London: The captain of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia that ran aground off the Italian coast, ‘cried like a baby’ as he hugged its chaplain hours after the crash.
Father Raffaele Malena, who was among the last to leave the ship, said that Captain Franceso Schettino embraced him for about a quarter of an hour after the boat hit rocks.
“I spoke to the captain. He embraced me for about a quarter of an hour and cried like a baby,” father Malena told French magazine Famille Chrétienne.
“Of course, it`s a case of human error because the ship shouldn`t have been so close to the island. But it`s not for me to judge. The experts will see to that,” he said of the disaster, in which around 11 people died and 21 are missing.
According to The Telegraph, father Malena staunchly denied reports claiming that that the crew had been incompetent and unhelpful in helping terrified passengers escape to lifeboats.
“These boys, my boys, are not only heroes, they are super heroes. My boys knew they were going to die but they didn`t abandon their posts,” the paper quoted father Malena, as saying.
“There were heroes of all nationalities. They were shaking with fear. They were threatened. They were telling people to stop boarding lifeboats which were full but people were getting in anyway,” he said.
“The press can throw as much mud as they want on their faces, but they can`t say the boys didn`t work, that they weren`t trained,” he added.