Capt Francesco Schettino exclaimed “Madonna, what have I done?” when the Costa Concordia smashed into rocks off the Italian island off Giglio, a court heard today.
“Did we hit a reef?” the commander of the 950ft-long cruise liner asked his fellow officers, according to an audio recording played in court in Grosseto, Tuscany, where he is on trial for abandoning ship, causing a shipwreck and multiple counts of manslaughter.
The Concordia, which in weight is more than twice the size of the Titanic, rammed into a rocky shoal just a few yards from the coast of Giglio on the night of Jan 13, 2012. In the ensuing evacuation, 32 people lost their lives, including a five-year-old girl.
The trial, which is being held in a municipal theatre to accommodate the large number of witnesses, technical experts and survivors expected to attend, heard evidence from Salvatore Ursino, one of the ship’s junior officers.