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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Italian newspaper releases audio indicating coastguard pleaded with Concordia's captain to return to ship
Zachary-Cy Vanasse

According to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the Italian coastguard pleaded in vain with Francesco Schettino, captain of the Costa Concordia, to return on board to oversee the evacuation of his ship, but he refused.

A tape, which the newspaper says was recorded by the coast guard, containing the conversation between the Concordia’s captain and the coast guard has been posted on the Corriere della Sera website.

Schettino has been accused of causing Friday’s disaster by taking the ship too near the island of Giglio in an attempt to show off the ship to the island’s residents.  Schettino is currently being held in custody and could face up to 15 years in prison.

Seven people have now been confirmed dead and a further 29 remain missing. The Italian navy has reportedly been blasting holes in the Costa Concordia in order to improve access for divers and caving specialists who are continuing to search for bodies and survivors, however, Italian officials have said that hope of finding any survivors still on the ship since it ran aground on Friday night is fading.

More than 70 passengers have now joined a class action against the ship’s owner. The objective is to get each passenger at least 10,000 euros in compensation for material damage as well as the fear suffered, holidays ruined and serious risks endured, according to the Italian consumer rights association that initiated the suit.

A recent online poll conducted by opinion-based community indicated that 26 per cent of the respondents say they are now “less likely to take a cruise given the incident.”

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