Costa-Concordia: Anna Figueredo, Silver Spring resident, survives Italian cruise disaster
Silver Spring resident Anna Figueredo says she feels blessed to be alive. She and her daughter were one of the last passengers on the Costa Concordia to make it on to a life boat.
For them the nightmare started when they felt the ship swaying violently, then their 5th floor cabin began filling up with water.
It was supposed to be an unforgettable vacation for different reasons, including that it was a gift for her daughter who just graduated from the University of Maryland.
For five days it was an amazing cruise they say. But the horror they saw and felt in the last hours of the trip will stay with this mother forever.
Enormous Fear quickly set in for someone who doesn't know how to swim.
"I told my daughter, ‘If we have to jump in the water, swim close to the shore and leave me alone,’" Figueredo says.
A week later, she's still in shock and suffering from a bad cold, perhaps due to the frigid dark sea and being forced to sleep on a cold church floor overnight after being rescued.
But mostly feeling tremendous sadness for those lost and anger toward ship captain Francesco Schettino, who is placed under house arrest, accused of sailing too close to the rocky shore and then fleeing the terrifying scene.
"When he knew nothing can be fixed, he left, he left," she says.