Captain of Shipwrecked Costa Concordia Blames Helmsman in Wreck that Left 32 Dead 9/23/13
GROSSETO, Italy - Facing the possibility of 20 years in prison, the captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia is telling an Italian court that others were to blame for cruise ship's deadly grounding along the Italian coast last year.
Capt. Francesco Schettino (frahn-CHEHS'-koh skeh-TEE'-noh) is charged with manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship before the luxury cruise liner's 4,200 passengers and crew could be evacuated. Thirty-two people died in the incident.
At his trial today, Schettino said the collision wouldn't have happened if his helmsman hadn't botched a last-minute corrective maneuver, steering right instead of left and colliding with the jagged reef. The captain also has said the reef wasn't on his charts, and that the company should shoulder some blame.
The maneuver near the Tuscan island of Giglio (JEEL'-yoh) was not on the ship's planned route. Schettino is alleged to have been trying to impress passengers with a close-up view of the island's twinkling lights.