Fresh evidence emerged this week to suggest that the Captain of the Costa Concordia knew the ship was going down but ordered staff to tell passengers it was only a black out.
Recorded conversations from the bridge of the ship, obtained by La Stampa newspaper, show Captain Francesco Schettino saying:
"Madonna, what have I done?" just seconds after the ship rammed hit the reef off the island of Giglio in Tuscany.
According to reports in the Telegraph, he made a frantic call to the officer in command of the ship's engine room saying: "So are we really going down?"
Then, three minutes later, he told an officer on the bridge not to tell passengers that there had been a blackout.
Eight minutes later he is accused by prosecutors and marine experts of making a similarly false statement to the Italian Coast Guard, saying: "We've had a blackout, we're just evaluating ... at most we're going to need a tug boat."
The disaster in January led to the deaths of 32 people, including a five year old girl.
During the evacuation, the Captain is heard calling his wife to tell her that everything was "under control".
"We hit a reef, the ship is listing but I performed a great manoeuvre ... everything is under control," he said, but added: "My career as a captain is over."
Capt Schettino faces charges of manslaughter, abandoning ship and failing to communicate with maritime authorities.
The next court hearing will start on October 15.
Friday, September 7, 2012
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