The former captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia is accused of wrecking the cruise liner by coming too close to the shore where a rocky ledge pierced the ship’s side causing it to list and eventually sink.
Italian top appeals court ruled on Wednesday that Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia, was unfit to command the cruise liner which ran aground and capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio in January, causing at least 30 deaths, according to a Reuters report.
In a written explanation of its decision to maintain a house arrest order against Schettino, the Court of Cassation said he had shown "little resilience in performing command functions or in handling responsibility for the safety of persons under his care."
Earlier this month the cruise line Costa Crociere SpA initiated new safety measures in response to the deadly grounding of the Costa Concordia saying it will now have real time tracking of its ships’ routes and will impose limits on its captains’ absolute authority. These were questions that arose after the rescue operations. The communications between the captain and coast guard during the rescue operations were confrontational with each questioning who had ultimate authority.
The measures seek to respond to many of the problems involved in the Costa Concordia disaster: The ship rammed into a reef Jan. 13 after the captain veered off course in an apparent stunt, and then capsized off the island of Giglio, killing 32 people.
Schettino continues to be under house arrest. Investigators also accuse him of delaying evacuation and losing control of the operation, during which he abandoned ship before all 4,200 passengers and crew had been taken off the vessel.
He has been charged with multiple manslaughter, causing the accident and abandoning ship prematurely. A pre-trial hearing was held in Grosseto, near Florence, in March.
Salvage experts are expected to stabilize the wreck by August and then refloat it and remove it from the marine natural park off the Tuscan coast where it sank.