House arrest of the Captain of Costa Concordia Lifted

By Curious

A judge from Italia lifted the house arrest order for the Costa Concordia cruise liner's captain on Thursday, but told he has to remain in his hometown close to Naples in the time while the criminal investigation regarding the incident off the Tuscan coast where died 32 people.
Francesco Schettino, the captain of the cruise liner Costa Concordia is accused of manslaughter, inflicting a shipwreck and abandoning the cruise vessel in the time when many passengers and crew members were still on the board. Judge Valeria Montesarchio issued the written decision about his arrest.
The cruise liner's hull was heavily gashed when the huge and luxury cruise vessel collided into a reef near to tiny Giglio island the night of Jan. 13 .
Costa Crociere SpA, the Italian cruise liner company, claims that Schettino has headed the ship too close to coast. Prosecutors doubt Schettino maneuvered the cruise liner dangerously close to the tourist and fishing island in a publicity stunt.
Captain Schettino has insisted that the reef has not been on the vessel's navigational electronic charts, eventhough the rocky reef jutting from the sea is a landmark in the region. In a written memo to his lawyers, the Schettino protected his handling of the cruise after the crash. In the memo, the Schettino claimed that he is no coward and credits what he tells was his quick and lucid reaction for avoiding what he told would have been greater loss of life.
The captain has previously stated he guided the cruise, that promptly took on water and started listing badly right after impact, toward the island's harbor to ease the evacuation. In the memo he stated claims to have quickly steered the vessel away from further harm "out of pure instinct." Schettino also stated he wrestled with the decision "to evacuate or not" the cruise liner before it was close to the harbor and decided against an instant evacuation.
After the cruise liner listed so badly it was nearly on one side, lifeboats on the gashed side had no chance longer to be lowered. Some of the 4,200 people on the board and crew staff jumped into the sea to swim to the island, while others had been rescued by helicopter.