Francesco Schettino, the captain responsible for steering the Costa Concordia onto rocks in 2012, tried to cover up the incident by saying that the collision was caused by a blackout. The statement came from a witness at his trial held on Monday.
In the 2012 Costa Concordia incident, 4,200 passengers of the ship fled from the vessel as it sank, and some 32 people drowned. Schettino is on trial for abandoning ship and manslaughter charges.
Roberto Ferrarini, a cruise ship company official, was on the phone with Schettino on the night of the incident and claimed that the captain was trying to cover up for his actions. “Schettino proposed I tell authorities that a blackout caused the collision,” he said in his statement.
Dialogue between Capt. Schettino and Italian Coast Guard while ship was sinking
Ferrarini disagreed with Schettino’s suggestion and said that what he was saying is different from his first report, wherein Schettino told Ferrarini that he “hit rocks and that the ship had flooded.”
Schettino is said to have accepted partial responsibility over crashing the ship, but said that the victims did not die in the collision. Instead, he said they drowned because of a faulty backup generator and water-tight ship compartments that flooded while the people were evacuating. He also denied abandoning ship and claims that he accidentally fell into a lifeboat when the ship tipped.
Ferrarini, together with four others, were also accused for the collision, but they have all agreed to a plea bargain and accepted guilt. They were all sentenced to less than three months in prison. Schettino, on the other hand, preferred to go on trial.
The Costa Concordia, which weighs about 114,000 tons, has been hoisted from where it crashed on the sea, but it remains to be a big distraction at Giglio porto. Authorities are working hard to prepare the ship for towing this summer.
Costa Concordia Shipwreck: The Whole Story
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