Concordia Captain Speaks Out: Admits Distraction, References Destiny (Video)
In a recent interview for an Italian television broadcast, the captain of the now semi-submerged Costa Concordia confirmed that he was distracted by a phone call just moments before the cruise ship crashed and capsized off Giglio Island – where over 30 lives were taken.
As Francesco Schettino detailed the tragic incident during the interview, he mentioned that destiny played a role. He also expressed taking full blame for what happened and for being distracted, but insisted that another crewmember was at the helm of the ship at the moment it struck the reef.
According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek News, prosecutors have alleged that the Concordia cruised too close to the island in a publicity stunt, and shortly before it rammed the reef Schettino was on the phone with a retired sea captain on Giglio.
Continuing in his description, Schettino states that he ordered manual navigation, but didn’t have the command. He again expressed deep regret and sorrow in losing his vessel, as well as passengers. He maintains that this was a complex event and that in his attempt to guide the sinking liner to shallower waters, instead of immediately ordering an evacuation, he potentially saved lives.
Watch a short clip of the interview below:
Schettino's house arrest order has recently been lifted, but he must remain in his hometown near Naples during a criminal investigation in which he is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the liner while many passengers and crew were still aboard. A court hearing later this month on evidence in the case, including information from the ship's "black box" data recorder, could shed light on what went wrong and on who or what is to blame, and likely will figure in a judge's decision on whether Schettino should be ordered to stand trial, reports BusinessWeek.
Passenger witnesses said they were shocked to see that the captain was already on shore when they were being evacuated. Schettino claims he helped direct the evacuation from the island after leaving the ship.