Cruise Captain Changed Route 'for Headwaiter'
Schettino invited waiter to the bridge to watch
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2012 5:47 PM CST
Night view on January 16, 2012, of the cruise liner Costa Concordia aground in front of the harbour of Isola del Giglio after hitting underwater rocks on January 13.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The Costa Concordia's captain may have steered too close to shore so his head waiter's family could watch from a nearby island, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Just minutes before disaster struck, the head waiter's sister on the island of Giglio posted a Facebook message: "In a short period of time the Concordia ship will pass very close. A big greeting to my brother who finally gets to have a holiday on landing in Savona."

Drawing on an article from an Italian newspaper, the Herald reports that Captain Francesco Schettino invited head waiter Antonello Tievoli to the bridge to see Giglio up close. "Careful, we are extremely close to the shore," Tievoli said, according to witnesses. Giglio's mayor says this is nothing new: "Costa ships often pass close to the island," and excited tourists gather on shore to watch ships go by. Tievoli is reportedly tormented by guilt over the accident that left at least six dead, although he didn't request the change of route.