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Costa Concordia Captain Wasn't Wearing Glasses Evening of Fatal Disaster

Costa Concordia Captain Wasn't Wearing Glasses Evening of Fatal Disaster

Costa Concordia Captain Fransisco Schettino was not wearing his glasses the evening the massive cruise liner sunk, a lawyer for the ship's officer said on Saturday.

First Officer Ciro Ambrosio, who is also under investigation over the accident, told investigators that Captain Schettino was without his glasses the evening of the accident.

"That evening Schettino had left his reading glasses in the cabin and repeatedly asked Ambrosio to look at the radar to check the route," Ambrosio's lawyer Salvatore Catalano told Reuters.

The first closed-door evidence hearing into the shipwreck began on Saturday in the Tuscan city of Grosseto. Findings from the hearing will help the court determine if a trial is warranted. The next hearing is scheduled to take place in July.

Prosecutors are accusing Schettino for bringing the large ship carrying 4,200 passengers and crew members too close to shore in a bid to show off the stunning vessel to islanders; causing a run in with a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast if the Tuscan island Giglio.

The gash on the side of the ship flooded the engine rooms and caused the ship to capsize just hours after it had left port. The accident killed 32 people and seven bodies remain missing.

Schettino faces manslaughter charges over the accident but denies any wrongdoing, claiming that the rock was not on his navigational charts.

The Costa Concordia was the second cruise ship wrecked by Schettino. In 2010, the captain damaged the Aida Blu by sailing too quickly into a German harbor.

Costa Cruises has had a tumultuous start to 2012 between the fatal accident this past January and with a recent fire aboard the Costa Allegra. The ship caught on fire while out on the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania. It was carrying 636 passengers and a crew of 414. Eight Americans were on board, but no injuries occurred.


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