Costa Concordia Crash Captain: “It’s Not My Fault, I Was On My Phone”

The captain of the downed Costa Concordia cruise ship apologized for the wreck that killed 32 people, but then said that the crash really wasn’t his fault.

Francesco Schettino was called the “Chicken of the Sea” after bailing on the sinking ship, and although the notion that a “captain goes down with the ship” might be an antiquated moral sentiment, the captain has done as much damage-control as possible to escape not only the sinking of the cruise liner, but also his drowning reputation. In a recent interview, Schettino claimed that he was answering a telephone call and that another officer was driving the cruise ship when it slammed into a reef off the Italian coast, reports NY Daily.

“At that moment, I went up to the bridge,” he said. “I ordered the navigation to be manual, and I didn’t have the command. The navigation was being directed by a (subordinate) official.”

Although Schettino said that he blames himself for the crash, he gives greater onus to forces beyond his control, including destiny, reports CBS. “This is a banal accident in which destiny found space right in the interaction among human beings,” he said, subtly blaming the other officers on deck.

Unfortunately for Schettino, the cruise ship’s black box tells a different story. It puts Schettino in control of the ship just six minutes before it ran aground. This particular report has outraged Italian Prosecutor Francesco Verusio, who said, “Everything that happened on the bridge showed what his responsibilities are,” continuing, “We should remember that the day after his arrest he said, ‘I did a stupid thing’ — and now he says he is a perfect captain,” incredulously declaring, “It’s incredible!”

Costa Concordia down

The captain is charged with manslaughter and abandoning ship. While he is sorry about the tragedy, he says that he does not personally feel any guilt or culpability. “It is normal that I ask for forgiveness from everyone and feel the weight of the 32 victims on my conscience,” he said.

He also denies that his actions after the crash constitute an act of cowardice. “The ground gave in below me,” he said. “It was like the tremor of an earthquake, the floor gives in and what do you do?”

Do you think Captain Schettino is completely culpable for the 32 lives lost in the Costa Concordia tragedy?

Costa Concordia salvage efforts