|Photo by Susan J. Young|
Eight more bodies have been discovered in a submerged area onboard Costa Concordia, which had an accident Jan. 13 off the coast of Giglio, Italy. Italian civil protection officials confirmed the report for BBC News.
Two of the newly discovered bodies -- that of a woman and little girl -- have been removed from the ship. No positive identifications have yet been made, but five-year-old Dayana Arlotti from Italy was the only child who had been on the "missing" list.
Some 4,200 guests and crew were onboard at the time of the accident; most evacuated safely, despite difficult conditions onboard the listing vessel. Many lifeboats were not operational due to the angle of the ship's list, some guests had not received a muster drill prior to departure, and many questions remain about the captain's actions during this emergency.
Costa Concordia's accident has created calls for enhancements in cruise ship safety and procedures. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and other industry trade groups have already taken steps to review processes and procedures.
All CLIA member lines will now assure that lifeboat drills occur before any of their ships leave port. They also have pledged to work with the International Maritime Organization to assure future enhancements to safety.
In addition, cruise ship safety will be the target of a U.S. House of Representaties hearing on Feb. 29. Called by U.S. Rep. John Mica (R-FL), the hearing will be conducted before the House's Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Marine Transportation.
Travel agents may view the program at this link, which at the time of the hearing will feature a live video stream: http://transportation.house.gov/hearings/hearingdetail.aspx?newsid=1532