Italian authorities want to interview Domnica Cemortan, who was seeing dining with Costa Concordia Capt. Francesco Schettino, just before the Italian cruise ship ran aground. Cemortan was seen on the bridge Friday night, having drinks with the captain, according to the Telegraph.
The authorities hope that Cemortan can shed some light on what happened that night, when the Costa Concordia collided with a rocky area, gashing the hull. Capt. Schettino allegedly diverted the ships course to sail closer to the Tuscan island of Giglio as a favor of the ship's head waiter, whose family is from the island.
Cemortan, who lists on her Facebook page that she is from Chisinau, Moldova and lives in Bucharest, Romania, was not listed on the official passenger or crew list. When the news came out that authorities were looking to speak with her, Cemortan changed her place of residence to Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Cemortan told a Moldovan television station that evacuating the Costa Concordia was terrifying. was dark. I found an exit by finding fluorescent lines that guided me. I could hear all sorts of objects falling. People were screaming.
Domnica Cemortan also defended Capt. Francesco Schettino, who is currently in jail on charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship, saying Look at how many people are alive because of him. It's a tragedy that people are missing, but he saved over 3,000 people on that ship because of his actions.
She also said that the claim that Schettino abandoned his ship is false, and said that he was still on board at 11:50 p.m. I saw him there, before I managed to get off the ship. He did not abandon ship before everyone else. He would not have done that.
Cemortan also applauded Schettino's skills. He knows what his duty is. He is one of the best captains in the company. He is very skillful and experienced when it comes to maneuvering the ship in enclosed spaces, like harbors.
Schettino told authorities that he did not abandon the Costa Concordia, but tripped and fell off of the ship and into a life raft, and could not get back on board.
The death toll currently stands at 11, with 20 others still missing. The search for the others was suspended on Wednesday after the ship slipped further into the water, with no set time for when the search will resume.