Thursday, January 19, 2012

In deep Schettino

Behaviour like this does not just pop out of the blue, especially after roaming around the planet for 52 years. This jerk must have had a history of cocky poor judgement, ego-driven selfish me-first-ism, lying pass-the-buck-ism.

"This jerk" of course is "Captain" Francesco Schettino. Captain Jerk from the StarCrossed Costa Enterprise.

I'm a hero, not a coward says Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino
In an extraordinary claim, Francesco Schettino argued he was responsible for "saving hundreds, if not thousands, of lives" by steering the crippled ship closer to shore after it struck rocks, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Even though it had suffered a fatal gash in its port-side hull, Schettino - a Concordia ship's captain for six years - tells a worried harbourmaster that everything is fine other than just a small technical problem.

When officials again managed to contact the captain, who by now was safely on shore despite hundreds of passengers still being on board, he said he was unable to return because the cruise liner had started to list badly.

Instead of obeying the orders, Schettino was reportedly seen getting into a taxi and leaving the scene as passengers were left to fend for themselves.

Read more:

Cruise Captain Says He 'Tripped' Into Lifeboat, Couldn't Get Out
"I had no intention of escaping," Francesco Schettino, 52, said during his first court hearing Tuesday, according to Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper. ... I tripped and I found myself inside the life boat with a number of passengers."

The captain also reportedly admitted to the court that he lied at one point when he assured officials that he had dropped anchor shortly after the Costa Concordia slammed into a rock to stabilize the luxury liner.

Schettino reportedly admitted that he made mistakes that led to the crash and afterwards, but said the ship's course, including the now-controversial close pass, had been set from the beginning. The cruise line previously said Schettino had made an unauthorized deviation from the programmed route.

Cruise disaster: captain neared rocks in Facebook stunt for friend's family
In a pre-planned stunt advertised on Facebook, captain of The Concordia, Francesco Schettino, sailed perilously close to the coast of Giglio so that the ship's head waiter could salute his family on land.

According to Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper, as the cruise liner approached the island's coastline Captain Francesco Schettino, 52, said to the head waiter Antonello Tievolli: "Come and see, Antonello, we're right in front of Giglio".

Minutes before the cruise ship hit the rocks, the waiter's sister Patrizia Tievoli had posted on Facebook that: 'In a short period of time the Concordia ship will pass very close. A big greeting to my brother who finally get to have a holiday on landing in Savona.'

Compare and contrast Schettino with De Falco:

Costa Concordia coastguard rejects 'hero' label
Gregorio de Falco, commander of Livorno port authority, says he just did his job when he ordered captain Francesco Schettino back to the stricken cruise ship.

"Captain," said De Falco at one point. "This is an order. Now I am in command. You have declared the abandoning of a ship and are going to co-ordinate the rescue from the bridge," adding, "What do you want to do? Go home?"

Italy's Cruise Crisis Spawns An Unlikely Star
Five days after a cruise liner slammed into rocks off Italy's Tuscan coast, the country is gripped by the contrasting profiles of two key figures in the drama — the captain charged with abandoning ship and the captain who demanded he get back onboard.

During the four-minute conversation hours after the collision, an increasingly enraged De Falco orders Schettino to return to the ship and help coordinate the evacuation of the many remaining passengers.

"You've abandoned ship! I'm in charge now," De Falco rages at Schettino, who was apparently in a rowboat at this time. "Go back and report to me how many passengers [are still onboard] and what they need. ... Perhaps you saved yourself from the sea, but I'll make you pay for this, dammit!"

Schettino can be heard trying to refuse the order. "You don't understand, it's dark here. Can't see anything," he says.

"What is it, you want to go home Schettino?" De Falco spits out. "It's dark and you want to go home?"

Eventually De Falco demands: "Go back onboard, dammit!"

De Falco's Italian expletive is actually much harsher than "dammit" — but the line has become a national catchphrase and is Italy's top trending hashtag, or keyword on Twitter.

By Wednesday morning, his words were a national slogan, with T-shirts being sold online with the words, "Go back onboard, dammit."

One tweet from a woman named Sofia Rosada said, "It's men like De Falco who should be governing, instead we are full of men like Schettino."



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