As the captain of the stricken Costa Concordia Francesco Schettino was appearing in court, and the death toll rose to 11, a recording emerged purporting to show heated radio exchanges between him and the harbour master.
The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera published the tape saying it was made after Francesco Schettini had left the vessel.
In it the harbour master tells the captain to get back on board and coordinate the rescue from there.
Schettino says he is in a lifeboat.
The harbour master asks: “What are you doing there?”
The captain replies: “I’m here to coordinate the rescue.”
“What are you coordinating for there? Get on board. Coordinate the rescue from on board. Are you refusing?” the harbour master asks.
“No,” the captain says.
“Are you telling me that you are refusing to re-board Captain? Tell me why you cannot go back.”
“I’m going but there’s another lifeboat blocking our way.”
The harbour master screams: “You go back on board. That’s an order. There is nothing else for you to consider. You sounded ‘abandon ship’. Now I am in charge. There are already bodies.”
“How many bodies are there?”
“I don’t know. I heard talk of one dead but that’s for you to tell me.”
“But you realise it’s pitch black and you can’t see anything.”
“What do you want – to go home? It’s dark and you want to go home? You’ve been repeating the same things for an hour. Now get back on board and tell me immediately how many people are there.”
Six people were already confirmed dead and on Tuesday afternoon the authorities said divers had found five more bodies in the half-submerged wreck of the Costa Concordia.