Italian coastguard heard pleading with liner captain
Italian coastguards pleaded angrily with the captain of a stricken super-liner to return to his ship, according to recordings released on Tuesday as divers found five more bodies in the half-submerged wreck of the Costa Concordia.
The discoveries took the known death toll to 11. One German who was listed as missing has been accounted for, Italy’s civil protection department said, leaving 23 people still missing four days after the giant cruiser carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew was ripped open by rocks off a Tuscan island.
Captain Francesco Schettino has been allowed to leave jail but is under house arrest, blamed by his employer for risking thousands of lives and half a billion dollars of ship in a reckless display of bravado.
On Tuesday, rescuers used explosives to blast through the maze of luxury cabins, bars and spas, fast losing hope of finding anyone alive. Inside the ship, which lies semi-submerged on its side, heavy floating furniture and pitch-black conditions made conditions dangerous.
A tearful firefighter told Reuters: “Virtually all the dry part has been searched. It would need a miracle to find anyone alive in the wet part.” No survivors have been found since Sunday.
Before the five bodies were found and the German was accounted for on Tuesday, those missing were 14 German, five Italian, four French and two American passengers plus four crew from Italy, Peru, India and Hungary.
Schettino is accused of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck by sailing too close to shore and abandoning ship before all his passengers and crew scrambled off.