GROSSETO, Italy, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- The second-in-command on the Costa Concordia liner testified Tuesday he feared the captain would kill himself as the ship sank in 2012 off Italy's Tuscan coast.
Dimitrios Christidis testified he and Capt. Francesco Schettino escaped the sinking cruise ship on a life raft that reached the rocks near Giglio island safely during the January 2012 disaster, ANSA reported.
"Captain Schettino wanted to be alone on the rock," Christidis said. "I thought he would commit suicide.
Schettino is on trial in the Tuscan city of Grosseto on multiple charges of manslaughter and dereliction of duty. He is accused of crashing the liner during a maneuver that took him too close to the island's rocky coast, which he wanted to salute, and then abandoning ship.
The two took to a life raft with 40 survivors from the ship to some rocks, Christidis said, testifying he urged Schettino to move survivors into a more sheltered position but Schettino refused.
"I told him to take away passengers because they were out in the open, it was cold. But Schettino replied: 'I have to be here to organize the rescue,'" Christidis said
"And then I said, 'Here we cannot organize anything, we are on a rock,'" Christidis testified.