The Costa Concordia cruise ship rescue workers recovered another body, bringing the death toll to 13, as the ship remained in a water grave on Sunday just off the coast of Giglio, Italy and Italian officials offered an explanation to the different numbers of missing people being reported.
The officials claim that there may have been several unregistered passengers aboard the ship. The body was identified only as a woman who obviously knew there was trouble because she was still in her life jacket about 30 feet beneath the sea.
Italian news media published a leaked transcript of the interrogation of the ship’s captain, whom the cruise line has blamed for causing the incident and crash by abandoning its course and swinging the vessel to close to the shore. The transcript is haunting and the captain said that company officials had asked the ship to move closer to the shore as a publicity stunt. He also described the maneuver as a “recurring practice” but gave details as to why the company would request such a devastating turn.
Costa Cruises, the company, which is a division of Carnival Cruise lines, denied any unregistered passengers aboard the ship and said it had condoned the close approach in Italian waters where the ship struck a rock and ran aground.
An updated list revealed on Monday that 20 people are still listed as missing from the ship, which carried 4,229 people from 60 different countries, and five bodies recovered had yet to be identified.
Italian officials gave conflicting reports of the number of people still missing and said there might have been unregistered passengers on the ship.
“There could have been X persons whom we don’t know about, who were inside, who were clandestine” passengers, Franco Gabrielli, the national civil protection official in charge of the rescue effort, told reporters at a briefing on Giglio Island.
Costa Cruises rejected the possibility of unregistered passengers aboard the cruise ship. “Every single person aboard is duly registered, whether he is a crew member or a passenger,” the company said in a statement on Sunday. “It is impossible that anybody can embark without authorization and registration.”