(TRAVEL.USATODAY) — The captain of the Costa Concordia ship that partially sank on Friday after hitting rocks off the coast of Italy had diverted the vessel onto a route not authorized by the company, its CEO says.

“It is human error here,” Costa chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi told reporters dialed into a conference call Monday morning. “The captain did not follow the authorized route that is used by Costa ships very frequently.”

Rescue operations were halted Monday after the Costa Concordia shifted in rough seas and fears mounted that any further shifts could cause some of the 500,000 gallons of fuel on board to leak into the pristine waters off the island of Giglio that are a protected dolphin sanctuary.

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