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Crew member found in ship


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Crew member found in ship

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Porto Santo Stefano, Italy (CNN) — The purser of the ill-fated Costa Concordia was rescued Sunday morning after crews found him trapped in a restaurant, more than a day after the ship hit rocks off the coast of Tuscany, killing at least three people and injuring 20 others, authorities said.
The purser, an Italian crew member, was suffering from hypothermia when rescue crews found him, said Commander Filippo Marini, spokesman for the Port Authority of Porto Santo Stefano.
The identity of the purser was not immediately released.
Speaking on Italian television, the captain of the ship insisted the rocks were not marked on his map.
“On the nautical chart it was marked just as water,” Francesco Schettino said, insisting that his ship should have been more than 100 meters (yards) from the rocks.
The captain has been arrested and faces multiple charges of manslaughter, Italian police say.
Divers resumed their search Sunday morning for people unaccounted for after rocks tore a gash in the hull Friday evening, causing the Concordia to turn over on its side off the coast of the island of Giglio.
At least 17 people are still unaccounted for, the mayor of Giglio, Sergio Ortelli, said Sunday.
Six of the missing are ship staff members and 11 are passengers, Ortelli said.
There were fears the death toll could rise as rescuers searched the ship, which was nearly 50 percent submerged, authorities said.
Italian prosecutors ordered the ship’s data recorders seized, they told reporters Sunday, and expect to analyze them within days.
Rescuers overnight reached two South Korean passengers, who had been trapped in the ship for more than 24 hours, authorities said.
“It’s a miracle that we found the Korean couple alive, and we hope we’ll find more people,” said Capt. Cosimo Nicastro of the Italian Coast Guard.
The couple, both age 29, were found in a cabin after they heard rescuers calling out and managed to make contact, according to Italy’s ANSA news agency. Video showed the couple, reportedly on their honeymoon, being taken ashore and loaded into a waiting ambulance.
Authorities are reviewing passenger lists to confirm the exact number of missing people, said Giuseppe Orsina, a spokesman with the local civil protection agency.
“These people could be still on the island of Giglio, in private houses or in hospitals,” Orsina said.
Francesco Schettino, captain of the Costa Concordia, is taken into custody Saturday.
The captain, Schettino, was detained later Saturday for investigation of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship while passengers were still on board, chief prosecutor Francesco Verusio told ANSA.
Verusio also said first officer Ciro Ambrosio also was being detained for questioning on similar charges, according to ANSA.
Two French tourists and a crew member from Peru were killed, Port authorities in Livorno said. One of the victims was a 65-year-old woman who died of a heart attack, authorities said.
As dawn broke over the azure waters where the Concordia was partially submerged, there were more questions than answers about how the 1,500-cabin ship managed to strike rocks during its oft-traveled route, and who was responsible for the chaotic scene that followed the captain’s orders to evacuate the ship.
The Concordia was 2.5 miles off route when it struck the rocky sandbar near Giglio, said Nicastro.
“There are rocks, they are on the maps,” Nicastro said. “What we know is the ship went really close to these rocks. … We don’t yet know why.”
The ship began taking on water Friday night, and the crew kept going because they believed the vessel could continue sailing normally, Nicastro said. Realizing there was a significant safety problem, the commander steered the Costa Concordia closer toward the port of Giglio, he said.
Authorities also were looking at why the ship didn’t hail a mayday during the accident.
Local fishermen say the island coast of Giglio is known for its rocky sea floor.
Schettino, the Concordia’s captain, said in an interview before his detention that “that rock was not indicated on the chart,” according to ANSA. “Me and the crew, we were the last to abandon ship,” he said.
But accounts from many of the 3,200 passengers painted a chaotic, dangerous scene as people scrambled to find lifeboats in the dark as the ship began to tilt, hampering access to some of the lifeboats.
“For me, the worst part of the whole ordeal” was when a lifeboat crew member told those boarding that it was “women and children first,” said passenger Benji Smith of Boston.
“All these families who were clinging to each other had to be separated,” Smith told CNN.
 

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