Costa Concordia (former) Captain Francesco Schettino faces allegations of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship, failing to report an accident to the coast guard and destroying a natural habitat. One might think those charges would be enough that Italian law enforcement authorities would want to keep an eye on him as they prepare their legal case. But this week, Schettino was released from house arrest and told not to leave his home town of Meta di Sorrento, near Naples, where he has been under house arrest since January 17.
Maybe that happened because Schettino’s account of the Concorida’s grounding is almost a hero-like rendition. Italian newspaper Corriere del Mezzogiorno published documents written by Schettino’s lawyers in a CNN report.
“No one, until then, had warned me that we had passed the point of turn on the fixed route. Luckily I saw the white froth on my left. It was a sign that made me give the order to tack to starboard, out of pure instinct. At that moment a divine hand has definitely landed on my head. If I had continued on that route, we hit the rock with the bow. It would have been a massacre.”
Schettino previously said that Costa cruise line had instructed him to sail close to the island, denying allegations that he was sailing too fast and that the rock struck by the ship was not indicated on his charts of the area.
Photo European Commission DG ECHO via Compfight