Cruise captain sailed near island for head waiter: report
A view shows the Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the west coast of Italy, at Giglio island January 15, 2012. REUTERS PhotoThe captain of an Italian cruise ship that ran aground near Giglio island passed close to its rocky shores to please the head waiter who comes from there, the Corriere della Sera reported Monday.
The report raised more allegations of irresponsible action by the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, leading to the accident that left at least six people dead. The ship's operator has said he committed "errors of judgment".
According to the daily, shortly before the accident the captain called head waiter Antonello Tievoli to the bridge saying, "Antonello, come see, we are very close to your Giglio," said witnesses quoted by the newspaper.
Tievoli had been due for leave the week before but had to remain on board because a replacement could not be found, the paper said.
Schettino was trying to give him some pleasure by steering the huge cruise ship close to the rocky coasts of the Tuscan island, the report said.
It also quoted witnesses as claiming Tievoli, standing on the bridge, had said to the captain just before the accident happened: "Careful, we are extremely close to the shore." The head waiter had told his story to coast guards and will be interviewed by the authorities investigating the cruise disaster, the paper said.
Early Monday rescuers who had been desperately working through the night found the body of a man in the wreckage of the Costa Concordia, taking the death toll from the disaster to six, the ANSA news agency reported.
About 15 people are still missing after the massive ship hit rocks and capsized late Friday and the finger of blame was pointing to Schettino.
"It seems that the commander made errors of judgement that had serious consequences," said a statement from the liner's operator Costa Crociere.
"His decisions in the management of the emergency did not follow Costa Crociere's procedures which are in line with international standards."