News Europe

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Concordia captain didn't fall but leapt to safety, court told

Nick Squires

Published 12/11/2013 | 02:00

  • Share
Francesco Schettino

THE captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia Francesco Schettino did not "accidentally trip" and fall into a lifeboat, as he has previously claimed, but deliberately jumped to safety before all the 4,200 passengers and crew had been evacuated, an Italian court heard yesterday.

  • Share
  • Go To

Stefano Iannelli, one of the cruise liner's officers, said he saw Capt Schettino leap aboard a lifeboat as the giant ship began to list further into the sea after crashing into rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio.

"We found a lifeboat. I jumped on, Schettino had jumped on just before me," Mr Iannelli, a trainee officer, told a court in Grosseto, Tuscany, where the skipper is on trial for abandoning ship, causing a maritime disaster and multiple counts of manslaughter.

The disaster claimed the lives of 32 people, including a five-year-old Italian girl, and Capt Schettino (53) faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

"We had formed a human chain, so as not to slip," Mr Iannelli said, as he described how he and other officers tried to help panic-stricken passengers evacuate the 950ft-long ship.

The Concordia rammed into Giglio's rocky shore on January 13, 2012, after Capt Schettino apparently misjudged an attempt to sail close to the island in order to perform a "salute" for the benefit of the passengers and crew.

The trial continues. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

Read More

Editors Choice

Also in World News