On 13 January 2012, the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia capsized off the coast of Tuscany after hitting a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Francesco Schettino, the captain of the cruise liner, was jailed for 16 years for multiple manslaughter immediately after the catastrophe that left 32 people lifeless.
On the tenth anniversary of the tragedy, the ship’s Italian pianist Antimo Magnotta, who is now residing and performing in London, has relived his terrifying ordeal and told Sky Information how he is continue to tormented by flashbacks from what he witnessed.
I was doing the job in a incredibly elegant bar at the again of the ship named Bar Vienna. I remember it was a gorgeous night, a starry evening, the sea was pretty serene and tranquil.
Then all of a sudden the ship out of the blue swerved and started off tilting. It was actually unforeseen because the ailments at sea intended it manufactured no feeling for this to materialize.
I thought to myself – “did we hit a whale or a large monster or one thing?”.
I fell in excess of and the piano started off drifting on stage. I still left the bar and uncovered myself stumbling alongside sloping corridors with passengers and crew customers. I was heading to the centre of the ship exactly where there would be more harmony.
When I got there I found myself with other crew customers and travellers on this huge dancefloor. We were being expecting some recommendations, some kind of explanation, but the ship commenced to have many blackouts and energy failures.
The ship was accomplishing some incredibly strange movements, it was tilting on a person side and then slowly and gradually titling on the other side, I was imagining to myself – “what is this?”.
Passengers and crew customers ended up screaming and contacting out names. We could not see each individual other in the darkness.
It was very cinematic I have to say, it looked like a David Lynch film really.
Eventually, immediately after far more than an hour, the crisis sign on board was sounded.
I was a pianist, but I was also a crew member, and I experienced been skilled to carrying out specified responsibilities in an emergency.
I attained my learn station and was in demand of a roll contact for 25 crew associates to embark on a existence raft. I try to remember four people today on my listing were missing.
I was expecting a crew member from the bridge (the space exactly where the ship is commanded) to arrive downstairs and lead myself and my crew associates to our selected daily life raft.
But no a single arrived from the bridge, and of study course the ship, in the meantime, was still undertaking this incredibly macabre choreography of little by little capsizing.
When the ship was tipping more than I was confronted with a portrait of an ongoing tragedy, a grotesque paradox.
It was like being within a cupboard of horrors. I largely recall the appears – there was this cacophony from the bowels of the ship. Persons were being screaming.
I describe the ship in this minute as getting like a swan in agony. It was struggling.
I inevitably observed a crew member dressed all in white carrying a box of walkie talkies. I questioned him what was likely on.
He whispered: “You should not you know? We strike a rock, and this induced a enormous leak on the aspect of the ship.”
He was really agitated, he was managing on adrenaline, and reported: “You know what, the greatest suggestion would be for you to operate for your lifestyle, and if you can, abandon the ship.”
I thought this should be some kind of joke, but then he just vanished.
All people was seriously panicking and stop up scattering all all-around.
This was the really starting of my particular nightmare, mainly because I had to perform a gruelling evacuation of the ship.
I realized in which the lifetime raft I was meant to get on was located, and I knew it would now be beneath h2o.
I was 41 at the time and said to myself I won’t be able to die, this will have to be a joke.
But I started out considering about my daughter and this induced a response in me, so I started off climbing on some metallic bars, some ladders, pipes, whatsoever I could locate in my way.
It took some time, but I uncovered myself on the flank of the ship outdoors, facing the darkish sea, keeping on to a winch, a crane, I was keeping on to this rope like I was clinging on to existence by itself.
All I had to do was just wait around to be rescued, It was complicated since it was pitch dim, the most challenging factor to do was to make myself obvious.
This lasted fairly considerably 4 hrs.
The ship was additional or considerably less on it side by this level, breaching at a very dramatic angle, perhaps 80 to 85 degrees, if not much more.
It was like the carcass of a stranded whale. I could sense and hear the demise rattle of the ship.
When I was on the flank of the ship I felt something is deteriorating, disintegrating, my impression, my tale, was fading away, it was vanishing, “I can not die,” I claimed to myself.
I was not alone of system, there was a bunch of in between 35 to 40 folks all-around me, travellers and crew users.
I could see rescue boats and there was incredibly frantic action in the water. Helicopters have been hovering previously mentioned but they didn’t feel to see us.
Sooner or later a very little rescue boat was despatched for us, and I will generally say, leaping in this very little rescue boat was like jumping back to lifetime.
It was 3am, more than five hrs immediately after the ship hit the rock, that the rescue boat dropped me off at Giglio Island.
It was like celebrating a second birthday, it was the starting of my second lifetime.
Regrettably, afterwards on, I acquired that two fellow musicians had shed their lives. My pal, a Hungarian violinist, who lost his lifetime, had just gone down to his cabin.
I just imagined to myself what if it had been the other way round?
This has haunted me for a extensive time.
In the aftermath of the catastrophe I was devastated and suffered from write-up-traumatic anxiety disorder.
I had psychological scars nonetheless lingering, survivor’s guilt and serious insomnia. I could not perform the piano any longer. I had a stone in my upper body and not a coronary heart.
I took up a new sort of self-treatment and started crafting, and I would cry occasionally of training course.
It was a way to specific myself and my anger.
These times I really feel substantially superior and I participate in the piano in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Now I am experience considerably much better, but even now I have terrible flashbacks and insomnia – my snooze is often interrupted.