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Cruise Ship Captain May Be Charged With Abandoning Ship

Aired January 18, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Last week, we asked a question on our blog about pardons. Today, we`re sharing what some of you had to say. I`m Carl Azuz. CNN Student News starts right now.


AZUZ: First up, authorities are questioning the captain of an Italian cruise ship that wrecked last Friday. The captain was under house arrest yesterday. He may be accused of abandoning ship. The captain says the rock that the ship hit was uncharted. And on his map, it was just marked as water.


AZUZ (voice-over): This is infrared video of the crash when it happened. It was taken by the Italian coast guard. You can see the ship on its side and the passengers lining up to get off the boat.

Here, you can see rescue workers pulling up alongside the ship. Other workers are already climbing up the hull. And this is the gash that the rock caused when the ship hit it. Once they make their way onto the ship, emergency crews, like the ones you see here, are searching all over for passengers.

As of Tuesday afternoon, nearly two dozen people were still reported missing. And look at this. We want you to watch right over the top of the ship. Rescue workers are setting off explosions so they can get better access to search the interior.

Yesterday they found five bodies, bringing the number of people known to have died in the crash to 11. Officials are investigating the specific details, but we know some information about how this all started. Michael Holmes is going to break it down for us.

Michael, what do you have?


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN REPORTER: All right, let`s take a closer look at how and where this all happened. The Costa Concordia was heading north near Giglio Island. You can see it there. Now let`s have a look at the normal route that this boat normally takes. This happens dozens of times a year. This is the normal course, heading north.

But you can see here, this is where it changes course. This happened about 9:15 pm on Friday night. It`s not just any old detour, either. This is a four-kilometer detour to take a closer pass to the island, presumably to get a better view of the island. It`s quite stunning at night, apparently. Let`s zoom in now on the new course as it approaches Giglio.

You can see here, the vessel strikes a reef right there. And at about 9:30 pm local time, this is just a few hundred meters off the coast. The captain continues on, a 15-meter gash in the hull. And the -- and the power is out. Taking on water, at some point, he decides that he`s going to turn toward shore and gets in closer.

And you can see that`s when the listing begins, as he turns towards land. The ship, coming to its rest on its side, and that`s where it ended up, just meters away from the lighthouse at the entrance to Giglio Harbor.


AZUZ: Our website is It`s where you can go to get the latest details on this story. This is going to keep developing as rescue workers keep going. So is also where you can watch a report by Brian Todd about how ship captains train for emergencies. It`s all in the "Spotlight" section at


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes to Coach Howell`s classes at Brook land-Cayce High School in Cayce, South Carolina. What country is home to Mount Kilimanjaro. You know what to do.

Is it Argentina, Botswana, Nepal or Tanzania? You`ve got three seconds, go.

You`ll find Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The mountain is the highest peak in all of Africa. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: And that means Kyle Maynard had quite the view. He climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and reached the top on Sunday. Not the first person to do that, but he is the first quadruple amputee to make it up the mountain without any assistance.


AZUZ (voice-over): Maynard was born with a condition called congenital amputation. His arms stop at the elbows and his legs end near his knees. This is file footage of him, training for the Kilimanjaro climb last year.

We featured Kyle Maynard on our show before. He`s a motivational speaker and he has told reporters that he hoped his efforts would show other people no challenge is too big.


AZUZ: Following up now on a story out of Alaska, fuel is flowing into Nome. We reported last week on the first-ever attempt to deliver fuel to the city through the sea ice. A Coast Guard icebreaker was helping guide a Russian tanker ship into Nome.


AZUZ (voice-over): More than a million gallons of fuel started flowing in on Monday evening. The tanker couldn`t go all the way into the harbor. It`s anchored out in the sea. And the fuel is being pumped through 1,200 yards of hoses.

Officials considered flying fuel into Nome, but it would have taken more than 300 flights.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? Mussels, like you find in the sea, are animals.

Totally true. Mussels are mollusks, and these animals live in the ocean, lakes, rivers and creeks.


AZUZ: Someone who definitely knew that answer is Samantha Garvey. She`s the focus of our next report from Mary Snow. Thanks to Garvey`s research on mussels, the high school student is in the running for an award that comes with a $100,000 scholarship. It`s tough competition, but Garvey has some experience overcoming adversity.


MARY SNOW, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Seventeen-year-old Samantha Garvey is an aspiring marine biologist with a keen sense of tough shells.

SAMANTHA GARVEY, INTEL CONTEST SEMIFINALIST: They all congregate with each other.

SNOW (voice-over): She`s spent years studying mussels and how they protect themselves. But at New York`s Brentwood High School, she`s learned some lessons of her own about being tough when the odds are stacked against you.

She was chosen as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search. But Samantha got the exciting news at a homeless shelter. Her family`s been living there since being evicted from their home December 31st.

S. GARVEY: It`s worrisome, you know. It`s just been really worrisome, because you think where am I going to be? Like if something doesn`t come through, am I going to be in a homeless shelter?

SNOW (voice-over): Samantha`s parents were both injured in a car accident last year. They both lost time at work, which caused them to fall behind on bills.

As the family struggled, Samantha says she got her inspiration from school and her science teacher, Rebecca Grella, a two-time breast cancer survivor.

S. GARVEY: She told us her story. I thought, wow, that is amazing. And I took that from her.

SNOW: How does it feel to hear this?

REBECCA GRELLA, TEACHER, BRENTWOOD HIGH SCHOOL: It works both ways. What I take from Sam is her humbleness, her ability to reach out to others, to give effortlessly.

SNOW (voice-over): Samantha`s story grabbed the attention of officials in New York`s Suffolk County. They are now providing the Garvey family with public housing.

S. GARVEY: This is -- you know, this is just the most amazing thing you could ask for. I know everyone -- we`re all in tears here, like we can barely compose ourselves enough to speak.

SNOW (voice-over): With the tears, there was disbelief from Samantha`s mother, Olga.

OLGA GARVEY, SAMANTHA`S MOTHER: I break in tears sometime. What? This happened? And say, yes. This is happening.

SNOW (voice-over): Samantha`s father says his daughter`s always been a fighter, weighing only two pounds when she was born.

LEO GARVEY, SAMANTHA`S FATHER: She`s gone from one little tiny thing to a giant, a giant of a woman.

SNOW (voice-over): Mary Snow, CNN, Brentwood, New York.


AZUZ: Excellent story there. Onto our first blog report of 2012. We heard a common theme in your responses to last week`s blog post at We asked you what a president or governor should consider when pardoning a criminal.


From Ariana: what needs to be reviewed is the severity of the crime. The only people who should be let out are the ones who are not a threat to society.

Ally says leaders should look at what the crime was, what the criminal`s behavior was like, and how long they`ve been in custody. She adds, "It sends a bad message of even if you are convicted, you don`t always have to pay the full penalty."

Nicole asked, "What if the criminals haven`t changed? What if they might do something like that again?"

And Ian adds that officials should consider whether the criminal can get a job or if he has a place to live and family support.

Olivia suggests that governors look really hard at the criminal`s background before giving him or her a pardon.

And Will says if someone is convicted of a murder, then it would be the smarter or common sense answer not to let them out of jail.


AZUZ: All right. Before we go today, we are visiting a playful conversation in Alabama.


AZUZ (voice-over): From skyscrapers all the way down to the street, everything here is built by blockheads.

This is a Lego convention. Fans and builders came together for the recent event. Some of these creations are no joke. One display uses around half a million pieces, and is estimated to be worth $200,000.

For many Lego fans, the hobby began when they were kids. They started off small, and then --


AZUZ: -- things built from there. This story had us toying around with several "punsibilities," like it`s time for us to Lego of your attention. But we hope you`ll block out 10 minutes again tomorrow for more CNN Student News. See you then.