As Costa Concordia Sank, Newlyweds Allowed Others To Take Life Boats First

May 14, 2013

Benji Smith and Emily Lau were honeymooning aboard the Costa Concordia cruise ship before it hit a rock and sank.
Credit Benji Smith

It was a Sunday night early last January, and Benji Smith and Emily Lau were celebrating their honeymoon aboard the Costa Concordia cruise ship.

They were traveling near Tuscany when it happened: The ship scraped a rock that tore through its hull, flooding its engine room, and sending the ship tilting onto its side. More than 4,000 people were on board.

In this interview, Benji and Emily tell host Dick Gordon about the noise they heard from their cabin, and how they and hundreds of other vacationers were initially told the ship was only experiencing an electrical problem.

By the time they were lowered into a life raft, it was too late – the ship was at an angle, and the life raft could not safely reach the water.

Hear the full conversation at The Story's website. Also in this show: Todd Busch, who is overseeing the removal of the Costa Concordia, explains how the vessel is expected to be towed away by December this year; and illustrator Matt Kish on why he made a work of art for each page of the classic Moby-Dick.