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Divers Resume Search Of Italian Ship [VIDEO]

Costa Concordia
Costa Concordia (Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

Divers have resumed the search for 21 people still missing after a cruise ship capsized off the Tuscan coast.

Divers were scouring the submerged area of the ship Thursday once officials determined it had stablized after shifting on the rocks a day earlier.

Rough seas were forecast for later in the day, adding an element of uncertainty to the search and plans to begin pumping a half-million gallons of fuel from the vessel.

The missing include a 5-year-old Italian girl and her father. The girl’s mother issued a fresh appeal to speed the search and for passengers who saw the pair to come forward to help determine where they were last seen.

Cruise Ship Captain Says He Fell Into Water

Captain Francesco Schettino
Captain Francesco Schettino (YouTube)

The captain of a grounded cruise ship says he ended up in a life raft after he tripped and fell into the water and that he never intended to abandon his ship.

That’s in new audio of Capt. Francesco Schettino’s communications with the Italian Coast Guard during the crisis Friday night.

According to a transcript published in a newspaper (Corriere della Sera), Schettino told officials “I did not abandon a ship with 100 people on board, the ship suddenly listed and we were thrown into the water.”

Initial audio released yesterday had an increasingly exasperated Coast Guard officer ordering Schettino back on board to direct the evacuation. The captain resisted, saying it was too dark and the ship was tipping.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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