The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs has confirmed that it now believes two Americans are missing onboard Costa Concordia.
Preliminary reports a day or so ago indicated all Americans were safe. But, with an accident that’s chaotic in the rescue operations, it’s not unusual for passenger numbers go up and down, particularly during the first 48 hours.
MyFoxTwinCities.com in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is reporting that the two missing Americans may be Gerald and Barbara Heil of White Bear Lake, MN. Read the story here at www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/16/friends-worry-minnesota-couple-among-those-missing-from-cruise-ship/.
In addition, investigators now say there may be still as many as 17 people still missing; that’s up from 15 people reported earlier. Apparently, two women from Sicily who were thought to be safe have not called family and friends; authorities now think they may still be onboard the ship.
Separately, the New York Daily News (www.nydailynews.com/news/world/americans-15-passengers-missing-costa-concordia-cruise-ship-disaster-article-1.1006437) is reporting what seems an unfathomable development.
Italian prosecutors said Sunday that the ship’s captain Francesco Schettino may have purposely have sailed close to Giglio’s shorelines so he could sound the ship’s horn as a greeting to a friend.
The New York Daily News story states the following: “There was someone in particular that wanted to be signaled from the ship,” said prosecutor Franco Verusio. “We are looking into the possible responsibility of other people in this hazardous maneuver,” he told Italian TV.
But in contrast to that story, there are also glimpses of heroism surfacing. Purser Marrico Giampetroni, 56, apparently was instrumental in putting hundreds of passengers into lifeboats before he slipped and fell – breaking his leg. He was rescued from the ship after 36 hours in the vessel.