As you will be aware, on 13 January 2012, Francesco Schettino murdered 32 people. Another person died trying to clear up the devastation he had left behind.
The sinking of the Costa Concordia was an entirely preventable tragedy, caused not just by the Captain’s incompetence and arrogance in sailing too close to the well-documented rocks in the area, but more serious yet, by then delaying 45 minutes before informing the passengers there was a problem and that they should muster (gather in public areas and don lifejackets) and abandon ship. If he had acted properly in the immediate aftermath of his stupidity, no one needed to die.
Of course, the third and arguably most egregious of his derelictions of duty was to scarper and save his own skin, leaving the passengers and crew to fend for themselves. He phoned the Coastguard to report the incident FROM A LIFEBOAT. Maritime law is very clear about a captain being the last to leave. There are reasons for that – a chain of command is needed in an emergency. But he was too cowardly to do the job he had been paid to do. All he was paid to do was get the passengers from A to B safely. That was it. nothing more. The entertainment isn’t his job, the food isn’t his problem. All he has to do is keep people SAFE. And he didn’t.
Do you want to know just how much of a coward this man really is? He didn’t even bother to turn up to hear the verdict. No, really. That arrogant and that disinterested. Do you know what he said? He said “All the responsibility has been loaded on to me with no respect for the truth or for the memory of the victims”. Of course you get all the responsibility. YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN. THAT’S YOUR JOB. THE BUCK STOPS WITH YOU. Where else would it go?!
In the end, he is behind bars, at least, so he can’t be a guest speaker at any more symposia about how to deal with mass panic (no, really, I kid you not. If you don’t believe me, just Google “Francesco Schettino guest speaker”). What the organisers were thinking asking a captain who killed 33 people and abandoned ship before evacuating his passengers to speak on panic control, I have no idea, but they really did.
But now he’s locked up. So that’s over for now.
“Prosecutors had sought a 26-year jail term but the court sentenced Schettino to 10 years for multiple manslaughter, five years for causing the shipwreck and one year for abandoning his passengers.” Source: BBC News.
So now we will all be that little be safer at sea, without this cowardly, incompetent idiot on the waves.