Captain of stricken Italian liner faces charges for multiple manslaughter

Concordia captain faces charges for manslaughter following new evidence that he steered ship too close to nearby island of Giglio arose.

Captain Francesco Schettino of Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, which capsized on Friday, could face prosecution for carelessness.

Investigators believe Schettino sailed too close to the island in order to greet its inhabitants with a siren from the ship, which is a long-standing practice for the cruiser.

‘Schettino approached the island of Giglio in a carelessly clumsy manner. The ship hit a reef, which embedded itself in the left flank, the ship listed and took on lots of water in the space of two or three minutes,’ prosecutors say.

‘He was the one who ordered that course to be taken, at least according to what we have discovered. There was someone in particular that wanted to be signalled from the ship.’

The Concordia began to sink after Schettino attempted to turn around and head into the island’s port in an attempt to make it easier for passengers to evacuate.

‘We should have had deep water beneath us,’ says Mr Schettino in his defence. ‘We were about 300 metres [1,000ft] from the rocks more or less.’

The captain is also being detained on charges of failureto offer assistance and abandonment of the ship, while defence insists Schettino was the last to leave the liner.

Three more people have been rescued on Sunday and 15 are still listed as missing.

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