, a captain who abandons a vessel in danger can face up to 12 years in prison.
(With files from The Associated Press and ctv.ca)