Experts appointed by the Court of Inquiry report ship's voyage data recorder out of order prior to the accident, plus other safety infringements
Not all of the Costa Concordia’s control systems were working. When the ship ran aground on 13 January off the island of Giglio, it was navigating with watertight doors open and charts that were “not approved", informs Fiorenza Sarzanini in a news report carried by the 'Corriere Della Sera'
But the most serious anomaly, according to the experts’ findings, concerns the 'black box' (Voyage Data Recorder') which had not been working since 9 January, four days before the shipwreck that cost thirty-two lives.
Experts appointed by the court of Grosseto put this in their report, also pointing out that they had only been able to examine data from the ship’s computer. They had to work on incomplete evidence since no data at all was recorded after 11.36 pm on 13 January. This means that most of the evacuation of the ship took place “in the dark”. They were also unsure whether data recorded on the computer, rather than on the malfunctioning 'black box', had been interferred with in some way.
Watertight doors: The ship’s officers confirm that the doors were open because, as Simone Canessa, who was on the bridge, says in his statement, “this was standard practice during navigation to make it easier for those who were working to come and go”.
Recordings from the operations rooms show that the doors were in fact left open. It is no coincidence that forty minutes after impact, Staff Captain Ciro Ambrosio ordered the watertight doors to be shut. The order could not be carried out because the switches were not working.