National Geographic Channel to show the first U.S. documentary about Costa Concordia accident

There’s the old newspaper adage, “if it bleeds, it leads.” Apparently this also applies to television news…and now to programmed television, too.

Complete with exclusive “home” video and stories by American survivors, NatGeo is bringing the disaster up close and personal, to your new 55″ flat screen TV.

“It felt exactly like the Titanic — like what you see on the film, ‘Titanic’ — that’s what I was relating it to.” – Costa Concordia Passenger

During that week after the accident on superstitious Friday the thirteenth, comparisons were constantly made to the iceberg ramming of the RMS Titanic. Yes there are similarities, but certainly not in the amount of loss of life. The Titanic lost 1,517 souls vs. the Concordia’s 17 with several passengers still unaccounted.

Premiering Sunday, February 12, at 7 p.m. ET/PT and again Monday, February 13, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, NGC’s one-hour special Italian Cruise Ship Disaster: The Untold Stories weaves together in-depth stories from passengers and staff on board as well as Coast Guard rescuers with stunning home video (some never before seen on U.S. television) and CGI to reconstruct the sinking of the Costa Concordia as it happened.

Some of the questions that the show will attempt to answer include how did the ship sink and could it have been prevented. There will be more in depth comparisons to the Titanic and why the passengers weren’t given an earlier warning. Entitled, “Italian Cruise Ship Disaster: The Untold Stories” works to understand this current headline tragedy more fully — from the time the luxury cruise liner departs from the Italian mainland to the collision with rocks that tear a 160-foot gash in the port side, and from floodwaters that rush in to the delayed passenger alert to the desperate evacuation. You’ll meet some of the heroes and learn about those who actions clearly were not at all heroic.

On January 13, 2012, the Costa Concordia was carrying more than 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew, including Americans Sameer and Divya Sharma from Massachusetts, who were celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary, and 18-year-old Amanda Warrick, another Massachusetts resident, who had never been to Europe and was traveling with her older brothers. It’s Friday the 13th, and while the Sharmas shrug off any bad luck, the Warrick siblings toss out the idea that “something’s gonna happen.”

The nightmare is soon realized. The ship detours off course and hits the rocks. Amanda describes the immediate impact, saying, “At first there was a tilt and a shake of the ship, that’s when tables and glasses started crashing. I was kind of in shock, I remember immediately standing up and looking at my brothers. I was just kind of speechless and silent.”

Moments later, a blackout. Twenty-one-year-old Kirsty Cheslyn-Nuttal, a singer on the ship, describes how the captain’s deck notifies them of an “electrical failure” that they were “working to restore,” so she said, “my friends got their laptops and we all sat in the corridor watching films [laughs] … we were unaware completely.”

Italian Cruise Ship Disaster: The Untold Stories outlines the chaos of the day, including the passengers’ calls to the Coast Guard, the Coast Guard’s calls to the ship, the ship’s response that there was a blackout but that it was under control, and the continued announcements that everything was fine. Nearly one hour after the impact, the captain calls an emergency on board.

According to National Geographic, you’ll “hear the panicked stories as passengers and crew describe the scramble to get on to the last remaining lifeboats, jumping off and swimming frantically to shore, those waiting for helicopter rescue, the Coast Guard’s search for survivors, and the outrage over the captain’s abandoning ship.”

If you haven’t already watched dozens of hours of news coverage since this very sad and very preventable disaster occurred, or you just can’t get enough of this sort of timely documentary, be sure to tune in for back-to-back broadcasts of Italian Cruise Ship Disaster: The Untold Stories which will run on Sunday, February 12, at 7p.p. ET/PT and again on Monday, February 13, at 10p.m. ET/PT.

Source: National Geographic

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