AUDIO TAPE: Captain Fled In Lifeboat While Passengers Drowned On Sinking Ocean Liner

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ASSOCIATED PRESS: Five more bodies were pulled Tuesday out of the crippled cruise ship off Tuscany, and a shocking audio emerged in which the ship’s captain was heard making excuses as the Italian coast guard repeatedly ordered him to return and oversee the ship’s evacuation. Prosecutors have accused Capt. Francesco Schettino of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship before all passengers were evacuated during the grounding of the Costa Concordia cruise ship Friday night. […] Schettino has insisted that he stayed aboard until the ship was evacuated. However, a recording of his conversation with Italian Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco that emerged Tuesday indicates he fled before all passengers were off , and then resisted De Falco’s repeated orders to return. “You go on board and then you will tell me how many people there are. Is that clear?” De Falco shouted in the audio tape. Schettino resisted, saying the ship was tipping and that it was dark. At the time, he was in a lifeboat and said he was coordinating the rescue from there. De Falco shouted back: “And so what? You want to go home, Schettino? It is dark and you want to go home? Get on that prow of the boat using the pilot ladder and tell me what can be done, how many people there are and what their needs are. Now! You go aboard. It is an order. Don’t make any more excuses. You have declared ‘Abandon ship,’ now I am in charge,” De Falco shouted. Schettino was finally heard agreeing to reboard on the tape. But the coast guard has said he never went back, and had police arrest him on land. MORE

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