(ROME) — Six months after the Costa Concordia ran aground, killing 32 people, Captain Francesco Schettino is finally speaking about the Italian cruise ship disaster.
In an interview with an Italian television station, the captain — who reportedly dined while the ship was taking on water, and later fled as the boat was stricken — doesn’t take responsibility.
Schettino takes every opportunity to say he wasn’t in charge and it wasn’t his fault. He apologizes only after being repeatedly prodded by the Italian TV interviewer who he spoke with. Schettino blames other people and tries to cover his tracks at every opportunity, saying he wasn’t at the helm at the time of the accident, and yet the black box shows that he took the helm six minutes before it happened.
Captain Francesco Schettino — otherwise known as “Captain Coward” — says he’s the real hero of the Costa Concordia crash that killed 32 people off the Italian coast. Schettino has been criticized for leaving the ship, but in an interview with Italian television, he said he saved lives by driving the boat into shallow water.
The only time when he really says that he made a mistake was when he concedes that he was on the cell phone talking to a commander at a critical moment just before the ship hit the reef. He says, “I blame myself for being distracted.” But he goes on to say that there are so many other people who should be blamed.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Holly Yan and Joe Sterling, CNN
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Joe Sterling and Cassandra Santiago, CNN