Not a smashing start: Is this why the Concordia sank?

Jan 18, 2012

It was a bad omen when the champagne bottle failed to break against Concordia’s hull

BLAME for the sinking of the Costa Concordia is being laid at Captain Francesco Schettino’s suspiciously dry feet, but it seems the modern-day Lord Jim may have been fighting a losing battle from the start. 

Home video shot at the 2005 launch of the cruise liner shows the champagne bottle, which it’s customary to smash against a ship’s hull on its maiden voyage, failing to break, drawing gasps of dismay from the assembled crowd. 

Among notoriously superstitious seafaring types this is considered a bad omen in the extreme, and might explain the patchy luck the boat suffered even before its dramatic sinking on, wait for it, Friday the 13th. 

Foreshadowing things to come, the boat’s hull was gashed in 2008 while trying to get into Palermo harbour during bad weather. It is unclear whether Captain Schettino was at the helm during this first misadventure.

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