Capt Francesco Schettino is also claiming back pay, after it emerged on Wednesday that he had been dismissed by Costa Cruises, the company that owns the Concordia, in July.

“Costa Crociere confirms that it has concluded the disciplinary procedure against Schettino, following the sinking of the Costa Concordia, ordering his dismissal,” the company said in a statement.

The captain has claimed that he managed to save lives on the night of the disaster by steering the listing ship so that it sank in shallows off the coast of Giglio, rather than in open water. He has said that many more lives would have been lost on Jan 13 had he not made the manoeuvre as the ship began to take on water after a rocky shoal tore a massive rip in its hull.