(PORTO SANTO STEFANO, Italy) — New audio recordings recovered from an Italian cruise liner could shed more light into happened after it hit the rocks near the Tuscan coast and when the captain left as divers continue to search the wreck cruise ship.
In recordings posted by Italian television, Capt. Francesco Schettino tells officials on the mainland, there were “more or less” 200-300 people still on board.
The coast guard asks, “captain, is everyone going to abandon the ship or is someone going to stay?”
Schettino replies: “I’m going to stay here.”
Schettino, who is under house arrest, could face criminal charges, including manslaughter and abandoning ship.
Schettino claimed earlier he tripped into the lifeboat and never meant to abandon the sinking ship. He told investigators earlier that his actions after the crash were competent and saved lives.
The CEO of the cruise line said that because Schettino did not tell them exactly what was going on in those minutes after the crash, they did not send the proper response.
On Saturday, divers found the body of a woman still wearing a life jacket in a submerged area of the ship, bringing the total death toll from the Costa Concordia tragedy to 12.
There are still 20 people reported missing, including Minnesota couple Barbara and Jerry Heil.
On Saturday afternoon, the couple’s children met Italian officials and left flowers in the water for their parents – daisies for their mother, white roses for the father
The Heils are the only Americans who are still unaccounted for among the 4,200 passengers that were onboard the liner.
A couple from Little Rock, Ark. said they’re happy to be home again after their experience aboard the Costa Concordia.
Mark Plath said he, his wife and two other family members jumped off the sinking ship and swam to safety.
“I came up out of the water and looked back and said swim as fast as you can because the boat was turning on top of us it would have crushed us all,” Plath said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
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