Second-in-command on Costa Concordia feared captain suicidal

Trial continues into Tuscan cruise ship sinking that killed 32

Second-in-command on Costa Concordia feared captain suicidal

Grosseto, November 19 - The second-in-command on the doomed Costa Concordia cruise liner testified Tuesday that he feared Captain Francesco Schettino was ready to take his own life as the ship sank, killing 32. Dimitrios Christidis, who was second to Schettino, said the pair escaped the sinking cruise ship on a life raft that reached safety on rocks near Giglio Island, just off the Tuscan coast, during the January 2012 disaster. "Captain Schettino wanted to be alone on the rock...I thought he would commit suicide," Christidis said during the criminal trial into charges against Schettino including multiple manslaughter and dereliction of duty. He has been accused of crashing the cruise liner during a dangerous maneuver that took him too close to the rocky coast of the island, which he wanted to salute, and then abandoning the sinking ship. The two senior crew members took to a life raft that carried 40 survivors from the cruise ship to some rocks, and at a certain point Christidis said he urged Schettino to move them into a more sheltered position out of the January cold. But Schettino refused, testified Christidis. "I told him to take away passengers because they were out in the open, it was cold. But Schettino replied: 'I have to be here to organize the rescue'. "And then I said, 'here we cannot organize anything, we are on a rock'," said Christidis. "He wanted to stay there alone on the rock. And then I thought he might commit suicide," added Christidis. "We stood on that rock for about half an hour".

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