Captain of Sinking Cruise Liner Abandoned Ship Early & Refused to Go Back When Ordered – 5 More Bodies Discovered

Detained: Captain Francseco Schettino, pictured here in 2010, will appear in court today. (Daily Mail)

The captain fo the sinking Costa Concordia abandoned the sinking ship and refused to go back when ordered.
The Daily Mail reported:

The Costa Concordia’s captain did abandon ship before hundreds of his passengers, it has emerged via a transcript of a conversation between him and the local coastguard.

Francesco Schettino, who will be questioned today by investigating magistrate Valeria Montesarchio, also lied to the Captain of the Port of Livorno’s Coastguard when asked how many people were on board the sinking liner, Italian media reported today.

He initially replied ’40’, when there were actually hundreds still at risk, and when further questioned admitted he was not even there.

He then ignored an order to go back onto the sinking ship – with some reports suggesting he volunteered to return, but only to pick up the black box.

The publication of the transcripts by Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper comes as it was revealed junior officers onboard led a ‘mutiny’ after the ship struck a reef and captain Francesco Schettino dithered in giving the order to abandon the stricken vessel.

According to coastguards Schettino did not give the crucial instructions until 10.58pm on Friday night, more than one hour after the initial impact with the rocks, and so wasting valuable time that contributed to the loss of six lives.

Officials say that during those chaotic minutes, the bungling skipper had tried to palm them off and minimise the dangerous situation it was facing – and that it was his juniors who realised the impending disaster and ordered passengers and crew to the lifeboats.

Proof of the ‘mutiny’ came from coastguard vessels at the scene, who reported seeing several lifeboats in the water before Schettino had officially given the order at just before 11pm.

Five more bodies were found this morning. The passengers were wearing lifejackets.
USA Today reported:

Italian media are reporting that five more bodies have been found on a capsized cruise ship off the Italian coast, raising the death toll to 11, the Associated Press reports.

The Telegraph quotes Filippo Marini, a Coast Guard spokesman, as saying one woman and five men were all found at the stern of the boat, below the waterline.

“They were all wearing life jackets and we believe they are all aged between 50 and 60 years old,” Marini is quoted as saying.

ITN News posted video of the capsized ship.

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  • Shameful and appalling

  • bear

    The “captain” has legally changed his name to ‘Captain Fortuna, Chicken of the sea.’

  • Granny

    It used to be a crime for a captain to abandon his ship with people still aboard.

  • Conservative to the Core

    Apart from the the lives of the passengers, how can something worth millions and millions of dollars be trusted in the hands of ONE human? Aren’t there any safeguards? It took some time to get so off course.

  • This “male” is a criminal. And every crew-member who abandoned early with him all belong in jail. Those hapless passengers depended on the crew for direction and help.

  • Militant Conservative

    Capain altered the course of the ship manually.

    Violation of the corporate safety protocol.

    Mr. Black box will bear this out.

  • Warthog

    #4 January 17, 2012 at 10:06 am
    Conservative to the Core commented:
    Apart from the the lives of the passengers
    (citizens), how can something worth millions and millions of dollars be trusted in the hands of ONE human? Aren’t there any safeguards? It took some time to get so off course.

    But enough about Obama the US Government, we’re talking about a ship here.

  • Sam Stone

    This Captain has nothing on Captain Obama!

  • shibumi

    1. As far as I can tell, maritime law specifies the Captain must stay with his ship.
    2. This guy reminds me of David Hasselhoff.

  • Sasja

    It has been reported that he altered course so as to give a salute to a retired officer and to impress his head waiter’s family. He was supposed to have been four miles off shore. Another report stated he hailed a taxi and told the driver to “Get me as far away from here as possible.”

    Opus, I think the crew stayed aboard and only the cowardly captain jumped ship.

  • Multitude

    The Titanic was a Gilded Age icon for the naive belief that technology would perfect man. Instead of flying machines and super-humans, it was immediately followed by a terrifying world war unlike any prior.

    In similar respect, the Costa Concordia may have arisen as the new symbol for our age, mocking humanity for its foolish reliance in the protection from harm it believe is provided from techno-statist imperialism. “We’re guaranteed our lives, our investments, our lifestyles, are safe when we hand over responsibility to the elites who promise us protection.”

    There’s your elite, showboating, drinking and partying, and then fleeing the ship when their utter reckless and incompetence crashes us all into the rock. That we are economically and socially paralleling the Gilded Age’s extreme wealth of the elites, its endless partying of its politically powerful, and the collapse of the middle and the poor, may not be accidental.

  • Patty

    Chesley Sullenberger, what if he had done this. There should be extensive training by the employees for emergencies.

    It would be at best interest of Carnival to immediately make sure all employees are thoroughly trained and have the maturity to make sure that all passengers are explained what to do in the event of an emergency, prior to ships launch.

    This captain credentials and background has to have flaws. He will be liable for his actions and again, responsibility lies squarely on this Captain.

  • Patty

    Airline employees go through extensive training for emergencies. It is so extensive that they realize what could happen and those who are not so keen on being there are weeded out quick.

    Trained for fire, high jacking, ditching and a passenger in distress. It covers all the bases. This cruise liner would very much benefit from the same courses those in the Airlines are obligated to take.

  • Patty

    Employees who don’t past the mustard when under examination are shown the door. Professionalism is of the utmost importance in order to protect so many human lives.

  • 66chevelle

    Andrea Doria, Achille Lauro, Costa Concordia…hmmmmm….anyone see a pattern here?

  • valerie

    This is reminiscent of the French truck driver whose vehicle caught fire in the Chunnel. Instead of dealing with the matter while it was still small, he fled. This led to a big, expensive mess, closure of the Chunnel for repairs, and, not least, deaths of others.

  • Remco Kimber

    Ted Kennedy could easily have gotten a job of captain. As quickly as Schettino abandoned his cruise ship and passengers to their own fate, Kennedy left Mary Jo to save his own skin.

    Remember this: Ted’s first call was to HIS LAWYER, not authorities.

    Democrats, gutless all!

  • Patty

    The life jackets, were useless, purchased from the Nonpareil Cork Works company were defective, second-grade products. They had been filled with granulated cork, instead of large, solid core pieces, one on each side, and brought up to proper weight by the inclusion of iron bars inside the jackets. The ship’s dry-rotted fire hoses fell apart when the crew attempted to use them to put out the fire.
    Only 321 passengers survived, and only two crew members died. Van Schaick immediately fled the ship on a nearby tug, leaving passengers to fend for themselves. As a result of his negligence, 1,019 passengers died, along with two of his crew.

    Seven people were indicted by a Federal grand jury after the disaster: the Captain; two inspectors; and the president, secretary, treasurer and commodore of the Knickerbocker Steamship Company. Only Captain Van Schaick was convicted.

    Van Schaick was found guilty on one of three charges: criminal negligence, failing to maintain proper fire drills and fire extinguishers. The jury could not reach a verdict on the other two counts of manslaughter. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. He served only three years in Sing Sing and was pardoned by President Taft.

    The neighborhood of Little Germany declined following the disaster, with so many women and children having died, it left many of the men in the community in emotional disrepair.

  • greenfairie

    I took a Costa cruise from Ft. Lauderdale back in the ’80s. I’m not sure if Costa sails from any U.S. port anymore. But if you go to a foreign land and sail with a company with insufficient legal/business contact with the U.S., it’s at your own risk. Their safety standards are likely not what you’d find on a Carnival or Disney cruise ship sailing out of Florida or California.

  • BuddyG

    Ugh, this just get worse and worse.

  • Stuart

    This is not the first time this has happened. Several years ago another cruse ship, this one Greek,
    foundered off of the South African coast. The Captain and crew abandoned ship without bothering to tell anyone the were in peril. The passengers rallied, however, and lead by one of the cruise ship entertainers organized a rescue. It was a very narrow escape but, IIRC, the South Africans managed to air lift all of the passengers off the ship just before it went to the bottom. Moral of the story: Don’t go on any cruses on ships of Mediterranean registry.
    Reports are that the crew in this case as well, left the ship long before the passengers and elbowed their way to the lifeboats ahead of anybody else. Contrast this with the behavior of the Titanic’s crew, a White Star Liner of British registry.

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  • SSBN 627(B)

    Man has been sailing these waters for ten thousand years. There are no ‘uncharted rocks’.

  • Patty

    Management and real concern for paying customers is lacking. You see this everywhere. May not be as serious but it is very prevalent.

    Rules and regulations are important when it comes to safety. No talking about Obama’s exuberance regulations.

    Lives are at stake, first and foremost should be the MOST important thing for any company that has life in their hands.

  • Patty

    This ship took this course often. So, the Captain had to be clowning around. Instrument panel shows the obstacles but obvious went off course because Captain was in proficient at his job.

  • Patty

    I do believe that if this Cruise liner get up and running ever again this course will be changed by a few hundred yards or so.

  • Patty

    Excuse me, NOT this particular ship.

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  • Darwin Akbar

    This is reminiscent of the sinking of the Andrea Doria, also an Italian cruiseliner, in 1956. The crew hustled off the ship after it collieded with another off the coast of Nantucket, leaving the passengers to fend for themselves. Luckily, it took the A-D about 11 hours to sink, so the death toll was relatively small.

    After the sinking of the Andrea Doria, my late father vowed NEVER to sail on an Italian cruise line ever again. A smart guy, my father.

    We can now resurrect all of those old jokes:

    Q: Why does the new Italian navy have glass-bottom boats?

    A: So they can see the old Italian navy.

  • bigL

    They have life-boats for all the passengers. But if they are flopped over, then Half are not accessible. So what is the plan for that?
    I would also like to know why the watertight doors did not close. there are magnets that hold them open . then they can be closed from remote area. When ships I was on had a day at sea or day in port, the crew would have a drill. One drill is closing and opening the doors.

  • # 7 Warthog……Good one, and true both are disasters.

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  • kilroy64

    Shortest book in the world: ” Italian War Heros”.

  • Fair Trade

    Let’s not condemn a whole country for the actions of one or even a few men. If you want to look for bad examples we don’t have to leave our own backyards.

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  • sidi

    he was my captain on a cruise i took two years ago ;p looool

  • Princessmerleen

    I hope the stinking caption gets what is coming to him! The Caption is supposed to be that last man or women, to be off of a sinking ship! Not the first!