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Witness says Concordia captain sought to pin grounding on a power loss

Capt. Francesco Schettino sought to pin Costa Concordia's grounding on a blackout, according to a witness at his trial in Grosetto.

Costa Crociere's director of marine operations, Roberto Ferrarini, claimed the captain wanted to tell authorities a power loss led to the deadly grounding off Giglio, several European news outlets reported.

Ferrarini, who was the designated person ashore the night of the accident and spoke to Schettino by phone, said he was angered by the captain's suggestion. He testified Schettino had already admitted to hitting the rocks and that the ship was taking on water.

According to Italy's ANSA news service, Ferrarini said the captain gave him only scraps of information and spoke in a tone that led him to believe the situation was under control.

The court played the so-called 'black box' recording of the call, in which Schettino blamed a retired Costa captain for telling him the close passage by Giglio was safe. Ferrarini's voice could not be heard.

The Costa official received a reduced jail sentence in a plea bargain with prosecutors last year.

ANSA reported Schettino's defense team disputed Ferrarini's version of events and said the recording did not clarify what happened.

 

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