I've been having a few thoughts, about making cruising safer. It's kinda split into two sections; (a) preventing a disaster like this, and (b) ensuring that if this happes in future there are no casualties.
1: GPS Monitoring at Head Office
Costa have reported that the Captain was not authorised to sail so close to the island. I think that if there was a GPS transponder, reporting the ships location to head office, and the Captain had to answer for such deviations from course, then the Ship would have been much less likely to have been anywhere near the rocks.
2: GPS Monitoring compared to Navigation Charts
In this case, the GPS would monitor the ships position and velocity (including direction of movement), cross-referenced with the location of rocks, linked to a rotating light and bell in the bridge, might have dropped a hint to the Captain that steering the ship away might have been a good idea.
3: Working Lifeboats
Lifeboats shouldn't be designed for use in perfect conditions. It's actually in the most dire, and unpredictable circumstances that they're needed. Every shipboard employee, before they start their second contract should have gone through every imaginable ship movement, and weather condition on a simulator similar to ships actual movement. Similarly designers should use these simulators to see foresee problems launching the lifeboats.
4: Multi-function lifejackets.
Lifejackets already have a light ( and I believe a whistle ) for attracting attention. I think these should be enhanced with a transponder to help track down lifejackets instead of divers having to search cabin by cabin. If possible, I'd also like to see a feasibility study into including mini oxygen tanks in the lifejackets.
5: Safe Room
I think each Cabin should have a water tight safe room, with oxygen, food, water and communications equipment, where passengers trapped in their Cabins could take refuge.
I think all cruisers should have to watch an engaging, and interesting safety video ( that they're likely to pay attention to ), before the ship leaves port.
What do you folks think?