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Costa captain 'caused 2010 German accident'

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Costa captain 'caused 2010 German accident'
Photo: DPA
10:18 CET+01:00
The captain of ill-fated Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia had crashed a luxury liner before while sailing too fast into a German port, according to leaks from an investigation published on Friday.

Captain Francesco Schettino "manoeuvred at a speed of 7.7 to 7.9 knots during entry into the port of Warnemunde, causing damage to the Aida Blu

cruise ship," his employer notified him in a letter published by La Stampa daily, referring to an incident in June 2010.

Schettino responded in writing saying: "I did not know the speed limit and have not received notification of an infraction from the relevant authorities." He said there were "probably other factors" behind the accident.

Schettino has been accused of manslaughter and of abandoning ship before all the passengers were evacuated after the Costa Concordia crashed into the

Italian island of Giglio on January 13 with the loss of 32 lives.

At the time of the incident in Germany, he was captain of the Costa Atlantica – another ship from the fleet of Costa Crociere, Europe's biggest cruise operator based in the port of Genoa in northern Italy.

Schettino, who has been dubbed "Captain Coward" by the tabloid press, is one of nine people under investigation for the Costa Concordia disaster including three Costa Crociere executives and five other crew members.

Leaked documents published on Thursday contained claims of a hard-partying

atmosphere on board two Costa Crociere ships including the Costa Concordia,

with officers seen snorting cocaine and getting drunk on a regular basis.

AFP/mw

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