Photo: Costa Cruise Ship Sinks
One of the two bodies found Sunday in the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which sank off Italy’s Giglio Island earlier this weekend, is that of a Spaniard, officials said.
The bodies of Guillermo Gual, a 68-year-old Spanish national, and Giovanni Masia, an 86-year-old Italian citizen, were found inside the cruise ship, which sank on Friday night, raising the death toll from the accident to five.
The bodies were taken to a hospital in Grosseto, where they were identified.
Gual was part of a group of nine Spaniards, almost all of them relatives, from Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands.
The other members of the group lost contact with Gual as they tried to escape from the ship, which was carrying 4,229 people.
Gual was reported missing by Vicente Salvador, a 20-year-old student from Palma de Mallorca, who was traveling with his girlfriend, Maria Rosa, the victim’s niece, her parents and other friends and relatives.
Several of the people in the group managed to make their way up to the 10th deck and then back down to the 3rd deck to get life jackets after feeling the first impact, Salvador told Efe on Saturday.
The student said he, his girlfriend and several of her relatives managed to get into a lifeboat.
The lifeboat was stuck and those aboard had to use the oars to move it away from the cruise ship and over to Giglio, Salvador said.
Maria Rosa’s father, brother and a friend, however, remained aboard the ship and were “moved from one side to the other” until they reached a section of the vessel closer to the water and jumped into the sea, Salvador said.
At that point, they lost track of Gual, whose body was found on Sunday afternoon by coast guard divers searching the interior of the ship, Salvador said.
The two bodies were found in a submerged section of the Costa Concordia’s stern, officials said.
The bodies were discovered in a cabin and the two men were wearing life jackets, Giglio port authority spokesman Filippo Marina said.
A Peruvian crewmember and two French tourists also died in the shipwreck.
Among the 15 people listed as missing is Erika Soria, a 26-year-old crewmember from Peru.