Francesco Schettino, captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship, took the stand for the first time Tuesday, combative and contradicting the testimony of not just his first captain but also what he has said in the past about the deadly shipwreck.
Schettino — who is charged with manslaughter, causing a maritime disaster and abandoning ship with passengers still on board — denies wrongdoing. He faces up to 23 years in prison if convicted.
He remained defiant even while painting a picture of confusion on board the ship as the disaster unfolded, pointing the finger at others for the chaotic evacuation of the ship’s passengers.
Read More: Costa Concordia captain combative, defiant as he testifies at trial
Rome: A Rome university professor is facing a disciplinary hearing after inviting the captain of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner to lecture students on emergency procedures.
The dean of Rome’s Sapienza University, Luigi Frati, voiced anger on Wednesday at the professor’s decision to invite Captain Francesco Schettino to give a seminar, calling it an “inappropriate and unworthy choice.” Mr Frati said he was turning the matter over to an ethics committee.
The university dismissed the “pathetic excuses” offered by the professor, Vincenzo Mastronardi, when confronted by the dean.
Furor after Costa Concordia captain gives lecture on emergency procedures Sydney Morning Herald
Captain Francesco Schettino, who was in charge of the Costa Concordia cruise ship when it hit rocks and sank off the Italian coast and who is being tried for manslaughter, for abandoning ship and other crimes, has blamed his officers for the disaster.
“It’s the fault of my officers. It’s stated in the maritime code,” he said.
“We were half a mile away from the coast and at that distance the crew on duty is responsible for steering the ship,” he said.
“We found ourselves on the rocks and nobody said: ‘captain, we are very close, or captain, watch out’,” he claimed, adding he had tried a last-ditch manoeuvre that failed because the helmsman got it wrong.
Costa Concordia captain still denies blame MICE
Chilling recordings of frantic phone calls made by passengers of the Costa Concordia to emergency service as the cruise liner was capsizing have been played for the first time in an Italian court.
In tapes played by lawyers for the victims at the trial against captain Francesco Schettino in Grosseto, Tuscany, disoriented passengers were heard crying for help and directions as the ship was plunging deeper into the waters off the island of Giglio.
“Help us please, they don’t tell us anything; we have children, I’ve little kids; help us,” a passenger was herd telling an operator with Italy’s emergency number 112. “We can’t see a thing; the ship is going down more and more.”
“They slaughter us like sheep; send somebody, hurry up,” the man said in another call minutes later. “They don’t want to launch lifeboats; the ship is slanting.”
‘They Slaughter Us Like Sheep’ Shipwreck Passengers’ Frantic Calls Played in Court IBT
The first of the 19 sponsons that will be installed on the Costa Concordia in preparation for the refloating of the submerged cruise ship arrived this morning in Giglio Island, Italy.
The 810-ton, 33.5-meter wide, 11.5-meter high sponson will be one of 14 new sponsons positioned on the starboard side. Another four will be installed on the ship’s port side. The sponson has electrical-pneumatic systems and strand jacks that reach a height of more than 20 meters and depth of 10.5 meters. It will be positioned as soon as the operation will be authorized. These new sponsons are will be the last of a total of 30 needed to refloat the wreck.
Preparations for Costa Concordia refloating begin Marinelog
The causes may be very different and the toll far heavier but Italian media have pointed to similarities between the ferry disaster of the Sewol in South Korea and the Costa Concordia cruise ship crash in 2012.
“A case of Schettino in Korea” has been the recurring headline in Italian newspapers in the past few days — a reference to the Italian liner’s captain now on trial for an accident in which 32 people lost their lives.
With South Korean rescuers reporting 270 people missing and 32 confirmed dead, Italian media have focussed on the role played by the ferry’s captain Lee Joon-Seok, who was arrested on Saturday along with two of his crew.Tragedies at sea: The Sewol and the Costa Concordia Publication
“A case of Schettino in Korea” has been the recurring headline in Italian newspapers in the past few days – a reference to the Italian liner’s captain now on trial for an accident in which 32 people lost their lives.
The same number of people are now confirmed dead in the Sewol tragedy, while 270 people are still missing.
As frustration and despair run high in the South Korean republic, everyone’s attention has focused on the 69 year old captain Lee Joon-Seok, who, witnesses say, chose to flee the tilted ship without a minute-long hesitation. Earlier on Friday he was arrested along with two of his crew members. Here are five similarities between the disasters
Captain in charge
Sewol and Costa Concordia: two sea tragedies strikingly alike Voice of Russia
Ferry Disaster Compared to Costa Concordia Maritime Executive
Captains Uncourageous: Abandoning Ship Long Seen As A Crime NPR
Costa Concordia captain accused of mounting cover up
Francesco Schettino, who steered the doomed cruise ship Costa Concordia onto rocks in 2012, tried to blame the collision on a black out, a witness at his trial claimed on Monday.
Schettino is accused of piloting the 114,000 tonne Costa Concordia onto the Tuscan island of Giglio during a ‘sail past’ of the island, ripping a hole in the ship which tilted onto its side in shallow water. As 4,200 passengers and crew fled the vessel, 32 drowned.
Schettino Accused of Cover Up Maritime Security Review
The mayor of Giglio, the island off Tuscany where the Costa Concordia capsized in 2012, killing 32 people, has called for the removal of the wreck to be postponed until September in order to “safeguard the tourism industry”.
An operation to remove the wreck, which was pulled upright last September, is scheduled to get underway in June.
The rusting cruise liner has dominated the port of Giglio for more than two years, but the island’s mayor Sergio Ortelli has argued that the timing of its removal clashes with the onset of the tourism season, La Stampa reported.
He also lamented the “total lack of information” from the authorities over the timing and process of the removal operation, saying it could seriously impact tourism and had “made Giglio afraid”.
‘Concordia salvage could damage tourism’: mayor The Local
Italian authorities are searching for the helmsman who was steering the Costa Concordia on the night it smashed into the island of Giglio after he failed to turn up for a court hearing in the trial of Capt Francesco Schettino on Tuesday.
Jacob Rusli Bin, from Indonesia, was supposed to have given evidence to the court in the Tuscan town of Grosseto but did not appear and could not be traced.
Helmsman from Costa Concordia disaster fails to turn up for trial of captain The Telegraph