Search and rescue operations have been suspended aboard the Costa Concordia, after the stricken Italian cruise liner began moving once again.
Coastguard spokesman, Cosimo Nicastro, said rescuers aboard the ship – which hit rocks near the island of Giglio a week ago – must be very cautious:
“The weather is getting worse,” he said. “And big waves are forecast, although the boat is quite sheltered from the wind, which is getting stronger.
“The problem is that the boat moved, so we now need to assess if it is stable or not before we continue with operations.”
Rescue workers have been going to around 50 metres inside the wreck, meaning that any such movements are very dangerous. Of more than 4,000 passengers, 11 are known to have died, while 24 are still missing, and hopes of finding any more survivors on board have all but disappeared.
Further controversy arose, as amateur video emerged showing the pandemonium shortly after the collision. While the ship was sinking, rather than organising an evacuation, one of the crew is seen telling the passengers:
“On behalf of the Captain, we are kindly asking you to go back to your cabins or, if you wish, to stay in the corner by the lounge.”
Authorities are now focusing on the removal of the more than 2,300 tonnes of fuel which remain on the ship.