GIGLIO ISLAND, Italy (AP) — The disgraced former captain of a luxury cruise liner that capsized off an Italian island went back on board Thursday for the first time since the 2012 shipwreck that killed 32 people.
The last time Francesco Schettino was on the Costa Concordia he was about to board a lifeboat while hundreds of passengers and crew were still trying to figure out their own escape routes after the liner rammed a reef close to Giglio Island on Jan. 13, 2012, rapidly took on water and listed badly.
Schettino is on trial on charges of manslaughter, causing the shipwreck by steering too close to the island, and then abandoning ship before everyone else had been safely evacuated. He was allowed to board the ship to help court-appointed experts inspect generators.
The hulk was set upright in a daring engineering feat last year.
Many who perished drowned either after they jumped into the sea after lifeboats could no longer be launched because of the ship's tilt, or were caught in the rush of seawater that swamped elevator shafts and much of the rest of the Concordia.