The Skipper Brave and True? Captain Of Wrecked Cruiseliner Accused Of Fleeing Ahead Of Passengers
January 15th, 2012
An Italian prosecutor confirms he's investigating allegations from passengers and others that the captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia abandoned the stricken liner before all the passengers had left.
Officials believe the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, had brought the 114,500-tonne vessel too close to the shore, where it struck the rock, tearing a large gash in the hull.
Three people are confirmed dead after the huge cruise ship carrying more than 4,200 people ran aground on Friday night. Three people -- a South Korean couple and a crew member -- have reportedly been rescued.
Rescuers found the crew member, chief purser Manrico Gianpetroni, after hearing his screams. He suffered a broken leg, Reuters reports.
Rescue crews were searching for 17 missing people in or around the ship, down from around 40 people who were unaccounted for right after the luxury liner went down, Sky News reports.
Updated at 6:50 a.m. ET:
The U.S. Embassy in Rome issues a statement revising the number of Americans estimated on board the Costa Concordia to 125 from 126.
"We continue to account for and provide emergency assistance to them," the Embassy via Twitter.
A Korean couple on their honeymoon were taken off the ship early on Sunday. A third person, reportedly a crew member, was being removed late Sunday morning, according to Sky News.
Stringer/Italy / Reuters
An Italian rescue worker is seen hanging from a helicopter with a person recovered from the Costa Concordia on Sunday.
The task is akin to searching a small town - but one tilted on its side, and largely in darkness and submerged in freezing water. Scores of divers were taking part.Just after dawn on Sunday, a team made voice contact with a third survivor still on board the ship. "We are doing the impossible to reach this person," coastguard spokesman Luciano Nicastro told Italian television.After midnight, rescue workers had found the two South Koreans still alive in a cabin, after locating them from several decks above, and brought them ashore, looking dazed but unharmed.