Mudcat Café message #3291170 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142686   Message #3291170
Posted By: Charley Noble
15-Jan-12 - 07:42 PM
Thread Name: BS: Costa Concordia Sinking-2012
Subject: RE: BS: Costa Concordia Sinking-2012
Here's an update from Al Jazeera:

Maritime authorities, passengers and mounting evidence pointed toward the captain of a cruise liner that ran aground and capsized off the Tuscan coast, amid accusations that he abandoned ship before everyone was safely evacuated and was showing off when he steered the vessel far too close to shore.

The Costa Crociera company, which owns the Costa Concordia cruise ship, released a statement refuting the earlier claims by Captain Francisco Schettino, saying that the captain had "made an error of judgment which has had serious consequences."

"The route followed by the ship was too close to the coast and it seems decisions in emergency management have not followed procedures in line with those followed by Costa Crociere which in some cases go beyond international standards," said the statement, released late on Sunday.

Authorities were holding Schettino for suspected manslaughter and a prosecutor confirmed on Sunday they were also investigating allegations the captain abandoned the stricken liner before all the passengers had escaped.

According to the Italian navigation code, a captain who abandons a ship in danger can face up to 12 years in prison.

A French couple who boarded the Concordia in Marseille, Ophelie Gondelle and David Du Pays, said they saw the captain in a lifeboat, covered by a blanket, well before all the passengers were off the ship.

"The commander left before and was on the dock before everyone was off," said Gondelle, 28, a French military officer.

Schettino is sticking to his claim that the rocks which sank the vessel were not marked on the nautical charts.

"I firmly believe that the rocks were not detected as the ship was not heading forward, but sideways," he said in an interview. "I don't know if it was detected or not, but on the nautical chart it was marked just as water, at some 100, to 150 meters from the rocks, and we were about 300 meters from the shore."

Evidently the damaged ship was floating for about an hour before launching lifeboats was attempted. By that time her list was too extreme to launch them all.

Charley Noble