Ten years later, the images of the Costa Concordia accident after colliding with a rock on the night of January 13, 2012 off the island of Giglio (Italy) continue to move the world. In the incident, which forced the evacuation of 4,229 passengers, 32 people died and 64 were injured. It was attributed to a risky maneuver ordered by its captain, Francesco Schettino, who, following a seafaring tradition, approached the island with the 290-meter-long ocean liner, with the intention of “greeting” its inhabitants.
At the time of the accident, most of the passengers were having dinner. A married couple from Tenerife and their three-year-old daughter had just arrived at their cabin, located on the eighth floor. There, Bernardo, Inés and the little girl heard a loud knock. He took his wife and the girl and they went up to the deck, where the rescue boats were. “It was the same as the Titanic. When we were on the deck, many people fell down, because the ship was sinking and while some boats were being evacuated, others were coming on top of us,” Bernardo García declared then, just 48 hours after the accident, as reported by DIARIO journalists. OF NOTICES Fran Domínguez and José Luis Cámara.
The ship was stabilized in September 2013, in an unprecedented operation in naval history, and a year later it was scrapped. In the complex operation, which involved a cost of 600 million euros, 30 ships and more than 500 technicians of 17 nationalities participated. Among them, the professional diver Moisés Pires, a resident of El Médano, who performed tasks as a diving supervisor, drove a pontoon (boat without a motor to load material) and helped braid cables to tie cement bags of up to 15 tons. , “so that when the ship turned it would fall to a surface as straight as possible”, Pires explained yesterday to this newspaper, who did not hesitate to describe the stabilization maneuver as an “impressive engineering work”.
Ten years later, the Tenerife diver refers to the experience as “epic”. He says that he got to know the captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino – who would abandon the cruise and end up in prison – during the reconstruction of the accident. “I accompanied him, along with the carabinieri, in the simulation of the last hours on the bridge before the collision; My job was to tell them where they should go.”
But the most critical moment occurred with the death of one of the Spanish technicians who participated in the operation to end the stranding of the ship. “He was a good friend, he had an accident when he was cutting some structures and I activated the emergency protocol, but he bled to death in my hands.”