He is accused of manslaughter, causing the wreck by coming too close to an island and then abandoning ship.
He accepts some, but not all, responsibility for this enormous disaster which sent more than 4,000 people scrambling to get off the ship and killing 32 people, describing it to NBC's Michelle Kosinki as "a really bad day in his life."
"I am not blaming nobody but for me. More than that, I am clear with my conscience," Schettino said.
Calling the disaster a chain of unfortunate errors, he says they didn't intend to pass as close to the island as they did, pointing to possible technical problems.
"Something inside that compass went wrong," Schettino said. "The rock was marked on the charts but the depth of the water on the charts was more than in the reality it is."
Again, insisting his turning the ship closer to land saved lives, he said "Otherwise, we would have collided straight bounce on the rocks and that case there really would die thousands of persons."
So why didn't he sound the abandon ship alarm for nearly an hour? Why not first tell authorities it was just a power outage? He denies abandoning ship. He says the tilting threw him into a lifeboat while he was helping people and says he actually tried to persuade another boat to bring him back.
"At the end of the story it is very easy to find a scapegoat for the accident. The captain went insane and lets finish the story. I take my responsibility as a gentleman and a man. I take my responsibility," Schettino said.
Schettino says the captain is always responsible, but claims this was an accident, and all the blame should not lie with him.
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