Lying like a beached whale, the Costa Concordia remains the focus of many unanswered questions. Most likely, we will not know what really happened until the voyage data recorder (VDR), or black box, is analyzed.
But Beniamino Deidda, the chief prosecutor of Tuscany who is overseeing the inquiry into the Costa Concordia disaster, urged investigators to look beyond the behavior of Captain Schettino, who is currently under house arrest with charges of manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship.
"For the moment, attention is generally concentrated on the responsibility of the captain, who showed himself to be tragically inadequate. But who chooses the captain?" Deidda said.
Mentioning "lifeboats that did not come down, crew who did not know what to do and scant preparation in crisis management," Deidda remarked that the ship's owner "is the guarantor and is responsible."
Talking to a parliament committee, the head of Italy's Coast Guard corps, Admiral Marco Brusco, said that Capt. Schettino lost a precious hour after the collision. Without that waste of time, "it would have been possible to lower the lifeboats with calm, put the people at ease," and possibly save all passengers, Brusco said.
The sinking of Carnival's Costa Concordia could be the biggest loss in maritime history, reaching $1 billion once environmental damage and liability claims are filed on behalf of those who were injured and killed in the crash.
BIG PIC: Satellite Photos Stricken Cruise Ship from Orbit