COSTA CONCORDIA DISASTER: Bell Disappears From Shipwreck Site. The RMS TITANIC’S Bell Was Saved.

Underwater thieves have evaded an array of laser systems that measure millimetric shifts in the Carnival Corp’s Costa Concordia shipwreck and 24-hour surveillance by the Italian coast guard and police to haul off a symbolic booty – the ship’s bell.  The giant cruise liner capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio after hitting a rock on January 13, killing at least 25 people. Seven people are still unaccounted for.

(Left: The bell from the crow’s nest was rung moments before the RMS Tittanic struck an iceberg.) The bell from the RMS Titanic was saved.

Prosecutors have accused Captain Francesco Schettino of causing the accident by bringing the multi-storey Costa Concordia, which was carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew, too close to the shore.

Now prosecutors have opened an investigation to find out who filched the modern-day Titanic’s bell.

Judicial sources said on Thursday thieves nabbed the ship’s bell more than two weeks ago from one of the decks of the Costa Concordia, which is submerged in 8 meters (26 feet) of water.

Investigators suspect more than one person was involved in stealing the heavy bell, etched with the ship’s name and 2006, the year it was christened. Ships bells were traditionally used to signal half-hour intervals in a four-hour watch.

“I can only guess that someone took it as a sort of morbid memento,” Giglio’s mayor, Sergio Ortelli, told Reuters.

“In my mind, the missing bell is of no importance. We have the ship’s statue of the Madonna in our church, and that for us has much more symbolic meaning.”

Divers recovered the meter-tall plaster statue of the Madonna in January from the ship’s chapel and gave the statute to the parish priest of Giglio.


About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…

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