Since the Costa Concordia Cruise liner ran aground, Italian police divers have been combing the wreckage searching for survivors who may be trapped in the submerged areas of the ship.
You can see some of the pictures that show what the rescue and recovery divers have to deal with. Lots of floating debris and obstacles impairing their progress, not to mention the layout of a cruise ship makes recovery very difficult as the cabins and decks tend to look the same. It is very easy to become disoriented, especially as the ship has a severe list.
In short, the divers are going to have a very tough job making their way through the submerged areas to try and find anyone to save. It's going to take time to completely clear the submerged areas and each day lessens the possibility that survivors will be still living once their rescuers arrive.
It has been rumored that the captain left the ship before everyone had disembarked, and the behavior of the passengers and crew was rather substandard with panic prevailing and the crew not rising to the occasion but sinking into uselessness faster than the ship.
The Detroit Free Press: Michigan couple recounts escape from grounded Italian cruise ship
No ship workers were around, and a person on overhead speakers tried to calm passengers with claims of an electrical problem, Steve Ledtke said.
“To many of us, it seemed like the boat was going to go down, regardless of what they said overhead,” Steve Ledtke said today. “Once things started happening, all the staff was gone – they disappeared.”
The Ledtkes headed to a lifeboat, where they waited. Then another employee ordered them back onto the ship.
It was an hour and a half before they heard “abandon ship,” Steve Ledtke said. “Once we opened it up again, it was almost like a stampede, like a panic after the abandon ship announcement,” Steve Ledtke said. The boat was only supposed to carry 150 people. “It must have been 250 people in the boat.I thought we were just going to fall to the water there was so much weight. It jerked dramatically but then they lowered us to the water, and we headed to shore.”
In short, the members of the crew, by all witness accounts so far, badly failed in their duty to assist the passengers to safety.
Borepatch, writing on the response of passengers and crew during the disaster had quite an erudite point that is well worth reading.