Search Suspended After Stricken Italian Cruise Ship Moves - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Search Suspended After Stricken Italian Cruise Ship Moves

Giglio, Italy (CNN) -- With bitterly cold temperatures and frigid waters, the chances of finding more survivors of the doomed Costa Concordia appeared to dim Wednesday.

At least 11 people have died since the cruise liner ran aground and capsized last week off a Tuscan island. About two dozen are missing.

Rescue crews suspended operations Wednesday morning as the ship began to move, the Italian coast guard said. The search for survivors has been halted and restarted several times since the ship rolled onto its side Friday night.

Rescuers were planning to blast more holes in the ship Wednesday to allow divers easier access to the interior of the ship.

But experts say their chances of finding survivors are slim.

"I think you have to look at several issues. One is just the hypothermia. If a compartment is flooded, even if there was air, at this point, most of them would have succumbed to the hypothermic problem of the water temperature," said Butch Hendrick, president of the diving safety company Lifeguard Systems.

When asked if rescuers would find any survivors, Hendrick said, "I'm sorry to say this, but I don't -- I don't believe there are. I'm sorry."

But Kevin Rebello, whose brother Russel was a member of the crew, refused to give up hope Wednesday.

"Miracles do happen and let's keep hope. I'm not here to lose hope," he said.

His brother was last seen helping passengers into lifeboats Friday night.

Questions remain over what happened in the waters around the island of Giglio, and especially the actions of Capt. Francesco Schettino.

Prosecutor Francesco Verusio accused the captain of piloting the ship too fast to allow him to react to dangers, causing the shipwreck, according to legal papers.

Judge Valeria Montesarchio's intial ruling says Schettino changed the ship's course, steering too close to shore and causing the ship to hit a rock.

Schettino, who may be charged with manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship, was transferred to house arrest overnight, his lawyer Bruno Leporatti said early Wednesday.

Montesarchio justified the decision on the grounds that the captain was not a flight risk and there was no danger of his interfering with evidence or committing the crime again. click here to read the full story

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