Costa Concordia survivor speaks of pain, one year on

The Northern Echo: Ian Fraser Ian Fraser

A NORTH-EAST singer who survived a cruise ship wreck which claimed 32 lives says he will go back to sea, despite the first anniversary bringing back horrible memories of the disaster.

Ian Fraser was one of 4,200 people on board the Costa Concordia when it ran aground off the coast of Tuscany on January 13, 2012.

The variety show singer jumped from the stricken Italian cruise liner and swam for his life.

Survivors and relatives of those who died marked one year since the collision on Sunday (January 13) by holding a church service and watching as the rock which sunk the ship was lowered back into the sea bearing a memorial plaque.

Mr Fraser, 48, was at home in Esh Winning, County Durham, but he said: “I was very aware. People have kept in touch through Facebook groups and there were lots of messages.

“I was remembering the people who didn’t make it. A couple of people I knew didn’t survive. My heart goes out to them.”

Mr Fraser continued: “It stays with you. You’re kind of getting over it and then the anniversary comes along and it brings it all back again.

“We want to remember people and there to be enquiries to ensure it never happens again, but it all comes flooding back at the anniversary.”

The Birmingham-born entertainer has not returned to sea since – instead playing the club scene. However, he hopes to set sail again later this year.

“I will go back. I want to go back. Costa has said they will have me back.

“I’m not sure how I’ll react. It could be the first night in the cabin makes me claustrophobic. I know others who’ve been back have experienced dodgy nights when they’ve had to go out on deck.”

Captain Francesco Schettino is accused of causing a shipwreck, manslaughter and abandoning ship before all passengers were evacuated.

Mr Fraser said: “It was all so avoidable. To think an act of alleged negligence has caused the death of 32 people is extremely frustrating.”

The Concordia is set to be removed from off the holiday island of Giglio this summer.

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