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Costa Concordia captain was trying to 'impress' passengers

Francesco Schettino, captain of the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that crashed off the coast of Italy in January 2012, has stated that he was trying to "impress" passengers before the crash that killed 32 people.

Schettino said during his first testimony that he sailed into shallow waters to give passengers a better view of Giglio, a nearby island. He also said he wanted to salute a former captain who lived in Giglio and to do a favor for the ship's head waiter, who was from the island. "I wanted to kill three birds with one stone," Schettino said. He denied, though, the rumor that he sailed into the shallow waters to impress a woman.

Schettino, who has been dubbed "Italy's most hated man" by local media, made the remarks on Tuesday during his trial for manslaughter in Grossetto, Italy. Authorities have successfully recovered the last body from the wreckage.

An audio recording showed that Schettino disobeyed orders from the Italian Coast Guard when he fled the ship as passengers remained on board. Schettino is being tried alone after five other defendants in the case reached plea bargains. BBC News reports that an Italian prosecutor will request a 20-year prison term for Schettino.