Pa. Newlyweds Describe Chaos Of Cruise Ship Disaster
By Elizabeth Hur
LANCASTER, Pa. (CBS) – There are new developments Monday in the “Disaster at Sea” in Italy involving the Costa Concordia.
Six people are confirmed dead and at least 29 are missing.
Two Americans are among the missing and divers continue to search the ship. Meantime, choppier waters are battering the ship. It is still shifting and fears are growing that 500,000 gallons of fuel still aboard could spill.
The Italian cruise line that operates the ship has accused the captain of causing the wreck — saying he made an “unapproved and unauthorized maneuver.”
The cruise line has hired a Norwegian company to remove the fuel as well as the ship from the reef.
Passengers continue to speak out about the frantic moments on the ship as they scrambled for their lives. Monday afternoon, a local couple recounted how their honeymoon turned into a nightmare.
The Mauris from Lancaster, Pennsylvania got married in September. They say they waited to book their honeymoon until now because they wanted something to look forward to. It was supposed to be a trip of their lifetime. Instead, they returned home grateful to be alive.
“We’re going to either die or we’re going to end up swimming.”
That’s what Megan and Robert Mauri thought when they realized their cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, was sinking.
Megan explained, “It just felt like the Titanic all over again.”
Robert Mauri added, “The ship was tilting so bad that the toilet water was flowing out into the hallway.”
It was on the first night of their honeymoon, about three hours into the cruise when they knew something had gone awry. But initially they were told it was only a problem with the generator.
Robert said, “They wouldn’t let us on the lifeboat until they got the go-ahead. Then once we were on the lifeboat, the ship was such at a steep angle the boat wouldn’t fall because it would rest on the deck.”
“But then we started to ply the boat off the ramp and the oars were just snapping as we were trying to get if off the railing. It was just a complete nightmare,” Megan said.
“Then a couple people ran around the corner and said, ‘Hey, there are lifeboats on the other side of the ship,’ so we literally slid through the bar area to go to the other side of the ship,” Robert recalled.
So understandably, they’re thrilled to be home with family and friends but they admit they are disappointed and bothered by the company’s inactions.
“My parents were listed as our emergency contacts and after the incident happened, I called my mom and she didn’t even know this happened until the news reported it so that was kind of shocking and we still haven’t heard anything from Costa,” Robert said.
Megan added, “So on our own, we had to figure out how to get to the American Embassy and finally we were able to get a shuttle bus and take a cab and get our passports and finally arrange the flights on our own to get out of there.”
Among the many questions they have for Costa: Why there wasn’t a safety course at the start of the cruise and why they were lied to initially about the crash. They say some of the crew members were helpful but most of them seemed clueless.