The captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship is offering his first testimony about the 2012 shipwreck off an Italian island that killed 32 people.

Francesco Schettino arrived some 45 minutes late Tuesday for his trial on charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship. His lawyer described Schettino as "tense, concentrated."

The disgraced former captain has long said he looked forward to his day in court to vindicate himself. His defense claims that no one died in the collision itself, but that the failure of a backup generator and supposedly water-tight compartments that were flooded created problems during the evacuation, when the deaths occurred.

Schettino is being tried alone after five other defendants reached plea bargains. If convicted, he could receive up to 20 years in prison.