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Local Couple Survives Cruise Ship Disaster

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A photograph taken on January 14, 2012 of the Costa Concordia after the cruise ship with more than 4,000 people on board ran aground and keeled over off the Isola del Giglio. (Credit: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

A photograph taken on January 14, 2012 of the Costa Concordia after the cruise ship with more than 4,000 people on board ran aground and keeled over off the Isola del Giglio. (Credit: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

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SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) - A Fort Gratiot couple is happy to be back in Michigan after spending the weekend on the Italian cruise ship, Costa Concordia, that ran aground near Italy’s Tuscan coast.

CBS News reports rescue operations continue Tuesday, with six passengers confirmed dead and 29 still missing. The captain has been arrested and is reportedly under investigation for manslaughter and abandoning ship.

Speaking live on WWJ Tuesday morning, Steve Ledtke said he and his wife were having dinner on the ship Friday night when all of a sudden “we could hear and feel a thud” and then heard glasses breaking.  He says shortly after there was “a dramatic tilt” of the ship.

Hear the live interview:

Ledtke said it was an hour and a half after that the “abandon ship” announcement was made and Ledtke says “everything hit the fan.”

He said they didn’t go to their room because it was dark.  They didn’t have any of their personal items like wallets or cell phones because Ledtke says he and his wife were going to have dinner and go back to their room.

Ledtke said one think that was heartening was that he looked up and saw a light on the shore.  “I couldn’t see the town from that angle, but I thought we’re going to be okay,” Ledtke.

Ledtke said an emergency drill that is usually conducted on cruises was scheduled to take place the next day.

As for the crew, Ledtke says the first crew members they saw were “in a daze.”  And when Ledtke and another man got into a life boat, a crew member said they had to get out and go back behind the gate.

In fact, Ledtke says once they arrived on shore, they saw more employees than passengers.

He said it was very hard to hear public announcements because of the screaming.

When asked if he was considering legal action, Ledtke said there’s been “some discussion” adding “everything was awful.”

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