- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The captain of the Costa Concordia challenged his firing Tuesday, claiming in a closed-door court hearing that he actually saved lives after his ship ran aground and capsized, killing 32, in a Jan. 13, 2012, disaster off the coast of Tuscany.

Francesco Schettino’s challenge comes at the same time a different court is debating whether to indict him for manslaughter and other charges, The Associated Press reported. Survivors and observers have accused Mr. Schettino of flirting with women in the moments before the crash, and that he was distracted from his duties.

Mr. Schettino, meanwhile, claims his ship hit a reef that didn’t show on his navigational charts, according to the AP.

Prior to Wednesday’s hearing, Mr. Schettino was asked if he thought he’d captain a ship again. “Yes, certainly,” he said, the AP reported.



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