A cruise ship crashed into rocks off the coast of Italy this week, stranding thousands and leaving passengers dead and missing. The captain of the Costa Concordia was cited for the accident and is presently under house arrest.

Reports show Captain Francesco Schettino tried to abandon his ship before all passengers were offloaded into lifeboats. The captain changed his story to an unfortunate accident when defending his boarding a lifeboat. He said the ship shifted and he fell into the lifeboat. The Italian Coast Guard has been heard on recordings demanding the captain return to the ship. Public outcry is making headlines for the apparent carelessness and irresponsibility the captain of the cruise ship showed at the time of the accident.

Investigation into the cruise ship crash is still on-going but it is suspected the captain navigated the ship off course and crashed into rocks below, causing the ship to start taking in water and lull to one side. As thousands of passengers scrambled off the ship, the captain was shown to lack the leadership skills to lead the passengers to safety.

The boat’s skipper was questioned by investigators and apparently admitted to taking the ship off course to ‘salute a former colleague’ according to the Washington Post. This human error on the job proved to have fatal consequences.

Family members of the missing are still holding out some home for their loved ones but search and rescue teams have had many obstacles including weather and have suspended searches several times.