Tags: francesco schettino | testifies | costa concordia | captain

Francesco Schettino Testifies: Costa Concordia's Captain Wanted to Impress Passengers

By    |   Wednesday, 03 Dec 2014 08:20 AM

Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia when it went aground in January 2012, testified that he sailed the cruise ship off course to a nearby island to impress his passengers.

The Costa Concordia struck submerged rocks and rolled onto its side near the island of Giglio in Italy, killing 32 people, according to BBC News, and prosecutors have charged Schettino was trying to impress a woman he was with at the time. He has been charged with manslaughter and dereliction of duty.

Schettino, though, described the maneuver "from a commercial aspect" similar to a fly-by done by pilot in an airplane done to win approval of passengers and the residents on the island, reported BBC News.

"I wanted to kill three birds with one stone,'' Schettino said in testimony.

He claimed he was trying to make passengers happy while honoring a retired captain, Mario Palombo, who lived on the island and was doing a favor for the ship's head waiter who was a native of Giglio.

Schettino told CNN during a break in testimony Tuesday that he thought the trial was going well for him.

"It is exhausting, but I think it is going well," said Schettino. "It is important because this is the only chance I have to tell my version of events."

Schettino told CNN he believes the court will believe what he has to say.

"This is the first time I have had a chance to officially address the court personally so this should be the first time they should be judging me. I am confident," said Schettino. His testimony was expected to continue Wednesday and possibly Thursday.

BBC News said Schettino had been made the villain of the crash in the Italian press for leaving the ship shortly after ordering its evacuation with hundreds of people still aboard and unaccounted for. Five of his crew members reached plea bargains in the case.

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Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia when it went aground in January 2012, testified that he sailed the cruise ship off course to a nearby island to impress his passengers.
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2014-20-03
Wednesday, 03 Dec 2014 08:20 AM
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