Cruise Captain 'Committed Errors', Say Ship's Owners

by
ryan
The company operating a cruise ship than capsized after hitting rocks off western Italy on Friday says the captain may have "committed errors".

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A view of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the west coast of Italy at Giglio island January 15, 2012. Teams were painstakingly checking thousands of rooms on the cruise ship for nearly 40 people still missing, more than a day after the huge vessel foundered and keeled over with more than 4,000 on board, killing at least three people and injuring 70.

The company operating a cruise ship than capsized after hitting rocks off western Italy on Friday says the captain may have "committed errors".

He appears to have ignored the firm's emergency procedures "which are in line with international standards", Costa Crociere said in a statement.

Capt Francesco Schettino is suspected of manslaughter, but denies wrongdoing.

At least five people have died but about 15 remain unaccounted for. Divers are trying to find more survivors.

"It seems that the commander made errors of judgement that had serious consequences," the statement by Costa Crociere said.

The Costa Concordia is lying on its side just off the Tuscan island of Giglio, where it ran aground.

Capt Schettino has been detained on suspicion of manslaughter. The chief prosecutor said the vessel had "very ineptly got close to Giglio".

But Capt Schettino has said that the rock it hit was not marked on his nautical chart.

"We should have had deep water beneath us... We were about 300 metres (1,000ft) from the rocks more or less. We shouldn't have hit anything."

He also also denied claims by prosecutors that he left the Costa Concordia before evacuation was complete. "We were the last to leave the ship," he told Italian TV.

Capt Schettino, 52, has worked for Costa Cruises for 11 years. First officer Ciro Ambrosio has also been detained.