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Saturday 20 January 2018

I screwed up, Concordia captain told bosses after crash

Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship which ran aground in January off the coast of Italy, killing more than 30 people (AP Photo/Mediaset, HOEP)
Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship which ran aground in January off the coast of Italy, killing more than 30 people (AP Photo/Mediaset, HOEP)

Nick Squires in Rome

The captain of the Costa Concordia admitted to his superiors "I f**k" up in the moments after the cruise liner slammed into a rocky shoal.

The audio recording undermines his attempts to pin the blame on a junior officer.

Evidence gathered from the black box data recorder appears to contradict his insistence that he was not in charge of the ship when it smashed into the rocky outcrop off the Tuscan island of Giglio.

Francesco Schettino insisted on Tuesday that he was not in command of the cruise ship when it careered into the reef on January 13, leading to the deaths of 32 people.

He had dinner with friends, then went up on to the bridge, he said.

"I went up to the bridge. I ordered the navigation to be manual, and I didn't have the command. The navigation was being directed by another officer," Mr Schettino said.

But the black box showed that the captain disabled the automatic pilot and took control of the ship at 9.39pm -- six minutes before the crash at 9.45pm.

He allegedly veered off the ship's agreed route, steering the Concordia perilously close to Giglio. The recordings revealed the panic and drama on the bridge.

"Our ass is dragging along the seabed!" an unidentified officer yelled. A few moments later Mr Schettino asked: "What did we hit?" to which an unidentified officer replied: "The reef."

At 9.56pm Mr Schettino telephoned Roberto Ferrarini, an officer who was on duty in the emergency unit of Costa Cruises, the Genoa-based company that owns the Concordia. "Roberto, I f**k up!" he said, according to the transcript. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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