A mystery woman was on the bridge alongside captain Francesco Schettino when his ship ran aground off an Italian island on Friday night, it emerged today.
The blonde woman is a 25-year-old Moldovan crew member who was not properly identified by investigators as she reportedly did not appear on any official manifest for the Costa Concordia.
She is passenger rep Domnica Cemortan, possibly hired without a proper contract. Reports speculated she may have been on the bridge because Schettino was trying to impress her.
Blonde is Domnica Cemortan, 25, from Moldova, who was working as passenger rep for Costa Cruises.
Prosecutors believe she may have crucial evidence as to what happened when cruise liner sailed by island of Giglio.
Witnesses describe seeing Captain Schettino with blonde in restaurant 30 minutes before crash and on the bridge.
Initial reports said she may have been on board without authorisation, but Costa Cruises she was a verified passenger.
A statement from Costa Cruises later confirmed Ms Cemortan was an authorised passenger.
It said: 'Costa Cruises would like to clarify that the law as it stands, safety regulations and the control systems applied meticulously by the company do not permit the embarkation of unregistered passengers.
Based on the pictures broadcast by the media, the woman stated as being in the company of Captain Schettino on the evening of January 13th was certainly embarked on January 13th in Civitavecchia and duly registered.
'The company is ready to provide the authorities, when requested, with the identity of the person and the number of the ticket purchased.'
Investigators want to find out where she was at the moment the Concordia hit the rocks.
New recording reveals crew on board thought accident was just a black out and told coastguard there was no emergency.
11 people confirmed dead and 21 still missing after disaster.