Costa Concordia: Captain Schettino weeps remorsefully

By Sally Collins and Kevin Leland

There has been a lot of criticism and even hatred leveled at Francesco Schettino, captain of the Costa Concordia, from around the world. The Costa Concordia set sail from Italyon January 13, 2012, and hit a reef off the coast of Italy on January 16.  It has been widely reported that the captain of the ship abandoned the ship, leaving the terrified passengers helpless. The Chaplain of the ill-fated vessel, speaks out about the remorse that Captain Francesco Schettino displayed and he sobbed in the Catholic Priest’s arms.What happened?

It’s reported that the captain abandoned ship, and the captain said he didn’t… that when the ship listed 60 plus degrees that he toppled over the ship and landed in a lifeboat.  If that was true, was there a way for him to get back on the ship? Is he lying?

The ship ran aground on ‘unmapped rocks’… in this day in age with the GPS navigation systems is this even possible?  Why did the captain navigate the ship so close to shore?  Was he ‘showing off’ as some suspect? Sea captains are supposed to know where the rocks are located. Sailors have been navigating around these rocks for thousands of years. Moreover, the ship’s GPS system should have guided them in the safer waters.   There had to be a mistake made for the cruise ship with 4200 passengers aboard to hit a reef and capsize.

Very quickly, after the accident, the power went out and left the panicked passengers in total darkness.  There was pandemonium as the passengers were all scrambling to get to the safety of the lifeboats.  The captain reported that he did not abandon ship, but that he fell off the ship when it began to capsize and landed in a lifeboat.

The chaplain of the Costa Concordia, Father Raphael Malena, in an interview with French magazine Famille Chrétienne, tells his version of events emphasizing that “his boys” – are “heroes.” He met the captain Francesco Schettino: “I spoke with him, he hugged me for a quarter of an hour and cried like a baby”  he said.

“I immediately understood the gravity of the situation, I’ve sailed for twenty years. The stern area has been flooded. It was an apocalypse,” he told the live broadcast on Tg1 “In his image,” the chaplain of Concord. The stampede was triggered by the first announcement, but after the second, at about 10:00 P.M. that night. “At first glance – the priest said – there was the announcement of power cuts in all languages, by the cruise director and hostess. The second announcement came at about 10:00, and said ‘go into the cabin and don life jackets’ and from that moment that started the stampede. ” Then at about 10:30 P.M. the third announcement was made by one of the commanders, and then the situation worsened.

The Apocalypse

After just minutes, he explained, was “the Apocalypse” In this stampede – he says – “I find a girl, fallen to the ground, took the girl it in my arms, kissed her and she puts her arms around my neck, trembling. Her mother was a few yards away, we got them both in a boat.” The chaplain admits that in the general chaos and the situation of boarding the boats, someone said “people with disabilities can wait.”

Father Raphael Malena admires the Captain’s remorse

Finally, the priest confirms that he met the commander of the Concord, Francesco Schettino, the day after the tragedy: “We looked at each other and hugged, cried, but said few words. He is a broken man. He was wrong –human error. But the pain that is in his heart? I esteem and admire it! ”




7 responses to “Costa Concordia: Captain Schettino weeps remorsefully

  1. Awesome! I like how we worked together to make this article happen!

  2. There were three of us working on this one, if you count my Italian friend, Antonio Papparo –from my Navy days. Grazie Antonio!

  3. I am wondering what his defence will be – I expect it be temporary insanity.

  4. There is no doubt that it was instant chaos on the ship. I love Italian people, and I don’t mean this in a negative way, but anyone who has lived in Italy will tell you that as part of their culture –they don’t “form orderly lines” and just buying a bus ticket can resemble a Chinese fire drill! It isn’t like it is in the West. Stampedes and chaotic panic is more likely with Italians. Not that they are cowardly, but the disorder that they are used to in non-dangerous circumstances, is a recipe for disaster during a crisis like happened aboard the Costa Concordia, making rescue operations much more difficult. I would say, everyone was temporarily insane at the time. It’s called panic. I’m anxious to see how it really went down. I’m going to be open minded.

  5. Pingback: The Rats Wait for No One | Patos Papa

  6. My friend, Antonio Papparo, will be giving us some information on the rescue operation. He is in the Italian Coast Guard, and knows the Captain and crew personally. About time for some heroic stories! I can’t wait to publish it.

    He said:

    caro kevin a presto il mio amico e collega Daniel ti mandera’ tutto cio’ che ha fatto per soccorrerre i passeggeri delLA NAVE “CONCORDIA” al fine di pubblicala sul tuo blog.

    in English:

    Dear Kevin, Soon my friend and colleague Daniel will send you ‘everything’ he has done for the rescue of passengers of the ship “Concordia” in order to publish it on your blog.

  7. Pingback: Captain Byrd und „Operation Highjump“ « Neuschwabenland

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