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“…He told investigating magistrate Valeria Montesarchio: ‘The passengers were rushing all over the decks trying to scramble into the lifeboats. I didn’t even have a life jacket because I had given it to one of the passengers – I was trying to get them into the lifeboats in an orderly fashion. All of a sudden the boat listed between 60-70 degrees. I tripped and ended up in one of the lifeboats. That’s why I was in there.’ 

Schettino’s behaviour has already been called into question after dramatic audio tapes revealed how a furious harbour official had ordered him back on to the bridge to oversee the rescue, after he was shocked to learn he had already left the Concordia despite dozens of passengers still needing help….”

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Captain Edward John Smith on the Bridge of the Titanic

Captain Edward John Smith on the Bridge of the Titanic

Many of us were taught as children that a captain does not abandon his ship or is the last man to leave.  Of course, there are many instances in which history has proven otherwise.

I mention this because the sinking of the Costa Concordia is being compared by some to the sinking of the Titanic.

While I am not sure what the similarities are between the sinking of the Costa Concordia and the Titanic, one very clear difference is that the Captain of the Titanic, Edward John Smith, abandoned neither the Titanic nor its passengers.

Captain Francesco Schettino, Captain of the Costa Concordia

Captain Francesco Schettino, Captain of the Costa Concordia

Nine minutes after the Costa Concordia hit a reef, Francesco Schettino, and some in his crew were the first to abandon ship, their posts and its passengers.

Cruise Capt. Francesco Schettino and Italian coast guard De Falco phone call (AUDIO)  

“Please ….it’s dark…,’ Schettino cried, according to audio of telephone conversations posted today on daily Corriere della Sera’s website.

‘Listen Schettino, perhaps you have saved yourself from the sea but I will make you look very bad. I will make you pay for this. Dammit, go back on board,’ Coast Guard Commander Gregorio Maria De Falco yelled….”

Compounding the disgrace, once on shore, Schettino hailed a taxi getting as far away from the scene of the accident as possible leaving passengers to fend for themselves.

Even though Schettino’s actions and the actions of some crewmembers were human, history will remember Captain Francesco Schettino, as a coward.