Costa Cruises chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi distanced the company from the practice of near-shore salutes (making a bow), also termed as “tourist navigation”. Costa has suspended Captain Schettino and declared itself an injured party in the tragic cruise ship sinking. Foschi added this was always performed safely and he denied that the company knew the Concordia would be going so close: “I can’t rule out that individual captains, without informing us, may have set a course closer to land. However I can rule out ever having known that they may have done it unsafely. Personally, I think he wasn’t honest with us.”
Enrico Scerni, former president of the RINA (a company created by Registro Italiano Navale, a private body founded in Genova in 1861 by a number of economic concerns involved in the maritime transport sector), suggested in a newspaper interview that it was difficult to believe that Costa Cruises was unaware that captains often went close to Giglio to “salute” the island and give passengers a closer view.
RINA is one of the founding members of IACS (International Association of Classification Societies) and actively participates in technical, research and rule-making groups in different institutional contexts at national and international level.
Scerni resigned from his position soon afterwards and RINA issued a statement saying that the routes specified by Costa “conformed with all criteria of good navigation.”
Investigators say the captain of the Costa Concordia Francesco Schettino steered the ship too close to the Tuscan island of Giglio, apparently while performing a manoeuvre known as a “salute or bow” which took it within 150 metres of the shore.
Francesco Schettino’s lawyer Bruno Leporatti denied that his client had delayed before reporting the accident to the company and Costa Cruise were informed about the usual practice of “near-shore salute” or “tourist navigation”, also operated to promote the brand Costa.
It also seems that the manouvre close to Island of Giglio,was in response to a salute made by Massimo Callisto Garbarino (senior officer in Costa Cruise) captain of the Costa Luminosa, formerly captain of the Costa Concordia.