The captain of the Costa Concordia was drinking and dining with a young blonde Moldovan woman just before his vessel ran aground off the island of Giglio, it has emerged.
Domnica Cemortan, a cruise ship passenger rep and former dancer, was also reported to have been on the bridge with Francesco Schettino on the night of the disaster.
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Several passengers claimed they saw Mr Schettino and a woman resembling Miss Cemortan sharing a decanter of red wine shortly before the disaster. On Thursday night investigators were trying to trace the 25-year-old as they believe she may be able to shed light on what happened when the cruise liner collided with a rocky outcrop off Giglio and capsized, leading to the loss of at least 11 lives.