Cruise captain denies alarm delay

2012-01-21 22:42
Giglio - The captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which struck a rock and capsized off Italy, told magistrates he informed the ship's owners of the accident immediately, denying he delayed raising the alarm, judicial sources said on Saturday.

Captain Francesco Schettino has been blamed for causing the January 13 accident in which at least 12 people died. He is under house arrest, accused of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship before all passengers were evacuated.

His statements to prosecutors investigating the disaster, reported in the Italian press and confirmed by judicial sources, underline the growing battle between him and the 114 500-tonne vessel's operator, Costa Cruises.

The liner, carrying more than 4 200 passengers and crew, ran aground and capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio as dinner was being served. It is now precariously lying on its side on an undersea ledge, half-submerged and threatening to slide into deeper waters.

12th body recovered


Diving crews recovered the body of a woman aboard the ship on Saturday, bringing the death toll to at least 12. Twenty people are unaccounted for and hopes of finding anyone alive have all but gone.

Prosecutors say Schettino steered the vessel within 150 metres of Giglio island to perform a manoeuvre known as a "salute" - a greeting to the islanders. He has admitted that the boat came too close to shore but has denied bearing sole responsibility, saying other factors may have been involved.

According to transcripts of his questioning by prosecutors leaked to Italian media, he said that immediately after hitting the rock he sent two of his officers to the engine room to check on the state of the vessel.

As soon as he realised the scale of the damage, he called Roberto Ferrarini, marine operations director for Costa Cruises.

"I told him: I've got myself into a mess, there was contact with the seabed. I am telling you the truth, we passed under Giglio and there was an impact," Schettino said.

"I can't remember how many times I called him in the following hour and 15 minutes. In any case, I am certain that I informed Ferrarini about everything in real time," he said, adding he had asked the company to send tug boats and helicopters.

False information


Costa Cruises Chief Executive Pier Luigi Foschi says Schettino delayed issuing the SOS and evacuation orders and gave false information to the company headquarters.

"Personally, I think he wasn't honest with us," Foschi told Corriere della Sera on Friday. He said the first phone conversation between Schettino and Ferrarini took place 20 minutes after the ship hit the rock.

"That is too late," he said, adding the company had only realised the scale of the disaster when the evacuation order was issued, something prosecutors say happened more than one hour after the first conversation between Schettino and Ferrarini.

Costa, a unit of Carnival Corp, has suspended Schettino and declared itself an injured party in the case.

Documents from his hearing with a judge say he had shown "incredible carelessness" and a "total inability to manage the successive phases of the emergency".

Taped conversations reveal the ship's bridge told coast guards alerted by passengers the vessel had only suffered a black-out even after those on board had donned life vests.

Read more on:    italy  |  cruise liner disaster
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.