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Schettino returns to Concordia wreck

Disgraced former captain battles reporters on way to port

27 February, 12:02
Schettino returns to Concordia wreck (ANSA) - Giglio Island, February 27 - Former captain Francesco Schettino returned to the wreck of Costa Concordia on Thursday for the first time since it crashed into rocks and capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio in January 2012 in a disaster in which 32 people died.

Dubbed "captain coward" by the media for allegedly abandoning ship without overseeing the evacuation, Schettino had asked to be allowed to take part in a court-ordered inspection of the emergency generator. He is currently on trial in Grosseto in Tuscany on charges of multiple manslaughter and dereliction of duty.

Journalists blocked the passage of his vehicle as he arrived at Giglio port early Thursday and surrounded him as he made his way on foot to the boat that was due to take him out to the wreckage. "Stop them, you must stop them, I can't get past," he was reported to have said to carabinieri and local municipal police officers concerning the media operators. At one point, he reportedly had to take refuge in a restaurant.

Meanwhile the mayor of Giglio, Sergio Ortelli, stressed the islanders' "indifference" to Schettino's return.

However, several were reported to have left their jobs temporarily to go to the port to get a look.