Costa Concordia, the Italian cruise ship sinking off the coast of Northern Italy, fell victim to human errors with the ship owners blaming Captain Francesco Schettino for the accident that took the lives of at least 11 people, local media reported. A transcript of a conversation between an Italian Coast Guard official and the ship’s captain reveals that Schettino refused to return to the ship while aboard a lifeboat that according to him got stuck.
The cruise liner capsized off the coast of Italy with 24 people still missing after the ship hit rocks during what looked like a routine cruise. Rescuers managed to find the bodies of five people so far.
Rescue operations continue while Dutch company Smit is preparing to conduct a survey of the Italian cruise ship sinking near what Captain Francesco Schettino claims to be uncharted rocks in order to determine how much time it would take to begin with the extraction process. Ecologists voiced concerns that a fuel spill may occur if an operation to empty the ship’s fuel tanks, containing some 2 million liters of fuel, is not conducted on time.
Costa Crociere, the company that owns the ship, claims the captain was not authorized to change the ship’s course that is pre-programmed, while the ship’s navigational computer should sound an alarm if change in the course occurs. The company insists that the captain did not follow certain procedures, which caused the 4,000-passenger vessel to run aground.
Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Italian cruise ship sinking off the coast of Tuscany faces manslaughter, shipwreck, and abandoning a ship charges and is in police custody, according to the Italian authorities.