There are several other simulated tracks floating around which suggest the ship took a course through the rocks. That is unlikely since the ECDIS, ARPAs and echo sounders would have been issuing a series of alarms which, even if silenced by the officer of the watch, would have alerted the bridge to the requirement for an immediate course alteration.
There are a couple of other simulations which have been posted publicly suggesting that there are a pair of East Cardinal Marks on a line of about 315 degrees just to the south of the rocks known as Le Scole which is the suspected point of Costa Concordia touching bottom. A thorough sifting of various lists of lights and buoys and a look though data-bases and S57 charts produces no such aids to navigation in that area.
At the risk of speculating too early, it appears there was an attempt to alter away from Le Scole but that it came too late and the stern was turned into bottom.
Finally, until there is a report from an initial investigation the media feeding frenzy will continue. If any of this is true however, it should serve as a lesson for those few who presume to adopt the characterization of a "rock-star" master. Yes, we all appear on the stage from time to time and introduce the crew. Yes, we have brief interactions with passengers - a quick meet & greet is sufficient. The overwhelming majority of the time, however, is spent ensuring the ship is safe, running smoothly and crew proficiency is on an upward curve.
UPDATE 22/1945 UTC: QPS has updated the Costa Concordia final track. You can watch it here.
Just so you know, this is not the first time Costa Concordia deviated from it passage plan and approved route. Lloyd's List Intelligence tracking shows that the ship made a very similar pass on Islio Giglio on 14 August 2011.
EXCLUSIVE analysis of Lloyd’s List Intelligence tracking data shows that Costa Concordia sailed within 230 m of the coast of Giglio Island on a previous voyage, slightly closer to the shore than where it subsequently hit rocks on Friday.
The cruiseship, which capsized off the Italian coast, had previously changed course to get closer to Giglio on the night of August 14 last year — for La Notte di San Lorenzo, the night of the shooting stars, owners Costa Cruises have said
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, the company’s chief executive officer, Pier Luigi Foschi, stressed that the decision was taken under the authorisation of the local martime authority and the permission of Costa, after the route was reviewed. He also claimed that the vessel was never closer than 500 metres from the coast at any pont in the voyage.
The route taken on January 13, however, was described by Costa Cruises as a deviation from the pre-planned route to make a manoeuvre that was “unauthorised, unapproved and unknown to Costa”.
Both routes passed within a few hundred metres of each other and the tracking data, obtained through Lloyd’s List Intelligence proprietary land based AIS receivers, proves that the vessel would have been less than 200 m away from the point of collision when it took the previously authorised route. The route also took the vessel far closer than the 500 metres claimed by Costa Crociere.