A damning telephone conversation between Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, and Gregorio De Falco, a captain in the Italian coast guard, has been released. In it the cowardice of Captain Schettino comes glaring through.
In the tapes Schettino was ordered several times to get off his lifeboat and get back on the ship to help people. He said no every time.
According to official transcripts of the call between the two, the Associated Press makes the following available,
“Listen Schettino, There are people trapped on board. Now you go with your boat under the prow on the starboard side. There is a pilot ladder. You will climb that ladder and go on board. You go on board and then you will tell me how many people there are. Is that clear? I’m recording this conversation, Cmdr. Schettino…”
“In this moment, the boat is tipping…”
“Look Schettino,”perhaps you have saved yourself from the sea, but I will make you look very bad. I will make you pay for this. Get on board, damnit!”
“Are you refusing to go aboard commander? Can you tell me the reason why you are not going?”
“I am not going because the other lifeboat is stopped.”
“You go aboard. It is an order! Don’t make any more excuses. You have declared ‘abandon ship.’ Now I am in charge. You go on board! Is that clear? Do you hear me? Go, and call me when you are aboard. My air rescue crew is there.”
There was incredible chaos at the time Schettino was ordered back to ship, but his desire to run overcame his sworn duty.
Would you have behaved differently if you were Captian Schettino?
Watch a video of the whole conversation!