Cruise line CEO blames captain of Costa Concordia for tragic shipwreck

Posted: 01/17/2012 in all marine news

gCaptain –

The chief executive of Carnival Corp.’s (CCL) Costa Crociere SpA blamed the captain of the shipwrecked Concordia for grounding the vessel off the coast of Italy, saying the skipper had taken an unauthorized detour from the ship’s route.

On Monday Costa Crociere chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi told a press conference the captain, Francesco Schettino, steered the boat too close to the island of Gilgio, causing it to strike a rock formation that capsized the ship on Friday.

“I can’t deny there was human error,” Foschi said.

“We’re talking about an initiative that Commander Schettino took according to his own will and contrary to our rules of conduct.

Schettino, who has been detained by prosecutors who are investigating the cause of the shipwreck, has said the ship struck a rock that was unmarked on nautical maps.

Italian officials, however, say the boat hit a well-known group of rocks, adjacent to the island’s coastline. Schettino’s lawyer has not responded to phone calls or a written request for comment.

Foschi said the ship’s computerized navigation system should have immediately detected the route deviation and automatically sounded an alarm on the command bridge of the vessel.

Foschi did not say whether the alarm actually sounded, adding that it was difficult to evaluate what happened in the moments before and after the collision because the company did not have access to the ship’s black-box recorder, which has been seized by prosecutors investigating the case.

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