It comes amid rumours reported in Italy’s La Stamp newspaper that a seventh body has been found on the Costa Concordia.

Meanwhile, ‘black box’ recordings showed the ship’s captain ignored an order to get back on board.

Authorities released taped telephone conversations that suggest Francesco Schettino, who is subject to a criminal investigation, was evasive when ordered by a port official to see through the rescue.

It also emerged he sailed close to the port in order to show off the ship.

Last night, 29 people – 25 passengers and four crew members – remained missing and six have been confirmed dead, after the cruise liner collided into a reef off the Tuscan coast near the island of Giglio.

The number rose as authorities falsely deemed as safe, people who had not been in contact with their families.

About 10 Germans are thought to be among those unaccounted for.

Captain Schettino is due in court today charged with manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing a shipwreck – all of which he denies.

A transcript of a conversation between the captain and a coastguard official, reportedly reveals an official telling the cruise ship captain: “Now you go to the bow, you climb up the emergency ladder and co-ordinate the evacuation.

“You must tell us how many people, children, women and passengers are there and the exact number of each category.

“What are you doing? Are you abandoning the rescue? Captain, this is an order, I am the one in charge now. You have declared abandoning ship, there are already bodies.”

“How many?” Schettino says, to which the official responds: “That is for you to tell me, what are you doing? Do you want to go home?”

Schettino said in an earlier telephone call that “(We) cannot get on board because the rear of the ship is keeling over.”

ANSA news agency reported a “mutiny” among the crew of the cruise liner, which decided on an evacuation before being given formal orders by the captain.

Schettino has been accused by the vessel’s owner, Costa Cruises, of sailing close to land to “make a salute”.

Clarence Mitchell, who is representing Costa Cruises, said: “Mr Foschi confirmed the captain had been approaching the island of Giglio to ‘make a salute’.

“The company says this (incident) was caused by an attempt by the captain to show the ship to the port.

“But there’s a criminal investigation going on and we’re not going to say anything that’s going to compromise that or the captain’s case.”

Costa Cruises chairman Pier Luigi Foschi has apologised for the tragedy, which left dozens of the 4200 people on board injured and the 114,000-tonne ship lying on its side off Tuscany.

Prosecutor Francesco Verusio said the captain’s alleged conduct was “inexcusable.”

“We are struck by the unscrupulousness of the reckless manoeuvre that the commander of the Costa Concordia made near the island of Giglio.”

An environmental crisis looms as fears grow over a fuel leak thanks to rough seas battering the cruise ship.

The waters are an area of outstanding natural beauty, a protected sanctuary for dolphins, porpoises and whales.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that in 2010 Schettino gave an interview to a Czech newspaper, saying he would never want to face a scenario like the Titantic.

He told Dnes: “I wouldn’t like to be in the role of the captain of the Titanic, having to sail in an ocean of icebergs.

“But I think that thanks to preparation, you can handle any situation and deal with potential problems.”