Seriously? Costa Concordia Captain "Tripped" into Lifeboat

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

The captain of the doomed Costa Concordia has come up with an explanation as to why he was on a lifeboat instead of helping passengers escape his sinking ship -- he tripped into it.

The Guardian reports that Captain Francesco Schettino offered the rather lame excuse at a three-hour court hearing on Tuesday.

"The passengers were pouring on to the decks, taking the lifeboats by assault," the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports. 

"I didn't even have a life jacket because I had given it to one of the passengers. I was trying to get people to get into the boats in an orderly fashion. Suddenly, since the ship was at a 60-70° angle, I tripped and I ended up in one of the boats. That's how I found myself in the lifeboat," said Schettino.

He added, "Suspended there, I was unable to lower the boat into the sea, because the space was blocked by other boats in the water."

There was also another stunning, stupid admission from Schettino -- he purposely steered the ship close to the island of Giglio to salute a friend, a retired captain who was on the island and on the phone with him at the time. In doing so, "I made a mistake on the approach," he said.

"I was navigating by sight because I knew the depths well and I had done this maneuver three or four times. But this time I ordered the turn too late and I ended up in water that was too shallow. I don't know why it happened. I was a victim of my instincts."

The court hearing was to determine whether Schettino should be held on manslaughter and abandoning the ship charges. The judge released him from jail but placed him under house arrest.

The death toll stands at 11, with 28 people still missing.