Costa Concordia News
January 22, 2012 by staff
Costa Concordia News, The stricken luxury liner Costa Concordia lies off the island of Giglio. Francesco Schettino, the cruise ship captain accused of steering the Costa Concordia into rocks on the island of Giglio in a reckless bid to “salute” the island, has reportedly said he was ordered to carry out the manoeuvre by ship owner Costa Crociere.
“The salute at Giglio on 13 January was planned and wanted by Costa before the departure from Civitavecchia,” Schettino told a judge investigating the collision, according to transcripts leaked to Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
At least 12 people died trying to escape from the vessel as it listed on rocks following the collision. Schettino is being held under house arrest accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship.
Schettino said the “salute” should have been carried out a week earlier, but was put off due to bad weather.
He reportedly told the investigating judge that there was “insistence” by the firm on carrying out such manoeuvres, because it was a good way to promote its cruises.
“Costa was aware of the repeated practice of ‘saluting’ around the world,” said Schettino.
The claims appeared to contradict Pier Luigi Foschi, the chief executive of Costa Crociere, who said last week: “I can’t exclude that ships have been sailed closer to land on the initiative of some captains without informing us. But I have never been aware of this taking place in an unsafe manner.”
He said steering within metres of Giglio on 13 January was “unapproved, unauthorised and unknown to Costa” and pointed to the onboard newspaper, which said the ship would stay five miles off the coast.
Schettino said he had given up-close salutes to the island of Capri and the Sorrento coast near Naples on previous occasions, as well as at Giglio, following the example of another Costa captain.
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