Image: Francesco Schettino
Alessandro La Rocca / AP

TODAY   |  January 18, 2012

Cruise ship captain under house arrest

Captain Francesco Schettino, the man accused of causing the deadly wreck of a cruise ship off the coast of Italy, is out of jail and under house arrest, as additional bodies were found aboard the capsized ship. NBC’s Michelle Kosinski reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> now let's turn to the cruise ship disaster off the coast of italy. rescue and recovery operations were suspended for a second time overnight after the ship shifted in the water. a costly delay in the search for two dozen people who are still missing. michelle kosinski is in giglio island with the details this morning. hey, michelle. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, ann. divers today say they need to blast four more holes into the hull of the concordia. they have been focused on the rear where they found the bodies of five victims yesterday and they expect to find more today. there's also more scrutiny of the captain, the man who was ordered to get back on board while passengers scrambled to escape. prosecutors believe he never did. the man accused of causing the problem, manslaughter and abandoning ship is now back home. captain schettino is home under house arrest and the world's eyes are on him. while at the scene of the epic capsizing comes the task of identifying the bodies of four men and a woman found inside tuesday under water, all wearing life vests , believed to be passengers in their 50s and 60s. this video shot by divers tuesday, you see deep within that ship in the murky, silence. they go through the same spaces where friday night vacationers had just begun their mediterranean cruise. above water, a blast. no accident. just searchers using every means possible to break through the hull. as this was happening, captain schettino was in court. now we know more of what he said that night. in a recorded phone conversation with a furious port authority captain in hours after the accident. [ speaking in a foreign language ]

>> reporter: listen, schettino, there are people trapped. get on board and report to me how many people there are. is this clear? schettino says why he's staying near the shore -- coordinating. what are you coordinating? get on board the ship is and coordinate the rescue. are you refusing?

>> no, no, i am not refusing. you get on board. this is an order. get going. there are already corpses, schettino. at one point, it's dark. we can't see anything. and in reply, what do you want? to go back home, schettino? get on the ship and tell me how many people there are. but he stayed on land while desperate passengers struggled to find a way off themselves. the parent company carnival put out a statement saying they commend the tremendous efforts of the crew that night though they have been widely criticized by survivors. the captain claims he didn't abandon ship but said he was thrown overboard by the tilting of it. his attorney said he likely saved many lives beaching it here or it might have sunk in deeper water . ann?