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Silver Spring Woman Survives Italian Cruise Ship Disaster

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Mike Schuh 370x278 Mike Schuh
Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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SILVER SPRING, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland woman survives the tragedy on the Costa Concordia. Anna Figueredo was on the cruise with her daughter.

As Mike Schuh reports, the two thought they were going to die and are blaming the ship’s captain for the wreck.

Silver Spring resident Anna Figueredo says she feels blessed to be alive. She and her daughter were two of the last passengers on the Costa Concordia to make it on to a lifeboat.

For them, the nightmare started when they felt the ship swaying violently. Then their fifth 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.

They say for five days, it was an amazing cruise. But the horror they saw and felt in the last hours of the trip will stay with them forever. Enormous fear quickly set in for Figueredo, 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 said.

A week later, she’s still in shock and suffering from a bad cold, perhaps due to the frigid, dark sea and then being forced to sleep on a cold church floor overnight after being rescued.

Mostly, Figueredo feels tremendous sadness for those lost and anger toward ship captain Francesco Schettino, who has been 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,” Figueredo said. “He left.”

Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship.

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