The captain of the doomed "Costa Concordia" defended his actions in an interview with Bob McKeown of the Fifth Estate last Friday. According to cbc.ca.com, Captain Francesco Schettino stated he has been unfairly blamed for both the shipwreck that cost the lives of 32 people and for appearing to abandon the ship before everyone had been evacuated.
It's Not A Crime, It's An Accident
Moreover, the ship's Captain stated: ""It's not a crime, it's an accident," "And there is a difference between crime and accident. In this case, it's being treated like a crime, and I don't understand why."
Captain Schettino continued saying that the ship was not on the course he had ordered and that he believes it was an error by the helmsman that contributed to the problem. The evidence from the ship's "black box," he continued, supported the preceding contention. He had ordered a sail-past salute (which is an old Italian maritime tradition that consists in sailing close by land) to the island of Giglio on the evening of January 13th, 2012, which meant having the ship travel parallel to the island's shore at a distance of about one- half a nautical mile. However, once he arrived on the bridge to command the salute and took control, he saw foam on the water and realized the ship was in shallow water and had in fact been heading at full speed toward the rocks. He immediately ordered a turn to port (to the left), but apparently the opposite happened. Soon thereafter, the ship struck rocks in the shallow waters and a 35 meter gash opened in the hull below the waterline, causing the ship to capsize and sink onto the rocks.
Accidentally Slid Off The Ship Onto Lifeboat
The captain stated during the interview that he delayed ordering the evacuation of passengers because he did not want to create a panic situation. He also claimed to have had the expectation that they would be safer if closer to shore, where they could be rescued. Captain Schettino continued saying that one only orders an evacuation once it's realized that it would be more dangerous to keep the passengers on board. However, he claims, with the ship still in motion toward deeper water, it would have been dangerous to man the lifeboats.
Finally, Captain Schettino stated that while coordinating the evacuation of the ship, he "accidentally slid off the side of the listing ship onto a lifeboat." The passengers on the submerged side were already off and the problem was getting those on the high side off. However, the captain states, he and his crew-members were at risk of being crushed by the still listing ship, so they had "no choice but to go: otherwise they would have died."
The Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano Can Help
Please note that Cruise lines usually try to pressure injured passengers into accepting a refund as compensation for their injuries. You should not give into the company's pressure and accept a mere refund in exchange for your injuries. If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries or if a loved one died while on a cruise vacation, the cruise line may owe you financial compensation and we can help your family recover that compensation.
If you or a close relative suffered an injury while on a cruise, we urge you to contact a law firm with experience handling cruise ship injury cases. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact ustoday.
Similarly, it is important for you to remember that these cases are governed by certain conditions established in the tickets. For example, according to most tickets, claimants have only six months to give written notice of the claim to the cruise line company and one year from the date of the incident to file suit in court. Many cruise lines require that venue be in Miami-Dade County, regardless of where the cruise sailedto and from and regardless of where in the world the injury occurred.
Only the prompt legal action initiated by an attorney on behalf of your family will force the cruise line to compensate you for your past and future medical costs (including rehabilitation therapy), your pain and suffering and your lost wages. Also, please note that a Miami lawyer will handle your entire case, including the initial consultation, on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don't have to pay your attorney anything, unless he or she wins your case.
Consequently, you should contact a lawyer with experience handling these matters as soon as possible. Throughout the years the Cruise Lines Injury Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have handled many such cases against these cruise lines and we can help you obtain the compensation you may deserve.