London, Mar 2(ANI): Two female ex-crew members have told Italian prosecutors investigating into the sinking of the Costa Concordia that they saw officers snorting cocaine, drinking to the point of inebriation and harassing female staff.
The ex-crew members, one a nurse and the other a passenger representative, worked on the Costa Concordia and other ships owned by Costa Cruises in 2009 and 2010.
The nurse, identified only as Valentina B said she worked with Captain Schettino on the Costa Atlantica, which is another ship in the fleet, in first two months of 2010, but had resigned because she had encountered 'corruption, drugs and prostitution'.
"I saw with my own eyes officers taking cocaine - to prove it you would only have had to test them," The Telegraph quoted her, as saying to the investigators.
She added that she had worked on three Costa Cruises vessels, 'each one worse than the other'.
The second woman, identified as Mary G., told prosecutors in Grosseto: "I worked on the Costa Concordia in 2010 for two months. Very often the officers and other members of the crew were drunk. Often we'd say to ourselves, 'If there's an emergency, who's going to save the ship?"
She also claimed to have been 'molested' by a crew member who was high on drugs.
Costa Cruises didn't comment anything on this issue but said there were strict regulations on all its ships against the use of illegal drugs, with regular checks being carried out.
"We operate strict safety and surveillance measures concerning drugs possession on board our ships Costa crew are not allowed to consume alcohol in a quantity that may impair the capacity to perform on-board duties. The possession or trade of narcotics on board is prohibited," Costa Cruises said in a statement.
"Crew members who possess or use drugs or engage in drug trafficking are submitted to disciplinary provisions and disembarked. On board there are checks and preventive actions to discourage such behaviors In addition, the crew on guard must abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages at least 4 hours before the start of their shift," the statement added. (ANI)
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