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SF news: Costa Concordia passengers told 'return to cabins, all under control'

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SF news: Costa Concordia passengers told 'return to cabins, all under control' (photos)

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Top news here in San Francisco is about the rescue efforts on the Costa Concordia cruise ship that sank off the coast of Italy.

"Such a terrible tragedy and loss of life," says San Francisco resident Jackie McElroy. The search for bodies has now been called off. (See that article here: SF learns: Costa Concordia search called off, bodies with life jackets found)

According to Wikipedia, those rescue efforts on the Costa Concordia were significantly hampered because of the actions of Captain Francesco Schettino. He has denied all wrong-doing (See that article here:Costa Concordia captain says did not leave ship early (photos, video))

Wikipedia says that, at the time the Costa Concordia hit the rock, which was at 21:40, Schettino told passengers over the loudspeaker that the loud bang they heard was merely an electrical problem.

Then, half an hour later, video that was taken on one passenger's mobile phone at 22:20 clearly shows passengers in life jackets panicking but being told by a crew member that "everything is under control."

The crew member told them to go back to their cabins, says The Sun newspaper in the U.K. One couple had even called a friend during the tragedy to ask that he did not tell their daughter (See that story here: Italian cruise ship desperate calls: 'please don't tell my daughter about this')

It wasn't until 22:42, says Wikipedia, that the Port authorities were told about the collision. That was over an hour after the impact had happened. The order to evacuate the ship was given at 22:50, an hour and ten minutes after the impact had occurred.

In the turmoil, one couple had handed over their baby, thinking she would die. (See that article here SF news: Italy cruise ship, one couple handed over their baby (photos, video))

Had the order to evacuate been given earlier, lives might not have been lost, said one crew member to a journalist, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

See another story by this Examiner here:

Costa Concordia captain says did not leave ship early (photos, video)

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See photos and video on the left-hand side of this article. There is panic on the ship in the first video and in the second there is talk about the black box.

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