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Cruise ship company blames captain for accident

The chief executive of the Italian owner of the cruise ship that capsized off Tuscany says the captain made an unauthorized, unapproved deviation from the ship

The luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia leans on its side after running aground the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012. A luxury cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, sending water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday, the Italian coast guard said. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The chief executive of the Italian owner of the cruise ship that capsized off Tuscany says the captain made an unauthorized, unapproved deviation from the ship's programmed course.

Costa Crociere chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi said Monday that the company stood by the captain, Francesco Schettino, and would provide him with legal assistance. But he told reporters that the company, which is owned by the world's largest cruiseline, Carnival Corp., disassociated itself from his behavior.

He says Costa ships have their routes programmed, and alarms go off when they deviate.

He said: "This route was put in correctly. The fact that it left from this course is due solely to a maneuver by the commander that was unapproved, unauthorized and unknown to Costa."


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