Coward or scapegoat?

With his slick hair and macho man image, the captain of the Costa Concordia has been portrayed as a villain who crashed and then abandoned his cruise ship in a tragedy that claimed 32 lives.

But as Francesco Schettino’s trial opens in Italy on Tuesday, some lawyers are saying he should not be the sole defendant and Costa Crociere, Europe’s biggest cruise operator, should share the blame.

The 52-year-old Schettino is accused of crashing the giant liner on the night of January 13 last year, as he was trying to perform a risky “salute” manoeuvre just off the Tuscan island of Giglio.

Coward or scapegoat?

Italian Maritime Authorities’ Release Official Costa Concordia Grounding

The report reveals that the former Captain of the Costa Concordia, Captain Francesco Schettino, was in command of the vessel in January 2012 when it hit rocks off the coast of Tuscany, killing 32 people, with a catalogue of errors by the captain documented in the report. Captain Schettino, who is charged with manslaughter and abandoning ship and potentially facing 20 years in prison for his part in the maritime disaster off the island of Giglio, is blamed not only for causing the accident, but also for delaying the evacuation, leaving 300 passengers on board, when he boarded a lifeboat, with 80 still fighting for their lives when he was already ashore.

Italian Maritime Authorities’ Release Travel Blackboard

‘Human error’ to blame for Concordia tragedy

Human error has been blamed for the Costa Concordia disaster, according to an official report into the tragedy. The Italian ministry of infrastructure and transport reportedly concludes that “the human element is the root cause in the Costa Concordia casualty,” both in the first phase, “the unconventional action which caused the contact with the rocks,” and then the general emergency management thereafter.

‘Human error’ to blame for Concordia tragedy travelweekly