Many print/broadcast reporters have been confused over ownership of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia that ran aground with 4,234 people on board Friday night off Giglio island, 18 miles off Italy’s central west coast, observes Grumpy Editor.
The 114,500-ton, 952-foot-long Italian-built ship, in service five and a half years, hit an object (possibly a rock) that caused a 160-foot gash in its hull, sending water gushing into the vessel. It rolled over in shallow water.
Passengers described the resulting confusion as reminiscent of the Titanic.
The ship was near capacity, with 4,234 people, including about 1,100 crew, on board.
Death toll reached five with 29 missing.
While most print and broadcast reports identified the ship as being Italian, run by Genoa-based Costa Cruises, actual owner is New York Stock Exchange-listed Carnival Corp. & plc, the world’s largest cruise ship operator, with dual headquarters in Miami and London.
Along with Costa, the company owns Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line among others, with a fleet of 101 ships. Another 10 ships are scheduled for delivery by March 2016.
Costa Cruises operates 15 ships.
Corporate public relations people will be very busy in the days ahead.
"This is a PR nightmare for the Costa brand," said Jaime Katz, equity analyst from investment research company Morningstar in Chicago, Reuters reported.
The stricken vessel was one of Carnival Corp.’s key assets in the lucrative European cruise market.