In upcoming days, an accurate timeline may emerge of Schettino’s precise movements between the restaurant and the bridge as well as who he called and consulted – facts that are still murky and confused right now. The details have serious legal implications and consequences for insurance and recovery of the $450 million ultra-modern vessel.
Today rescue workers said the 117,000 ton Concordia is shifting on the ocean floor by 1.5 centimeters an hour, delaying additional rescue efforts and attempts at removing the oil onboard. Relatives of the 11 dead and 21 still missing are arriving from Peru, India, and European nations.
Between 9 p.m. and 10:50 p.m., Schettino and Ms. Cemortan, who works for the cruise line but was not employed for the cruise, were seen eating and drinking together. The two were caught on an amateur camera at 9 p.m. in a ship restaurant. Cemortan, who gave an interview to a Romanian paper Thursday, said she was dining with Schettino at 9:30 p.m., around the time the boat hit the rocks. Rogelio Barista, a ship cook, told Manila TV he was befuddled by orders from the captain at 10:15 to serve food, including dessert, to Cemortan.
"I have had 12 years of experience as a cook on a cruise ship,” Mr. Barista said, in comments translated by CNN. “I have even witnessed fires, so I wasn't that scared. But I did wonder, though, what the captain was doing ... why he was still there."
Moreover, in what is generally an industry taboo, Schettino consumed at least part of a decanter of wine, according to Italian passengers who saw him in the restaurant.
William Wright, a British sea captain interviewed on Sky News today, said that just as commercial air pilots are forbidden to drink within a certain time frame of flying, so are ship captain eight hours prior to a voyage. Drinking on board by ship captains is “absolutely unacceptable” and there is a “zero tolerance” policy, Mr. Wright said.