The captain of the Chinese cruise ship that capsized this week with more than 450 people aboard said in an interview published Friday that he was attempting to speed up and get the boat moving in the direction of the wind when the vessel suddenly overturned.
The remarks by Capt. Zhang Shunwen, carried by the official New China News Agency, were his first detailed comments about what happened aboard the Eastern Star just before the capsizing. His statement will probably fuel questions about whether he used good judgment as he navigated through inclement weather on the Yangtze River on Monday night – and just how severe the winds were at the time.
The 52-year-old Zhang, who had 30 years of experience sailing on the Yangtze, was one of just 14 survivors of the disaster so far. Late Thursday, authorities declared there was no chance of finding anyone else alive in the hull of the ship and initiated efforts to turn the vessel upright.