Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Captian Francesco Schettino: A Profile In Cowardice

One can argue whether the mad rush of  crewmen and other males on board to get on the lifeboats of the Costa Concordia  were acting simply with what some claim are classic Italian "manners", or the result of a lifetime of feminists telling us women and men were equals.  But there can be no excusing the behavior of the Concordia's Captain Francesco Schettino, who abandoned all semblance of courage, humanity, and responsibility - left to sink with his ship into the murky deep, along with what passengers those lost traits may take with them - so that he could save his pathetic, sorry ass.

The transcript would almost be funny, if people did not die due the incredible cowardice of one pathetic man:

Port authority: "You go on board. It is an order. You cannot make any other evaluations. You have declared abandoning ship. Now I’m in charge. You get on board. Is it clear?"

Schettino: "Commandant..."

Port authority over captain: "Are you not listening to me.."

Schettino speaks over Port authority: "I’m going..."

Schettino: "Call me immediately when you get on board. Our rescue officer is there."

Schettino: "Where is your rescue officer?"

Port authority: "My rescue officer is at the stem…Go …(can hear captain saying OK)…There are already bodies, Schettino."

Schettino: "How many dead bodies are there?"

Port authority: "I don’t know. I know of one. I’ve heard of one. You are the one to tell me how many there are. Christ!"

Schettino: "Are you aware that it is dark here and we cannot see anything?"

Port authority: "So? Do you want to go home Schettino? It is dark and you want to go home? Climb the ladder and get on the stem."

Port authority: "...and tell me what can be done, how many people are there, what do they need. Now."

Schettino: "Commandant, we are with the second in command…"

Port authority: "Then both of you climb up. What is his name?"

Schettino: "Dimitris Christidis."

Port authority: "You are your guard. Go on board, now!"

Schettino: "Commandant… I want to go on board, it is just that the other lifeboat here…there are other rescue operators... it has stopped and it is stuck there... now I’ve called other rescue operators..."

Port authority: "It is one hour that you are telling me this. You go on board. On b.o.a.r.d (says the word slowly almost spelling it out). And you immediately tell me how many people there are"

Schettino: "OK."

Compare and contrast to, say, the men who stormed into the World Trade Center on September 11th. And some say there is no such thing as American exceptionalism...


Italian Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco: Where are you? On the lifeboats? All the officers?"

Schettino: "Yes, we are with the second commander…"

De Falco: "Forgive me, but before you were only with a sailor. If the officers managed to get down, it means that they could still move."

Schettino: "Yes...in fact...

De Falco: "Then why don’t they get back on board? To monitor the operation and then they can tell us. Thank you."

Schettino: "No it is not possible…"

Schettino: "We abandoned the ship…the ship turned ..."

De Falco: "...and with one hundred people on board you abandon the ship? (expletive)"

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