GROSSETO — At his trial on Monday, the captain of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia blamed his helmsman for botching a last-minute corrective maneuver that he contended would have avoided the cruise ship's deadly collision with a reef.
Capt. Francesco Schettino, the sole defendant on trial, also pressed his request for an inspection of the crippled luxury liner, which just last week was raised upright in a spectacular salvage operation off the Tuscan island of Giglio.
The complicated maritime operation righted the Concordia outside Giglio harbor, where it had capsized the night of Jan. 13, 2012, killing 32 people. Salvage engineers say the now-upright ship would be more accessible for court-appointed experts to inspect.
Schettino is charged with manslaughter, with causing the shipwreck and with abandoning ship before its 4,200 passengers and crew could all be safely evacuated. He contends he is being made a scapegoat and that errors by other Costa Crociere SpA crew and mechanical problems aggravated the consequences of the tragedy.