A post on social network Facebook may have revealed that the captain of stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia deliberately steered the vessel close to shore in a pre-planned action.
The ship’s owners accuse Francesco Schettino of navigating too close to land in a "salute" to residents of a Tuscan island, Giglio, The Telegraph reported.
Schettino allegedly made the unauthorised decision to move close to the island as a favour to the chief waiter who is from the island and wanted to wave to his relatives.
Minutes before the Costa Concordia struck rocks off Italy’s Tuscan coast and tipped onto its side last Friday, the waiter’s sister posted a message on Facebook: "In a short period of time the Concordia ship will pass very close. A big greeting to my brother who finally get to have a holiday on landing in Savona."
Schettino has also been under fire for allegedly abandoning ship after the incident. He claimed he couldn’t lead the evacuation because he tripped into a lifeboat while helping passengers evacuate the ship.
Eleven people have died in the disaster, and authorities believe up to 25 passengers and four crew members are still missing.