Costa Concordia sinking: Birmingham survivor’s ancestor was violinist on the Titanic

A BIRMINGHAM singer who is among survivors of the Costa Concordia sinking has revealed that one of her family had been a musician on the Titanic.

Amelia Leon said her ancestor had been one of the violinists who carried on playing when the Titanic sank 100 years ago this April.

The eight-piece band on board the doomed liner – led by Wallace Hartley – had kept on playing to calm passengers after the ship hit an iceberg on April 15, 1912.

Survivors said Hartley shouted “Gentlemen, I bid you farewell” as he disappeared below the waves 400 miles off Newfoundland, Canada.

Hartley is buried in Colne, Lancashire, where a 10-foot monument featuring a carved violin was put up in his memory. A memorial to the Titanic’s band, none of whom survived, was built in Southampton, where the ship had sailed from

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For Amelia Leon, she almost found history repeating itself when she was among 4,000 passengers on the Costa Concordia as it keeled over off the Italian coast on Friday night.

But the 22-year-old, from Edgbaston, displayed nerves of steel – and even called her mum Imelda from a lifeboat to say she was fine.

“I have nothing with me because I was in my pyjamas,” Amelia said. “I have lost everything but I don’t care because I’m just happy I’m alive and off the boat.”

Amelia had spent a week aboard the Concordia with her Italian boyfriend, crew member Claudio Losito.

He ended up taking the helm of the lifeboat that carried her and other passengers to safety.

At least five people died in the disaster and rescue helicopters yesterday hovered over the liner to winch others from the craft.

But all 35 British passengers and crew were confirmed as safe by Foreign Secretary William Hague.

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