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Ship 'taken off course by captain for friend'.


THE captain of the doomed Costa Concordia allegedly changed the cruise ship's course to "show off" to a colleague and his family on shore, it emerged yesterday.

Francesco Schettino overrode the computer-programmed route then ignored warning alarms as the liner headed for disaster, it is claimed.

Schettino, 52, from Naples, and first officer Ciro Ambrosio were last night still being quizzed on suspicion of multiple manslaughter.

Prosecutors believe the skipper steered to pass just 150 metres from Giglio as a favour to the ship's restaurant boss, Antonello Tievoli, who called his family to tell them it would pass "right by" their island.

Tievoli was invited to the bridge where Schettino told him: "Come and look. We're passing your Giglio."

Tievoli's dad Giuseppe, 82, said their son called to tell him and his wife the Concordia would be passing.

SHOCK He said. "We were at the window as the ship went past. It's obvious the captain made a huge mistake. Antonello is in a real state of shock."

Tievoli's sister, Patrizia, also posted a Facebook message minutes before the disaster saying: "Shortly the Costa Concordia will pass really, really close, a big hello to my brother."

The following day she posted a picture of the Titanic dated 1912 and a picture of the Costa Concordia with the year 2012 adding: "Fancy that."

Tievoli, 46, has already been quizzed by Italian prosecutors.

Schettino allegedly abandoned the ship before all 4,229 passengers and crew were evacuated after it hit rocks leaving six dead and 29 missing.

He is due before an investigating magistrate today to decide whether he should be kept in custody or released while the investigation continues.

Costa boss Pier Luigi Foschi "disassociated" the firm from Schettino's behaviour. He said: "We can't deny human error has been identified."

Costa owners Carnival said the disaster will wipe EUR75million from its profits this year. Its shares dropped 21% wiping EUR1.25billion off its value.


FAMILYJ Restaurant boss Antonello Tievoli CUSTODY Skipper Franceso Schettino
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 17, 2012
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