Daily Israel Report

Search Operations End 'Indefinitely' on Sinking Cruise Ship

Search teams have "indefinitely" ended operations aboard the Italian Costa Concordia luxury cruise ship due to shifting in the water.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 1/18/2012, 12:39 PM

Search teams have "indefinitely" ended operations aboard the Italian Costa Concordia luxury cruise ship when the vessel began shifting as it lay on its side.

The ship has been stuck in the seabed off the Tuscany coast since last Friday night (Jan. 13), when it ran aground on a sandbar near the island of Giglio, off western Italy. But changes in the surf have caused the massive wreck to shift on its side, sparking concerns about danger to search teams.

The death toll rose to a confirmed count of 11 after five more bodies -- all wearing life jackets -- were pulled from the wreckage of the ship on Tuesday. At least 14 others were injured. 

Captain Francesco Schettino was ordered released from jail to house arrest by an Italian judge after three hours of interrogation on Tuesday, his attorney said told reporters.

The captain was accused of causing the shipwreck, manslaughter and abandoning his ship before all 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members were safely evacuated from the vessel as it sank Friday night. At least 29 people are still listed as missing. Among those who were rescued were seven Israelis, and a Jewish couple from Florida on their honeymoon.

An audio has emerged in which he was heard to be making excuses to the Italian coast guard while repeatedly being ordered to return to the ship to oversee its evacuation, CBS News reported.