<p><strong>The cruise ship </strong><a style="font-weight: bold;" href="http://www.costacruise.com/usa/costa_concordia.html"><em>Costa Concordia</em></a><strong> lies partially sunk just a few hundred yards from the rocky coast of the </strong><a style="font-weight: bold;" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/italy-guide/?source=newstravel_travel">Italian</a><strong> island of Giglio on Monday. Though the fallout from the disaster remains unclear, past luxury liner accidents—the <em>Titanic</em> shipwreck being the most infamous—have sparked new measures for keeping passengers safe and dry.</strong></p><p>The <a href="http://www.costacruise.com/">Costa Cruises</a>-run ship's hull was ripped after the liner ran aground Friday. <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16620807">Capt. Francesco Schettino</a> had steered the 126,000-ton vessel dangerously close to shore, purportedly to salute people on the island.</p><p>Eleven people are confirmed dead from the accident, and 23 people are still missing. Accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning ship, Schettino is now under house arrest.</p><p>Cruise historian <a href="http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Author.aspx?id=5942">John Maxtone-Graham</a> said the decision by the <em>Costa Concordia</em>'s captain to leave the sinking ship early was shameful.</p><p>"He wasn't the last man off," he said. "That is horrendous behavior. He's obviously a man of very lax principles and he'll never be on the bridge again."</p><p><em>—Ker Than</em></p>

Costa Concordia

The cruise ship Costa Concordia lies partially sunk just a few hundred yards from the rocky coast of the Italian island of Giglio on Monday. Though the fallout from the disaster remains unclear, past luxury liner accidents—the Titanic shipwreck being the most infamous—have sparked new measures for keeping passengers safe and dry.

The Costa Cruises-run ship's hull was ripped after the liner ran aground Friday. Capt. Francesco Schettino had steered the 126,000-ton vessel dangerously close to shore, purportedly to salute people on the island.

Eleven people are confirmed dead from the accident, and 23 people are still missing. Accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning ship, Schettino is now under house arrest.

Cruise historian John Maxtone-Graham said the decision by the Costa Concordia's captain to leave the sinking ship early was shameful.

"He wasn't the last man off," he said. "That is horrendous behavior. He's obviously a man of very lax principles and he'll never be on the bridge again."

—Ker Than

Photograph from Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Pictures: 5 Cruise Ship Disasters That Changed Travel

Some good may yet come of Italy's Costa Concordia wreck. At least since Titanic, cruise accidents have sparked new safety standards.

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