Atlanta couple reflects on Costa Concordia disaster, recovery

by: Diana Davis Updated:

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ATLANTA - Keiko Guest and Justin Evans were the only two Atlantans aboard the Costa Concordia when it wrecked on the rocks off the cost of Giglio, Italy. Channel 2’s Diana Davis sat down with the couple to hear their survival story and their thoughts on the ship’s salvage.

It was Jan. 13, 2012.  The couple had been on board only a few  hours and had just finished dinner.  

“Out of nowhere, this impact happened when we got up from our seats. It was quite obvious the whole ship was at that angle,” Guest said.

The captain, Francesco Schettino, claimed the reef wasn't on the nautical charts. He's now on trial for manslaughter, causing the wreck and abandoning ship. Both Atlanta survivors said they hope he’ll go to jail.

“The fact that he abandoned us. He's proven to be very craven in this whole thing. That hurts my heart,” Guest said.

Both Guest and Evans told Davis they are pleased the massive engineering operation to upright the ship was a success Tuesday.

The battered ruins of the Costa Concordia will be moved from its watery grave and taken away from the Italian coast.

“I really wish peace upon the island of Giglio and the people there,” Evans said.

In all, 32 people were killed. The bodies of two of the victims have never been found. Most of all, the two Atlanta survivors say they hope for the recovery of those victims.

“I hope that the other two people are found. I'm sure that their families would love some sort of closure,”  Guest said.

The couple said they hope that not only will the captain be found guilty, but that the entire cruise ship industry will make safety reforms.

They said the memory of that horrible night has taken a long, lasting toll. Evans told Davis he went into a deep depression.

“I mean, for days Keiko didn’t sleep. For months, it was like we walked around like zombies,” Evans said.

Neither passenger has stepped foot on a cruise ship since the wreck. They told Davis they don’t know if they ever will.


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