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Cruise ship captain ordered to stay aboard

Published: Tuesday January 17, 2012 | 9:12 am Comments 0

ROME (AP) The captain of a grounded cruise ship is heard in a recording making excuses as an Italian coast guard official repeatedly orders him to get back on his crippled ship.

In a telephone conversation, the official berates the captain, who is on a lifeboat and repeatedly says he doesn't want to return to the ship, even as passengers are still being evacuated. The ship struck a rock Friday evening and capsized.

The officer tells Francesco Schettino to reboard and assess the needs of passengers: "It is an order. Don't make any more excuses."

Schettino is finally heard agreeing to reboard. It is unclear whether he did.

Schettino has been jailed for investigation of manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing a shipwreck.

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