London: Costa Cruises, owners of the Costa Concordia, the luxury cruise ship that ran aground off the Italian coast, have said that the ship’s captain had “character problems”.
“He (Captain Francesco Schettino) may have the odd little character problem, although nothing has ever been reported formally,” Costa Cruises chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi, told the Corriere Della Sera newspaper.
“He was seen as being a little hard on his colleagues. He liked to be in the limelight.” Foschi added.
The Independent quoted Carlo Rienzi, the president of Italy’s national consumer group Codacons, as saying that Foschi’s comments will form part of the basis for their class action.
Codacons is seeking a minimum of 8,300 pounds compensation for all passengers.
Meanwhile, Kendall Carver, president of the US-based International Cruise Victims group, said that its is ‘astonishing’ that company officials were aware of these ‘character problems’, but allowed him to have responsibility for over 4,000 people.
Captain Francesco Schettino is accused of steering the 290 meter-long cruise ship too close to shore while performing a manoeuvre known as a "salute".
Captain Schettino is charged with multiple manslaughter and with abandoning ship before the evacuation of 4,200 passengers and crew was complete, after crashing it into rocks off the Italian coast 10 days ago.