The captain of the cruise ship that capsized on Friday, killing at least 11 people, has admitted making a navigation mistake, Italian media say. Captain Francesco Schettino told investigators he had “ordered the turn too late” as the luxury ship sailed close to an island, according to a leaked interrogation transcript.
The Costa Concordia ran aground with about 4,200 people on board. More than 20 are still missing but the search for survivors has been halted.
According to the leaked transcript quoted by Italian media, Capt Schettino said the route of the Costa Concordia on the first day of its Mediterranean cruise had been decided as it left the port of Civitavecchia, near Rome, on Friday.
The captain reportedly told the investigating judge in the city of Grosseto that he had decided to sail close to Giglio to salute a former captain who had a home on the Tuscan island.
“I was navigating by sight because I knew the depths well and I had done this manoeuvre three or four times,” he reportedly said. “But this time I ordered the turn too late and I ended up in water that was too shallow. I don’t know why it happened.”
The ship’s owners, said earlier this week that the change of route had not been authorised.