GROSSETO, Italy, March 3 (UPI) -- Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia, was not wearing his glasses when the ship struck rocks and capsized in January, his first officer said.
Ciro Ambrosio told prosecutors Saturday during the first hearing into the Jan. 13 shipwreck Schettino couldn't see properly that night because he had left his glasses in his cabin, The Daily Telegraph reported.
"When he took command of the bridge, he didn't have his glasses with him because he'd left them in his cabin. He asked me to set up the radar because he wasn't able to see very well," said Ambrosio, who is also under investigation in the Costa Concordia disaster.
The hearing, held in a 600-seat theater in Grosseto, Italy, was to discuss evidence to be presented in a trial, including recordings from the ship's voyage data recorder, the nautical equivalent of an airplane's black box.
Schettino, 52, is under house arrest at his home near Naples. He faces charges of abandoning ship, causing a disaster and multiple counts of manslaughter in the shipwreck, in which at least 25 people are believed to have died and seven remain missing.
Ambrosio also said Schettino was on the bridge with Domnica Cemortan, a 25-year-old Moldovan woman whom Capt Schettino had dinner with that night, when the cruise ship hit the rocks.
Four other officers from the ship are under investigation for alleged negligence, and three officials from Costa Cruises, the company that owns the ship, are being investigated for allegedly delaying a decision to tell Italian maritime authorities about the shipwreck, the Telegraph said.
The ship was carrying 4,200 passengers and crew when it hit rocks off Giglio.