Survivors, captain hear Italian shipwreck evidence
Many of the lifeboats became stuck and couldn’t be lowered because the boat was listing too far to one side. Some of the 4,200 people aboard jumped into the Mediterranean and swam to Giglio, while others had to be plucked from the ship by rescue helicopters hours after the collision.
‘‘The ship was as big as a shopping mall, there was dark, there was absolute chaos, men were pushing women away, children in the back,’’ Ronai said. He said the reason people died was because the corporation was ‘‘negligent in practices and safety procedures.’’
Schettino has insisted that by guiding the stricken ship into shallower waters near Giglio’s port instead of immediately ordering an evacuation he potentially saved lives. He has claimed that another official, not he, was at the helm when the ship struck.
The timeline in the experts’ report, however, makes clear that Schettino had assumed command six minutes before the ship struck the reef.
An American lawyer representing more than 150 people in U.S.-based lawsuits against Carnival Corp. said he came from Mississippi to closely follow evidence that could be useful in his cases. Aside from seeking compensation for his clients, John Arthur Eaves Jr. said he was pushing for improved standards in the cruise industry.
‘‘There is a consistent pattern of lack of discipline ... and communication problems,’’ he told reporters. ‘‘This accident will happen again.’’
‘‘The sooner we can resolve it, the sooner these victims can get back to rebuilding their lives,’’ Eaves added.