Italian Cruise Ship Captain Waited Too Long to Admit Crash Was His Fault

rocky italian coastWell, well, well. Francesco Schettino, captain of the doomed Costa Concordia, is changing his tune. Though he initially claimed the fatal crash was not his fault, Schettino now admits to making a "navigational mistake" which caused the cruise liner to crash into the shore of the rocky Tuscan island of Giglio.

Quite a switch from his original story, in which the captain made a daring U-turn to avoid uncharted rocks, saving "hundreds if not thousands" of lives in the process. Indeed, Schettino painted himself as quite the hero. Abandon ship? Nah, not him.

You can't blame a guy for accidentally tripping on deck and falling overbard ... right into a lifeboat!

(Seriously? And what did Captain Curly slip on, a banana peel?)

There's no way around the fact that Schettino's error killed (at least) 11 of his passengers. But the fact that his immediate reaction was to not only refuse the blame but pretend he did something brave makes his crime even more reprehensible.


His excuses have been utterly pathetic, not to mention insulting. As if anyone would believe this:

“The passengers were pouring onto the deck, taking the lifeboats by assault. I didn’t even have a life jacket because I had given it to one of the passengers. I was trying to get people into the boats in an orderly fashion. Suddenly, since the ship was 60- to 70-degree angle, I tripped and ended up in one of the boats. That’s how I found myself there.”

Uh, sure.

As of now, Schettino hasn't officially explained what caused the deadly "navigational mistake." But some are saying the captain veered too close to the coast as a favor to the ship's head waiter, Antonello Tievoli, who wanted to wave goodbye to family members back on land.

Somehow I doubt Schettino is going to cop to that accusation anytime soon. But at this point, the public is already so disgusted with him it really doesn't matter.

Is there anything Francesco Schettino could say or do now to save his reputation?


Image via ezioman/Flickr

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