An Irish couple have revealed how they rang home and passed on details of their affairs as their luxury cruise liner ran aground off the Italian coast.
Tipperary couple Seamus and Carol Moore were on a birthday cruise when the Costa Concordia hit a rock and ran aground off Giglio Island near Tuscany on Friday night.
The captain of the show has already been arrested after the incident which has seen three people confirmed dead and almost 40 still missing.
Rescuers are currently aboard the boat which has listed 80 degrees.
Clonmel man Seamus Moore has explained how his wife and himself were bundled into overcrowded lifeboats when disaster struck as the majority of the passengers were seated for dinner.
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The pair managed to climb to the top of the boat and were eventually directed towards the lifeboats but even then disaster was only seconds away.
“For me it was particularly worrying when the lifeboat half collapsed, because at that stage I thought we’re dangling over water,” revealed Seamus.
“We were either going to be kicked out or it was going to break completely and fall into the water, and that would have been down a few storeys.
“My wife thought that when the ship fully listed, that was when we were going to lose our lives.”
The couple calmly took stock of the situation and pledged to survive.
“I suppose that’s when any panic we had dissolved, and we said look we’ll just make decisions as situations change and do what we can,” he said.
“When I managed to climb up onto the roof of the ship, the first thing I noticed was what a beautiful night it was, a balmy night in the Mediterranean.
“We decided to ring our friend who was caring for our youngest son, our two other children are students, just to let him know what the situation was, not to say anything to the children initially and to tell the kids that we loved them and tell them what our arrangements were in terms of leaving stuff, just in case.
“I suppose we were being practical and we had a plan that if it seemed the ship was going to roll, we would take to the water. Thankfully that didn’t happen.”