The captain of Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, which capsized after hitting rocks, killing more than 30 people in January, has apologized for the disaster but said it was a "banal accident" in which "destiny" played a role.
"When there's an accident, it is not just the ship that is identified or the company, the captain is identified and so it's normal that I should apologize as a representative of this system," Francesco Schettino said in an interview with Canale 5 television.
He said he thought constantly about the victims but also considered himself to be a victim.
Schettino said he blamed himself for being "distracted" but said he had not been on the bridge when the ship ran aground.
"At that moment, I went up to the deck and ordered the ship to be put on manual navigation and I didn't have command, that's to say being in charge of sailing the ship, that was the officer," he said.
"This is a banal accident in which destiny found space right in the interaction among human beings," Schettino added.
A criminal investigation is ongoing in which Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the liner while many passengers and crew were still aboard.
Schettino has denies the charges of manslaughter and causing a shipwreck.