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Costa Concordia captain 'changed uniform and abandoned sinking cruise ship'

London , Wed, 01 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 1 (ANI): Francesco Schettino, the captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia liner, that ran aground off the Italian coast, changed his skipper's uniform and abandoned his stricken liner, it has emerged.


The capsized ship's doctor Lt Gianluca Marino Cosentino claimed that Schettino, 52, saved his own skin with hundreds of Concordia passengers still on board.


"He had completely deserted his role as captain. All 4,000 of us could have been killed," The Daily Star quoted him, as saying.


Till now, nearly 16 people have died after the luxury cruise ship hit rocks near Giglio in Italy. Fifteen others are still missing.


Earlier, Costa Concordia's owner Costa Cruises claimed that Schettino had 'character problems.'


Costa Cruises chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi said 'Schettino was seen as being a little hard on his colleagues, and that he liked to be in the limelight.'


It also emerged that Schettino refused to get back to the sinking boat packed with thousands of frightened passengers and crew.


Schettino is currently under house arrest and is facing charges of causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship and multiple counts of manslaughter after crashing his 1,000ft vessel into a rocky Island.


He could face up to 12 years in prison on the abandoning ship charge alone. (ANI)


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