The captain of the wrecked Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia has given new insight as to way he came so close to the coast which caused the ship to run around killing several passengers
Captain Francesco Schettino is accused of negligently steering the cruise ship too close to shore while conducting a maneuver known as a "salute" which is when the cruise liner parallels the shore while coming very close to land.
Prosecutors claimed that Schettino steered the massive ship within a few hundred feet of the Tuscan island of Giglio. That is where it struck a rock which ripped a huge hole in the hull of the ship.
This caused thousands of gallons of seawater to flood the ship and resulted in the 114,500-ton ship to partially sink below the water line.
Costa chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi stated that ships occasionally perform what is called "tourist navigation" in which they approach the coast, but that it is only done under safe conditions and he was unaware that the ship was so close to the shore.
The Coasta Concordia is presently lying on its side precariously resting on a ledge that is just below the waterline. The ship in its present state is a potential environmental disaster with the amount of fuel still onboard as well as the threat that the ship could slide off the shelf and sink completely in deeper waters.
"It was planned, we were supposed to have done it a week earlier but it was not possible because of bad weather," Schettino said, according to the Corriere della Sera daily.
He continued, "They insisted. They said, 'we do tourist navigation, we have to be seen, get publicity and greet the island.'"
The cruise ship's captain Francesco Schettino was released from jail last week and is currently under home arrest near Naples.