Wednesday 22 November 2017

My condolences -- but I'm still innocent, says Costa cruise captain

Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino
Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino
A young couple consoling themselves

Nick Squires

The captain of the Costa Concordia offered his condolences to the families of those who died in the disaster but continued to protest his innocence on the second anniversary of the ship's sinking.

In a statement, Captain Francesco Schettino, said the accident had left "indelible heartache", and offered his "deepest condolences" to the 4,200 passengers and crew who were on board the cruise liner when it foundered on January 13, 2012.

Survivors commemorated the anniversary with a candlelit march on Giglio island and a moment of silence in the courtroom where the captain is on trial.

Relations of the 32 dead threw a wreath into the sea and attended a Mass in the island's church, where hundreds of survivors were taken on the night the Concordia capsized.

Capt Schettino attempted to divert responsibility for the accident to the officers under his command in an interview with French newspaper 'Le Figaro'.

He criticised his subordinates for not informing him that the 950ft ship was heading dangerously close to the shore, saying: "My only regret is having had officers who were not up to scratch.

"The captain only steers the ship out of a port or into it," he said. "During the rest of the navigation, it's the officers who are working."

Capt Schettino's trial has been adjourned until January 27. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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