Woman on Ship's Bridge Defends Captain as Hero
Prosecutors want to interview off-duty hostess
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2012 5:10 PM CST
Francesco Schettino, captain of the luxury cruiser Costa Concordia, in Jan. 14 photo.   (AP Photo/Giacomo Aprili, File)
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(Newser) – What's this? Someone on the doomed Costa Concordia is actually praising the actions of Capt. Francesco Schettino: "Look at how many people are alive because of him. It’s a tragedy that people are missing, but he saved over 3,000 people on that ship because of his actions." So says 25-year-old Domnica Cemortan, reports the Telegraph. Schettino, however, may not be happy Cemortan has emerged in the spotlight.

Details are still sketchy, but she may have been the young woman that passengers saw the captain dining with before the ship ran aground. Sample headline from the Guardian: "Italian captain linked to mystery woman." The Daily Mail, meanwhile, refers to her as a "glamorous blonde." The young Moldovan woman had worked as a hostess on the ship but apparently wasn't on duty this voyage, reports AP. Still, she said she went to the bridge with Schettino and other officers to help translate evacuation instructions to passengers, adding that Schettino was still on the deck when she evacuated about two hours later. Italian media say prosecutors plan to interview her.