Cruise Ship Owners Criticize Captain

Posted January 16th, 2012 at 1:50 am (UTC-5)
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The owner of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, which ran aground Friday killing at least six people, says the vessel's captain made “errors of judgment.”

The Costa Crociere ship lines said Sunday the captain had brought the Costa Concordia too close to shore and made decisions during the emergency that did not follow company procedures set by international standards. The company did not specify what steps Captain Francesco Schettino failed to take.

He is in jail facing manslaughter charges for allegedly sailing off course and abandoning ship while the passengers struggled to find safety.

Investigators have begun analysis of the cruise ship's data recorders, which recorded the ship's movements leading up to the accident.

A sixth body was found just before dawn Monday, leaving at least 14 people still missing, including several crew members.

The cruise ship with more than 4,000 people on board ran aground late Friday off the northern Italian coast and capsized. Survivors describe a chaotic and terrifying scene. Some say there was no organization, while others jumped into the icy water and swam to shore.

When the ship hit the rocks, officials say, passengers were instructed to put on life jackets and to take to the life rafts. However, those on board said the hull tilted so sharply and quickly that many lifeboats could not be lowered into the water.

The Costa Concordia is 290 meters long, with 13 decks. It had 13 bars, five restaurants, four swimming pools and 500 balconied staterooms. The Costa Concordia and Costa Crociere ship lines are a part of the Carnival Corporation.