No one has blogged about it, so I thought I would be the first to do it. For those of you who don’t know a large cruise ship, “The Costa Concordia” , which is part of the Carnival Cruise Lines crashed just off the coast of Italy this past week. The boat struck rocks a few hundred yards from shore and the boat capsized and fell on its’ side. There are 11 people dead and still 21 people missing from the tragic accident.
This year marks the hundred year anniversary of the Titanic sinking. However, I don’t think the two events can be remotely compared. The Titanic was a fraction of the size of the Costa Concordia. The Titanic struck an ice berg in the middle of the artic. That water was near freezing. This boat struck rocks a few hundred yards from shore. Shouldn’t an experienced captain know where those rocks are? Even if the GPS and radar systems were down (which they weren’t) the captain could rely on pure site to see the vessel was a few hundred yards from shore, even at night.
Now the story gets murkier. By law, a captain of the ship must stay on board to help with the evacuation process. The captain of boat, Francesco Schettino is claiming that while he was helping evacuate the ship he “slipped and fell into a life boat”. With his absence during the evacuation, 11 people have died and 21 people are still missing. He is being held on trial to abandoning ship and for involuntary manslaughter.
Now Carnival Cruise Line really have their hands full. This is a PR nightmare. Not only does an experienced boat captain crash the ship into shore, which is distinctly visible by everyone. The captain also abandons ship during evacuation. You have 11 people dead and 21 missing. Is this the image you want to portray to possible customers of future cruises? How do you handle this if you are the PR professionals for Carnival? How do you win back the trust of your audience and your customers?
Carnivals stock fell 14% on the day of the accident and investors and analysts already lowered 2012 profit projections and it’s the FIRST MONTH of the year. Talk about a crisis. How would you handle this?
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