A final report from an Italian safety agency on the Costa Concordia accident last year said the "unconventional behavior" of its captain, Francesco Schettino, was the immediate cause of the shipwreck.

The 181-page report from the Marine Casualties Investigative Body goes on to say "the human element," including poor general emergency management, was the "root cause" of the casualty.

The report found that the Concordia complied with all of the relevant SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea) requirements for safety, but that standards in several areas should be reviewed or upgraded.

It said the immediate flooding of five watertight compartments put the accident beyond the ship's survivability standard, which calls for no more than two compartments to be flooded.

The report made some recommendations to further isolate and segregate components key to the ship, including propulsion, steering and navigation systems. And authorities should consider a double hull area around certain vital components, it said.

It also said that "there is a need for verifying the actuality of provisions contained in international instruments," such as SOLAS and the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping convention, so that crews actually do what the standards say they can do in an emergency.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.
JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI