Costa blames the captain – Shipping news –

Written by Dermot Loughnane on January 15, 2012

Costa “blames” the captain

“Preliminary indications” are that “significant human error” on the part of the ship’s Master resulted in the capsizing of the Costa Concordia.

“The route of the vessel appears to have been too close to the shore, and the captain’s judgment in handling the emergency appears to have not followed standard Costa procedures,” Genoa-based Costa Cruises says.

Italian prosecutors are understood to have already leveled accusations of manslaughter against Captain Francesco Schettino, who joined Costa in 2002 as a safety officer and was appointed captain in 2006 after acting as staff captain.

Prosecutors have also seized the ship and the DVR – the so called “black box” containing all navigation data and the vessel can be accessed by Costa only with permission from the authorities.

Costa’s statement comes 48 hours after the he 114,000-gt Costa Concordia(built 2006) ended up with a 40 metre gash in the hull.

The captain told Italian television that the vessel had “hit a rock which should not have been there.”

On Monday Pier Luigi Foschi, chief executive of the Carnival Corp subsidiary, is due to hold a press conference in Genoa.

In a statement Sunday evening, Costa said its immediate priority is to account for all passengers and crew and to secure the vessel to ensure that there is no environmental impact.

It added it had taken on an unnamed salvage company to develop an action plan and help establish a protection perimeter around the ship.