Detained: Captain Francseco Schettino, pictured here in 2010, will appear in court today. (Daily Mail)
The captain fo the sinking Costa Concordia abandoned the sinking ship and refused to go back when ordered.
The Daily Mail reported:
The Costa Concordia’s captain did abandon ship before hundreds of his passengers, it has emerged via a transcript of a conversation between him and the local coastguard.
Francesco Schettino, who will be questioned today by investigating magistrate Valeria Montesarchio, also lied to the Captain of the Port of Livorno’s Coastguard when asked how many people were on board the sinking liner, Italian media reported today.
He initially replied ’40’, when there were actually hundreds still at risk, and when further questioned admitted he was not even there.
He then ignored an order to go back onto the sinking ship – with some reports suggesting he volunteered to return, but only to pick up the black box.
The publication of the transcripts by Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper comes as it was revealed junior officers onboard led a ‘mutiny’ after the ship struck a reef and captain Francesco Schettino dithered in giving the order to abandon the stricken vessel.
According to coastguards Schettino did not give the crucial instructions until 10.58pm on Friday night, more than one hour after the initial impact with the rocks, and so wasting valuable time that contributed to the loss of six lives.
Officials say that during those chaotic minutes, the bungling skipper had tried to palm them off and minimise the dangerous situation it was facing – and that it was his juniors who realised the impending disaster and ordered passengers and crew to the lifeboats.
Proof of the ‘mutiny’ came from coastguard vessels at the scene, who reported seeing several lifeboats in the water before Schettino had officially given the order at just before 11pm.
Five more bodies were found this morning. The passengers were wearing lifejackets.
USA Today reported:
Italian media are reporting that five more bodies have been found on a capsized cruise ship off the Italian coast, raising the death toll to 11, the Associated Press reports.
The Telegraph quotes Filippo Marini, a Coast Guard spokesman, as saying one woman and five men were all found at the stern of the boat, below the waterline.
“They were all wearing life jackets and we believe they are all aged between 50 and 60 years old,” Marini is quoted as saying.
ITN News posted video of the capsized ship.