Dramatic new video has emerged showing the Captain of the doomed Costa Concordia cruise liner wasting valuable time as the ship began to sink.
The 10 minute footage was shot on the deck of the beleaguered vessel and shows 52-year-old captain Francesco Schettino dithering on the phone as more than 4000 of his passengers and crew await instructions.
In the video, which was filmed almost 45 minutes after the Concordia first struck a rocky outcrop, a panicking officer can be heard shouting Captain, the passengers are starting to get into the lifeboats on their own, to which Schettino answers 'Whatever, whatever, ok.'
Shockingly it was another 15 minutes after this video was recorded before Schettino to give the order to abandon ship, a delay which according to experts almost certainly cost the lives of at least 17 passengers.
The footage, obtained Italian TV news channel TG5, will add pressure on an already beleaguered Schettino who is currently under investigation for multiple manslaughter.
At least 17 people died and 15 are still missing after the accident in which the 290 metre-long Concordia, built for half a billion euros less than six years ago, capsized just metres from shore.
Schettino, 51, has been blamed for the accident by prosecutors, by the owners of the ship and, overwhelmingly, by Italian public opinion and media which represent him as having shamed the whole country.
According to testimony, Schettino steered the 114,500 tonne vessel to within a stone's throw of shore, intending to perform a salute to the island for the benefit of Antonello Tievoli, the ship's head waiter and a native of Giglio.
But as he came to within a quarter of a nautical mile of the coast, in water he believed to be deep enough to be safe, he saw foam breaking on what appeared to be a submerged outcrop and turned sharply, exposing the side of the hull to the sharp rock.
I may have done something rash, I did do something rash, but God would have made it alright for me if I hadn't set the rudder to starboard, he told magistrates investigating the accident, according to a transcript.
That's what I remember from that moment and I tell it to you with the utmost sincerity, because as an intelligent man, as a commander, I can't hide, I have to take responsibility for the fact that I made a judgment error, he said.