Obligatory psychological tests for Costa captains after Italy shipwreck

Costa Crociere, Europe's biggest cruise operator, introduced obligatory psychological tests for its captains following the shipwreck of the Concordia off the coast of Italy, one of its directors told a court Tuesday.

"After the Concordia accident, Costa made it obligatory for the captains of its ships to undergo tests with a psychologist," said Maurizio Campagnoli, the company's industrial and employees relations director.

The tests had been routine before the crash which killed 32 people but became obligatory afterwards, Campagnoli told the Italian court of Grosseto, where captain Francesco Schettino is on trial for manslaughter.

The Concordia hit rocks off the island of Giglio on the night of January 14, 2012, with 4,229 people from 70 countries on board.

Schettino, who has admitted to performing a risky "salute" manoeuvre near Giglio island, during which the ship hit rocks in the dark, causing it to topple over.

He is also accused of delaying the evacuation process after the impact and then abandoning ship before all the passengers had been evacuated.

The trial, which began in July last year, is expected to carry on for months as hundreds of witnesses testify.