New details and more questions have emerged Sunday about the Costa Concordia crash that occurred last Friday off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio. The New York Times reports that the arrested captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino, told prosecutors that Costa Cruises executives had actually asked him to bring the ship close to shore “for the publicity.”
According to the Times:
The newspaper La Repubblica quoted [Schettino] as saying that Costa Cruises was aware of what he said was a “recurring practice” of approaching coastlines to show off the boat and salute those ashore.
Costa Cruises said in its statement that its rules allowed the ship’s captain to make “touristic navigation five miles off the coast.” The company did not respond to questions about the policy or the captain’s reported statements.
The AP cites the mayor of Giglio saying that “salutes” as described are uncommon.
Schettino is currently under house arrest while he is investigated on charges of manslaughter, causing the crash and leaving the ship before people on board were safe. He says he hit a rock that was not on his map. Costa Cruises said he guided the boat too close to shore where it then hit shallow rocks.
Additionally, reports emerged Sunday that there may have been unregistered passengers on the ship, making the number of those missing in flux.
The death toll from the accident rose to 13 Sunday. Meanwhile, the Times adds that Giglio has been flooded with tourists who, out of some morbid desire, just want to see the capsized boat. “It is tragically spectacular,” one said.