'Captain Coward' Jumped to Safety, Costa Concordia Crewman Confirms

By MarEx 2013-11-11 14:37:00

A witness in the Costa Concordia shipwreck trial has described how the captain jumped aboard a lifeboat, testifying that the commander was not the last to abandon the capsizing cruise ship. The testimony solidifies accusations that the captain did not fall off the troubled liner on to a lifeboat as he claims, but jumped to safety.

Francesco Schettino, the captain, is currently on trial in an Italian court on charges of manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing a shipwreck that resulted in the death of 32 people.

Stefano Iannelli, crewman-in-training, confirmed on Monday that Schettino jumped onto the roof of a lifeboat shortly before he did. Although he stated that he did not see any passengers left onboard, helicopters rescued people from the capsized vessel hours after they abandoned the Concordia.

Iannelli said the Concordia was listing so badly that the crew formed a human chain to avoid falling while they helped people, as he described the horrific scene while the ship was going down.

If convicted, Schettino faces up to 20 years in prison. The trial is currently ongoing.

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