Sunday, January 15, 2012

Captain Francesco Schettino Insists he was the Last to Leave the Sinking Vessel

The captain of the capsized Italian cruise ship has spoken of the disaster - and insisted he was last to leave the sinking vessel.

Captain Francesco Schettino was detained yesterday on suspicion of multiple manslaughter after the boat capsized off the Tuscan coast.

Officials have suggested that he left the boat before all of the passengers were off.

But Schettino has told reporters that he was the last to leave the boat and said rocks had not been detected by the vessel's navigation system.

He said: "What happened is that while we were moving with a tourist navigation system, as you can see by the rip (in the ship) there was a lateral rock projection.

"Even though we were sailing along the coast with the tourist navigation system, I firmly believe that the rocks were not detected as the ship was not heading forward but sideways as if underwater there was this rock projection.

"I don't know if it was detected or not but on the nautical chart it was marked just as water at some 100-150 meters from the rocks and we were about 300 meters from the shore, more or less.

"We shouldn't have had this contact."

When he was asked who was the last to abandon ship he replied: "We were the last to leave the ship."

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