Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino is accused of abandoning the sinking ship before all passengers were evacuated
Captain of the doomed Cost Concordia, Francesco Schettino, was accused earlier this week of abandoning the ship before all passengers had been evacuated.
An Italian court heard how he did not fall off the cruise liner into a lifeboat as he claims, but instead jumped to safety when the ship was sinking.
Mr Schettino is currently on trial for manslaughter and abandoning ship after the cruise ship hit rocks off the coast of Giglio resulting in 32 deaths.
Trainee officer Stefano Iannelli, who was on board the ship at the time, told the hearing: “We found a lifeboat. I jumped on. Schettino had jumped on just before me.”
However, Mr Schettino has insisted he fell into the lifeboat after slipping off the Costa Concordia.
“We had formed a human chain so as not to slip,” Mr Iannelli told the court.
“Then when I couldn’t see any more passengers, together with Schettino and four others we went to went to where the lifeboats were.
“I jumped onto the roof but Schettino was already there, he had jumped just before me. As soon as the lifeboat launched, the ship rolled and the deck where we had been was submerged.”
In another report Dominica Cemortan, Schettino’s mistress, said that she would sneak into Schettino’s cabin at 2am, just hours before he had to be on duty.
Ms Dominca told the Sun: “I would make my way to his cabin in the middle of the night. It was all very secretive. I had to make sure no one saw me.”
Schettino is currently facing 20 years in prison if convicted.