It could've been worse, says Indian on capsized liner

It could've been worse, says Indian on capsized liner

John Fernandes, 28, was a waiter on the giant cruise ship Costa Concordia, whose fate has been described by passengers as 'Titanic-like'.

The captain of the ship has been arrested while at least three people are confirmed dead and 41 missing, as rescue operations continue.

Fernandes, who hails from Goa, said: "We were working in the restaurant — it was the second sitting — and suddenly there was a bang, and the plates and bottles started falling on the floor".

The ship was carrying 3,206 passengers and 1,023 crew members.  Describing the ordeal, Fernandes told The Sunday Telegraph: "After five minutes there was another bang, this time it was very big, and the lights went off. There was then an announcement of a technical problem, we were told everything was under control. People were scared, there was panic. Then the ship started to tilt".

He added: "There was a general emergency alarm — seven short blasts then a long one — which means you have to go to muster stations. After another 10 minutes there was an announcement to abandon ship".

People on the ship, he said, started to get into lifeboats, but they could do so only on side of the ship because those on the other side could not be used due to the steep tilt of the ship.

Fernandes said: "Some of my colleagues had no option but to jump — they were on the tilted side, they saw the water was very close. They survived."

He said the situation could have been far worse had it happened a few hours later, when most people would have been asleep, or had they been further out to sea.
"If it had happened at 4am, it would have been very different," he added. A British woman who escaped from the ship told her father the scene "felt like the sinking of the Titanic". Dancer Rose Metcalf, 22, had been performing on the ship when it ran aground off the coast of Tuscany.

She was one of the last people to be winched to safety by a helicopter after clinging to the stricken cruise liner.

Some of the passengers said they were considering taking legal action against the vessel's owners.

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