NorCal Couple Survives Shipwreck

Audio tape shows captain was ordered back on ship.

Five more bodies were pulled from the wreckage of a crippled cruise ship off the coast of Tuscany Tuesday.

The death toll now officially stands at 11 after divers extracted five more bodies from the rear section of the ship. There was still confusion over the numbers. Prior to the discovery of the five bodies, the coast guard had raised the number of missing to 25 passengers and four crew. Italian officials gave the breakdown as 14 Germans, six Italians, four French, two Americans, one Hungarian, one Indian and one Peruvian. The German Foreign Ministry in Berlin listed 12 Germans as confirmed missing.

Some of the American passengers have already made it back home. A family from Southern California arrived home Sunday night to tell a tale of horror. The Ananias family said they were among the last to escape the ship alive. 

A couple from Placerville is due home Tuesday. Adam and Joanna Lynch took the cruise as part of a European vacation. Joanna's sister Melody Rainwater said she didn't know her sister was on the ship until she called over the weekend from the U.S. Embassy in Rome to tell her she was OK.

Rainwater said her sister had a sleep in an Italian church that first night.

The Lynch's were among the 4,200 people on board the ship when it struck rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio Friday night, crippling the vessel. The impact reportedly happened after the ship's captain made an unauthorized deviation from the cruise ship's programmed course, apparently as a favor to his chief waiter, who hailed from the island.
Capt. Francesco Schettino faces years in prison for his part in the shipwreck. Schettino has insisted that he stayed aboard until the ship was evacuated. However, a recording of his conversation with Italian Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco that emerged Tuesday indicates he fled before all passengers were off and then resisted De Falco's repeated orders to return.

Prosecutors have accused Schettino of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship before all passengers were evacuated during the grounding of the Costa Concordia cruise ship Friday night.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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