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Tuesday 30 September 2014

I will sail again, says captain in Costa Concordia disaster

Nick Squires Italy

Published 31/01/2013 | 05:00

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The former captain of the Costa Concordia is convinced he can one day return to the helm of a cruise ship, despite being under investigation for abandoning ship and causing the deaths of 32 people.

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Captain Francesco Schettino, pictured, was asked whether he still harboured hopes of returning to sea and replied: "Yes, certainly."

He was responding to journalists' questions as he entered a court near Naples, where he is fighting his dismissal by Costa Cruises, the Italian company that owns the Concordia.

He wants his job back, despite being blamed for the disaster that unfolded on the night of January 13 last year.

He has also demanded back pay which he says is owed to him since being dismissed last July. Capt Schettino was in charge of the liner when it smashed into rocks off the island of Giglio, forcing the evacuation of 4,200 passengers and crew.

The captain, who apart from court appearances is confined to his hometown of Meta di Sorrento south of Naples, insists that he managed to save lives that night by steering the listing ship so that it sank off the coast of Giglio, rather than in open water.

He has also claimed that the rocky shoal, which tore a long gash in the side of the ship, was not marked on his nautical charts.

"He is calmly awaiting whatever decision is made by the courts, secure in the knowledge that the truth will be ascertained," said his lawyer. The case continues. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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