Concordia captain says sorry for deaths
ROME - ReutersThe captain of the wrecked cruise liner Costa Concordia apologized on July 10 for the accident in which as many as 32 people died and said he had been distracted when the vast ship struck the rock which holed it.
In his first full television interview since the accident on Jan. 13, Francesco Schettino acknowledged his responsibility as captain and said he thought constantly about the victims of the disaster.
“When there’s an accident, it’s not just the ship that’s identified or the company,” he told Italy’s Canale 5 television, speaking calmly but with a pronounced tic in one eye. “The captain is identified and so it’s normal that I should apologize as a representative of this system,” he said. Schettino, who is charged with multiple manslaughter, causing the accident and abandoning his ship, was speaking after being freed from house arrest last week.
The Naples-born captain admitted to failing to act decisively enough once it became clear the 144,500 ton vessel had come too close to the island of Giglio off the Tuscan coast where it ran aground.
“I blame myself for being distracted,” he said but added the actual sailing of the ship was under the command of another officer at the time. “At that moment, I went up to the deck and ordered the ship to be put on manual navigation and I didn’t have command, that’s to say being in charge of sailing the ship, that was the officer,” he said.