Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino claims that his decision to delay evacuation of the cruise ship saved lives.
“Had I sounded the nautical signal for abandon ship — seven long whistles and one short one — people would have thrown themselves into the water,” he said Wednesday in court, reports Sky News.
Schettino is being tried for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship after the Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy in January 2012, killing 32 of its 4,299 passengers.
After hitting rocks near the island of Giglio, Schettino says he believed the ship would drift into shallower waters, which would facilitate an evacuation. He claimed to be in full control of the situation, stating that: “I was number one on the ship after God,” but also seemed to spread the blame: “It’s not like the captain is alone on a ship, it’s not like I’m a truck driver.”
Earlier in the day, a video emerged showing Schettino prepared to abandon ship, apparently contradicting his claims that he “tripped and stumbled into a lifeboat.”
During his first day on the stand on Tuesday, the former captain admitted that he had tried to impress passengers by navigating the ship closer to the coast than usual.
- Donald Trump Was Just Indicted. Here's What to Know About the Charges and the Case
- What Could Happen Next for Donald Trump
- Trump's Indictment Drama Showcased His Rivals' Weakness
- Inside Ukraine's Push to Try Putin For War Crimes
- Bad Bunny's Next Move
- Elon Musk Signs Open Letter Urging AI Labs to Pump the Brakes
- Eliezer Yudkowsky: Pausing AI Developments Isn't Enough. We Need to Shut it All Down
- 'How Is This Still Happening?' A Survivor Questions America's Gun Violence Problem
- Cheryl Strayed Will Always Be Here for You
- Who Should Be on the 2023 TIME100? Vote Now