Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino Once Damaged Another Ship

Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino, who helmed the doomed vessel before it crashed into a reef off the coast of Giglio, Italy, damaged a ship by going too fast into a German port, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Schettino — who is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship from the Costa Concordia crash — was traveling “7.7 to 7.9 knots during entry into the port of Warnemunde, causing damage to the Aida Blue cruise ship” during the June 2010 incident, the site reported.

The site also said that Schettino told his employers that he “did not know the speed limit and have not received notification of an infraction from the relevant authorities” and that there were “probably other factors” involved in the incident.

Meanwhile, the first evidence hearing into the Jan. 13 shipwreck of the luxury cruise liner began Saturday, with so many people determined to attend the session that it was held in a local theater instead of the courthouse.

Prosecutor Francesco Verusio cautioned that it could be some time before the results of evidence analysis are known. He told state radio it could be “a month, two months, three months,” before findings, including of recorded conversations in the command room, are ready.

Lawyers for survivors, the dead and the missing, and some passengers themselves, crowded the closed-door hearing in the Tuscan city of Grosseto where the probe of the captain, several other ship officers and officials of the Costa Crociere SpA cruise company is being conducted.

Verusio said he expected the daylong hearing to be taken up by procedural battles, as the court formally assigns experts to analyze technical data from the ship’s recorder and other evidence, including crucial recordings of conversations in the ship’s command room.

Lawyers for Schettino slipped into the theater through a backdoor. Schettino, who is under house arrest in his home near Naples, denies wrongdoing and was not in attendance.
Findings would be used to help a judge determine if a trial is warranted.

Thirty-two people either died or are missing and presumed dead after the Concordia rammed into a reef near the island of Giglio during dinner hour on the Mediterranean cruise. The ship — with 4,200 passengers and crew aboard — quickly took on water after a rocky reef gashed a hole in the side of its hull, then capsized near Giglio’s port.

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