Cruise captain admits of ordering to ‘turn too late’
ROMEThe captain of the luxury cruise ship that capsized Jan. 13, killing at least 11 people, has admitted to making a navigation mistake, according to Italian media.
Captain Francesco Schettino told investigators he had “ordered the turn too late” as the Costa Concordia sailed close to an island, according to a leaked interrogation transcript, the BBC reported Jan. 18.
Rescuers have so far recovered 11 bodies from the disaster and around 20 more people are unaccounted for. The captain has been accused of multiple manslaughter and abandoning the ship. The captain reportedly told the investigating judge in the city of Grosseto that he had decided to sail close to Giglio to salute a former captain on the island.
“I was navigating by sight because I knew the depths well and I had done this maneuver three or four times,” he reportedly said. “But this time I ordered the turn too late and I ended up in water that was too shallow. I don’t know why it happened.” Italian rescuers resumed their search on board the crashed cruise ship yesterday, as salvage workers prepared to pump out fuel from its tanks to avoid an environmental disaster. The rescue operation had to be halted Jan. 18 when the half-submerged ship shifted with rescuers still inside. Filippo Marini, a Coast Guard spokesman, said the ship had now stabilized. Meanwhile, a U.S. congressional committee announced Jan. 18 that it will hold a hearing next month on the safety implications of the Costa Concordia accident.