Of the over 3,000 passengers aboard the Costa Concordia cruise ship when it capsized, two Americans were lost, Gerald Heil, age 69, and Barbara Heil, age 70, of Minnesota. They are among fifteen passengers who were either trapped in the cruise ship or lost at sea.
Over the last five weeks since disaster struck, I have wondered what happened to this couple.
They left four children and many grandchildren behind. Why were these two souls so unlucky?
Today, there are reports from a local television station in Minnesota, KARE 11, that another passenger took photos of the crowded decks as the passengers waited for lifeboats and captured a few images of the couple. As you can see in the video below, Mr. and Mrs. Heil are shown wearing life vests as they stand side by side on the deck. Mr. Heil wears his trademark cap; his wife a hoodie.
If there is any comfort to be had for the Heil children with the discovery of these photographs, perhaps its that their parents were together, undoubtedly holding one another, when they were lost. But it seems cruel that they were on the deck, so close to getting off the ship. You want to re-wind the video and keep playing it until they get on a lifeboat and make it safely ashore.
You can read the Heil family’s blog here.
Video: KARE 11