Captain left Italy ship amid panic: Crew

2012-01-20 10:43

Cruise ship rescue continues

2012-01-18 08:49

Watch this footage from the Italian Coast Guard of the continued rescue efforts around the Costa Concordia. WATCH

Manila - The captain of a doomed Italian cruise ship left the vessel while panicked passengers were still crowding the decks, Filipino crew members said in comments published on Friday.

Speaking after returning to the Philippines, some of the 300 Filipinos working on the Costa Concordia that ran aground off the Tuscan coast last week said they had been left to try and save passengers after the captain fled.

"Our captain may have done his best but clearly he also made a big mistake," Benigno Ignacio, a chef on the ship, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper.

"His fault was he abandoned the ship while the ship's crew including us Filipinos were busy saving the lives of the passengers."

Ship steward Eugen Pusyo credited the captain, Francesco Schettino, with saving lives by steering the ship towards a nearby island after it ran into trouble.

"The mistake of the captain was that he left the ship immediately, even before all the passengers had been rescued," Pusyo was quoted as saying in the Manila Bulletin newspaper.

"The passengers were starting to panic and most of them were not wearing life vests," he added, describing scenes of chaos aboard the ship.

"It felt like the Titanic as we were rescuing the passengers. We just threw some of children into lifeboats just so they would be saved."

Schettino is under house arrest in Italy and could face charges of multiple manslaughter. He has denied abandoning the vessel, saying he fell off the ship and into a lifeboat.

The disaster has claimed at least 11 lives, with 21 other people still missing.

Many of the Filipino crew flew back to Manila on Thursday.

Read more on:    costa  |  italy  |  cruise liner disaster

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Prince George the green prince?
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

There is a tendency to get too caught up in group dynamics and high expectations and ideals, that your own personal needs more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.