Captain blamed for capsizing cruise ship

Accusations of manslaughter and abandoning ship face Captain Francesco Schettino after deadly crash off Tuscany

Costa Crociere, the company that owns the cruise ship Costa Concordia, said a “human error” by the ship’s captain caused the ship to run aground off the coast of Tuscany last Friday night. Six bodies have been found and 16 people are missing after the ship struck a reef and took on water after allegedly deviating from its programmed course, the Globe and Mail reports. Twelve Canadian passengers among the 4200 people on board are all safe. Costa Crociere chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi said his company stood by the captain, Francesco Schettino, and would provide him with legal assistance; yet he bluntly stated the ship left its course “due solely to a manoeuvre by the commander that was unapproved, unauthorized and unknown to Costa.” Foschi is under investigation for manslaughter and has been accused of leaving the ship before ensuring passenger safety, an allegation he denies. Rescue searches for the 16 missing people have been put on hold amid high seas, as focus shifts to ensuring 17 tanks holding 500,000 gallons of fuel remain intact.

Globe and Mail

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