Naples, Italy – The Costa Concordia shipwreck captain, whose capsized cruise liner left 32 people dead a year ago, says he understands that people hate him, but he regrets nothing.
Francesco Schettino is accused of multiple manslaughter, causing the wreck, and abandoning ship but says that the hardest part about the whole situation is that people believe he did nothing to help in the aftermath of the Costa Concordia crash.
“Everybody believes that I was escaping from the sinking ship,” he told NBC News, saying that he “tried to make an effort to make sure that I was the last one to leave the ship — from the sinking side.”
He also said that he is not alone in the blame. The Australian reports that many of the captain’s supporters blame Costa Cruises for poor policies, and Schettino agrees, insisting that he was forced to share his authority with lesser officers who were really to blame for the wreck.
“I regret that I was trusting (that officer). I was trusting him before the accident, and also after the accident. And I have been living with these things inside me. I will never trust anyone anymore because this was a very deadly mistake,” he said.
He also claims he had no way of knowing how many people were still on the ship when he decided to abandon it himself.
“People don’t understand that the ship is 58 meters (nearly 200 feet) wide, so you don’t have a chance to see who else is left on the other side. And in the moment the floor started to become steeper, you have no other option: To die, or to swim,” he said. “So, I regret nothing.”
Schettino also said that he does, indeed, bear responsibility for the Costa Concordia shipwreck: “I have the pain of a person who is responsible for the cruise ship and I have never denied that. Never.”