Capt. Francesco Schettino of ‘Costa Concordia’ together with first mate Ciro Ambrosio is facing charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship while passengers were still on board, according to Italy's ANSA news agency.
Sources have said the captain, from Naples, had abandoned the ship at around 11.30pm local time - an hour after it struck a rocky outcrop and started taking on water - while the last passengers were not taken to safety until 3am yesterday morning.
Phil Metcalf, whose daughter Rose was one of the last people off the ship, said she had revealed the captain allegedly abandoned ship in the early stages of the evacuation, leaving his staff onboard.
He told BBC Breakfast: “Since the captain had left there was nobody, so everybody was left to their own devices hence some of the chaos, so obviously the crew took it upon themselves and decided in the absence of the captain to organize and try and help people.”
Schettino was taken to Grosseto's jail, where he will be held until next week when a judge will decide whether he should be released or formally put under arrest.