January 17, 2012

Cowardly Captain of the Costa Concordia: They Don't Call Him "Schettino" for Nothing

And, as the sun sets slowly on western civilization....

This is a translated transcript of a conversation in Italian between the commander of the cruise lines (Port Authority) and the "Captain" of the wrecked cruise liner who has, it seems, been one of the first off the ship. Port Authority is none too pleased with this and is having none of Shittino's ... er... Schettino's excuses:

Port Authority: Schettino, listen to me, there are people trapped onboard, now you go back, you will go with your rescue boat under the stern of the ship, there are some steps, you climb those steps and you get onboard and you get back to me letting me know how many people are on board. Is that clear to you? I am actually recording this conversation captain.

[inaudible, captain mumbles]

PA: Speak in a loud voice.

Captain: So, the ship right now [inaudible]...

PA: Speak in a loud voice! Put your hand by the microphone to cover it and speak up! Is that clear?

Voices in the background: "Tell him to come here. Tell him to come here."

Captain: So, right now the ship is tilted…

PA: I understand that. Listen to me, there are people that are getting off using the rope ladder on the stern side, you go back there and you go up that ladder the opposite way, you go onboard the ship and you tell me how many people [are there] And what they need. You tell me if there are children, women or people that need assistance and you give me a number for each one of these categories is that clear? Look Schettino, you may have saved yourself from the sea but will put you through a lot of trouble it will be very bad for you! Get back on board for [expletive]'s sake!!!

Captain: Officer, please.

PA: There are no "pleases"! Get back on board! Please assure me that you are going back on board.

Captain: I am here on the rescue boat. I'm right here, I didn't go anywhere else, I'm here.

PA: What are you doing captain?

Captain: I'm here to coordinate rescue operations.

PA: What are you coordinating? Get back on board and coordinate rescue operations from onboard the ship.

[silence, sound cuts out]

PA: Do you refuse to do that?

Captain: No, I'm not refusing to do that.

PA: Are you refusing to back on board?

Captain: No, I am not refusing to go back. I am not going because the other rescue boat stopped.

PA: Get back on board! This is an order! You don't need to make any other assessment. You have declared that you have abandoned ship, therefore I'm in command. Get back on board right now is that clear?

Captain: Officer…

PA: Can you not hear me?

Captain: I'm getting back on board.

PA: Then go! And call me right away when you are on board. There's my rescuer there.

Captain: Where is your rescuer?

PA: My rescuer is on the stern side, go! There are already bodies, Schettino! Go!

Captain: Officer how many bodies are there?

PA: I don't know. I know about one…I've heard about one, but you must tell me! [expletive]!

Captain: Do you realize it's dark out here and we can't see anything?

PA: What do you want to do? Do you want to go home? It's dark, so you want to go home? Get on the stern of that ship climb the ladder and tell me what can be done, how many people are there and what they need. Right now!

Captain: I'm here with my second officer.

[Schettino identifies second officer.]

PA: You and your second officer must get back on board right now is that clear?

Captain: I just wanted to tell you that the other rescue boat here with other rescuers stopped. It's just stopped. Now I've called the other rescuers.

PA: You've been telling me the same thing for an hour now get back on board! On board! And you get back to me right away telling me how many people are there.

Captain: It's fine officer, I'm going.

PA: Then go, right now!

The conversation itself can be heard in this clip (with subtitles):

Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 17, 2012 2:33 PM
Bookmark and Share



"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

"And, as the sun sets slowly on western civilization...."

I just felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if somebody told a million souls that Kevin Costner was set to direct a reboot of "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome", and set it in his "Waterworld" er, world, as a buddy comedy with him and Mel Gibson, and those same million souls cried out in terror, and then stopped and got in their cars to come looking for me to kick my ass, because they all think it was my idea and won't listen when I try telling them no, it's Vanderleun's idea, really, it's not fair, look at this caption on his post, dammit...

Posted by: Mike James at January 17, 2012 3:30 PM


It's pronounced "Skeh-teeno," although I understand the urge to make a pun. The proper term for Capt. Schettino is "un schiffoso" (Skee-fozo: "a disgusting one" is the literal translation. "Scumbag" is an acceptable translation).

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at January 17, 2012 3:30 PM


His resume is poisoned. I wonder if MacDonalds will have him?

Posted by: pdwalker at January 17, 2012 3:34 PM

OMG. I thought this was a parody of some kind after reading Mike James' comment.

I just saw it on the BBC website as well.

Posted by: rickl at January 17, 2012 4:06 PM

Sporco figlio di puta.

Posted by: Jewel at January 17, 2012 4:35 PM

I should have been more serious rickl, because of the still growing death toll, but this tragedy has what feels like a thick overlay of farce. Gerard's caption put me immediately in mind of the Captain Walker scene from "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" crossed with "Waterworld".

And you just know that right now, someone is beavering away on the first draft of a film script about the wreck of the Costa Concordia. It'll have dancing girls rescuing passengers, with absolute verity, for God's sake.

Posted by: Mike James at January 17, 2012 4:40 PM

Just one word need be said - Coward!

Posted by: at January 17, 2012 5:12 PM

It'll have dancing girls rescuing passengers, with absolute verity, for God's sake.

That's actually not so far-fetched.

Posted by: rickl at January 17, 2012 5:21 PM

All men are cowards...are scared of the night. The difference between most men and this sub-human named Schettino is, we know we are scared, we know we are cowards, but when push comes to shove, we do what needs to be done anyway.

Ask any service member who found themselves in a firefight. Or any one who met their or their loved ones attackers head on. We did what we had to do, and would do it again, because to do anything less is to be less of a man.

I predict this individual (A Captain he is no more, and his stature as a man, is questionable,) will be found to have taken his own life. Either quickly...or over time via drink, drugs, or other agents.

Posted by: Guy S at January 17, 2012 5:27 PM

That party boat looks as seaworthy as a rubber ducky. If it had gone down in deeper water, with this crew....

Posted by: james wilson at January 17, 2012 5:45 PM

One cannot ordinarily run a ship onto the rocks in deeper water.

But yes, I've often wondered how seaworthy those cruise ships are, that look like high-rise buildings tipped on their sides.

Posted by: pfsm at January 17, 2012 5:56 PM

Shades of Lord Jim, but only shades. Unlike "Jim," Capt. Schettino is actually guilty, and will not be able to redeem himself.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at January 18, 2012 9:44 AM


He claims he fell into the life boat by accident. Sort of like Lord Jim.

Posted by: EBL at January 18, 2012 12:58 PM

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard.
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

J.C. by W.S.

Posted by: I-RIGHT-I at January 19, 2012 1:38 PM