Stricken ship captain blames company pressure: reports

Costa Concordia captain says company pressured him to sail too close to shore.

Written by Agencies | Rome | Published:January 25, 2012 11:10 am

The captain of the stricken Costa Concordia liner told a friend a day after the disaster that a manager from the cruise company pressured him to sail too close to shore,the Italian media has reported.

Francesco Schettino told a friend he was following the advice of a manager about what route to take,saying “pass through there,pass through there”,media reported on Tuesday,quoting a recording of the call police secretly made the day after the January 13 shipwreck that killed at least 16 people.

“In my place,another would not have been so ready to pass there,but they got to me with their ‘Pass through there,pass through there’,” Schettino said.

“The rocks were there,but the instruments I had weren’t showing them,so I went through,” he said.

Schettino then reportedly said he thought he was about 450 metres (0.28 nautical miles) away,but the ship hit a rock. “So,here we are and it’s me who’s paying for everything,” he said.

The luxury line capsized off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio with more than 4,000 people on board. Sixteen people are still unaccounted for.

Schettino and first officer Ciro Ambrosio so far are the only two from the ship to face charges,including negligent homicide.

Schettino has been under house arrest since January 17.

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