Costa Concordia helmsman is to blame, says captain

The captain of the doomed Costa Concordia, which capsized off the coast of Italy last year, has laid the blame at the door of his Indonesian helmsman in court

As his trial on charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship resumes in Italy, the captain of the Costa Concordia, which capsized off the coast of Giglio in January 2012 resulting in the deaths of 32 people, has placed the blame on his Indonesian helmsman.

Francesco Schettino told the court that if the helmsman had followed his orders they could have avoided

colliding with the reef that tore a massive hole in the ship’s hull, “If it weren’t for the helmsman’s error, to not position the tiller to the left… the swerve (toward the reef) and the collision wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

However, these claims are disputed by a key witness in the trial. Italian naval Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone told the court, “The helmsman was 13 seconds late in executing the manoeuvre, but the crash would have happened anyway.”

The Costa Concordia was successfully lifted last week and five people have already been convicted of manslaughter over the crash.

View our Costa Concordia story in photos.

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