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Italian shipwreck captain forgot his glasses before accident, officer says

Consta Concordia cruise liner captain Francesco Schettino is accused of leaving his glasses behind.

Costa concordia cruise ship captain francesco schettino 01 18 2012Enlarge
Floating barriers are pulled behind a boat to prevent pollution from the stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia from reaching the coast of the Italian island of Giglio on January 18, 2012. (Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

On the night that the Costa Concordia cruise liner capsized, Captain Francesco Schettino may have forgotten his glasses.

Schettino has already been the subject of ridicule across the world for allegedly causing a fatal wreck on his cruise ship and then abandoning the ship as it was sinking. He is currently under house arrest, and seven officers and executives at Costa Cruises are also under investigation, Reuters reported.

The ship company, meanwhile, is trying to distance itself from Schettino, the Associated Press reported. One of the officers under investigation, Circo Ambrosio, claims that Schettino forgot his glasses the night of the accident and needed help navigating the ship.

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"He asked me a number of times to adjust the scale of the radar because he couldn't see it well," Ambrosio told the Guardian

Ambrosio also claimed that Schettino told the officers to lie to coast guards after the wreck. "He ordered us to say everything was under control," he told the Guardian. 

The news came to light during the first hearing today in the criminal investigation of shipwreck, the AP reported. Schettino is accused of abandoning the sinking ship, full of 4,200 passengers, after he steered it too close to the land in a publicity stunt. At least 25 people died.

One of the prosecuting lawyers in the case, who was also a passenger on the ship during the accident, told the AP that he and other passengers took the initiative to evacuate themselves. "Just think, our lifeboat was lowered into the water because we insisted that it be done without an order from the captain."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/italy/120303/italian-shipwreck-captain-forgot-his-glasses