It could’ve been worse,says Indian on capsized liner

The fallout could have been worse if the capsized Italian cruise vessel had run aground a few hours later,when most people would have been asleep

Written by Press Trust Of India | London | Published: January 16, 2012 1:00 am

The fallout could have been worse if the capsized Italian cruise vessel had run aground a few hours later,when most people would have been asleep,or if the ship had been further out to sea,an Indian who survived the tragedy said.

John Fernandes,28,was a waiter on the giant cruise ship Costa Concordia,whose fate has been described by passengers as ‘Titanic-like’. The captain of the ship has been arrested while at least five people were confirmed dead and rescue operations continue to trace those missing .

Fernandes,who hails from Goa,said: “We were working in the restaurant — it was the second sitting — and suddenly there was a bang,and the plates and bottles started falling on the floor”. Describing the ordeal,Fernandes told The Sunday Telegraph: “After five minutes there was another bang,this time it was very big,and the lights went off. There was then an announcement of a technical problem,we were told everything was under control. People were scared,there was panic. Then the ship started to tilt”.

He added,“There was a general emergency alarm — seven short blasts then a long one — which means you have to go to muster stations. After another 10 minutes there was an announcement to abandon ship”.

People on the ship,he said,started to get into lifeboats,but they could do so only on one side of the ship because those on the other side could not be used due to the steep tilt of the ship. Fernandes said,“Some of my colleagues had no option but to jump — they were on the tilted side,they saw the water was very close. They survived.” “If it had happened at 4am,it would have been very different,” he added.

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