Captain left ship before passengers

2012-01-15 11:50

Rome - The captain of the Costa Concordia left the stricken cruise liner "well before" the last passengers were evacuated, the prosecutor in charge of investigating the disaster said on Sunday.

Asked on the news channel SkyTG24 whether captain Francesco Schettino, arrested on Saturday for multiple homicide, had left the liner "well before all the passengers were evacuated", prosecutor Francesco Verusio replied: "Unfortunately I can confirm that."

The prosecutor also indicated that the ship "was not on the right course", adding that the captain was on the bridge and "therefore responsible for operations".

He said the possible responsibility of other people apart from the captain and his number two, Ciro Ambrosio, was also being investigated.

Asked whether the crew were not properly prepared, Verusio said "It was rather the system of command which did not function as it should have done."

Italian media reports have said the captain was on shore at about 23:40 (22:40 GMT) on Friday while the last passengers were not evacuated until 05:00 GMT on Saturday.

Ennio Aquilino, in charge of the rescue operation, told AFP on Saturday: "The last person we took off the ship around 06:00 (05:00 GMT) had a broken leg."

  • Anthony - 2012-01-15 12:00

    Italian captains are all same, remember that ship that sank of PE

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-15 12:06

      All Italians are the same, remember WW2 :-)

      Squeegee - 2012-01-15 12:09

      Shortest book in the world? "Italian War Heroes". Seems their captains don't fare much better.

      magda.laas - 2012-01-15 12:20

      All the officers on Carnival ships are Italian. They are very good crew. The crew on the ship that sank off East London was Greek. The captain on this Costa ship has a lot to explain...

      Jeffrey - 2012-01-15 13:10

      I think that was a Greek captain and ship. I remember some SA entertainer on board went to the bridge and took over communications while the captain hsd taken off in lifeboat.

      John - 2012-01-15 20:44

      Wow, let's start generalizing shall we....

      John - 2012-01-15 22:26

      Whoever unliked my comment: If I made the statement "All white people are the same" wouldn't that be racist and generalizing?

      Juan - 2012-01-16 02:59

      @John I think they are generalising. I have been on an American cruise line, and the captian was Italian, and I were told that they were very good, and worked as captians on much of the company's fleet. The company that I worked for had been operating for donkeys years and had an outstanding safety record.

  • magda.laas - 2012-01-15 12:04

    I am surprised to hear there was somebody on the bridge. Were they drunk?? Did they not see where the ship was going? Why did they not close the water doors? A ship is not allowed to leave a port if a boat drill was not done first... I worked on a Carnival ship and we (the crew) were responsible for the safety of passengers. We spent hours doing boat drills in our off time! Something very weird went on on this ship...

      Ronald - 2012-01-15 14:44

      Looking at pics and noticing the proximity of the rocks as well as of the houses built virtually on those rocks, nothing but gross negligence could have caused this situation. The coastline would have been prominent on the radar, the houses in all probability had lights on, and the instruments on the bridge would have shown the rising seabed.

  • GovenderMelvan - 2012-01-15 12:09

    What a coward! Teach him a lesson and let that be a reminder to other captains.

  • Trevor - 2012-01-15 12:13

    This "The Captain is the last to leave" is as about as relevent as the "Never Leave a Man Behind" which we all know is bull....would not surprise me that the rescue effort was co-ordinated on shore and the Captain was told to butt out...hell the ship is on land so to say so......either way, this was a stupid mistake to make...

      Squeegee - 2012-01-15 18:29

      This is not just tradition - its the law!

      Hector - 2012-01-15 19:36

      @ Squeegee And how long have you been a Certified Master Mariner and where did you get your COC ? Swaziland ... Malawi ?? I must have been asleep when that gem was discussed during my maritime law studies ....what's next .. the Captain goes down with the ship ??

      Squeegee - 2012-01-16 06:02

      Hector, just quoting yesterdays report...

      Squeegee - 2012-01-16 06:12

      @Trevor: "According to the Italian navigation code, a captain who abandons a ship in danger can face up to 12 years in prison"

  • Poen - 2012-01-15 12:13

    Anthony, I think you are referring to the Oceanos - but was that not a Greek cruise liner? That time the entire crew abandoned ship before the rest of the people on board even knew what was going on. Moss Hills, who was in charge of entertainment then, did heroic work and I am, in fact, surprised that he was never given a President's award - or even mentioned - for his work. He wrote a song about the whole incident and sang it on an Indian Ocean cruise afterwards.

      Anthony - 2012-01-15 12:35

      yes thanks now I remember.

      Mike - 2012-01-15 19:25

      As I recall it was the magician (Robert Bolton? Not sure any more) that climbed up to remove lights that were obstructing rescue helicopters. But I seem to recall that many of the entertainment staff were involved in heroic acts on that day.

      hadedah - 2012-01-17 09:38

      Well said Poen, and thanks must also go to the SAAF who used their helicopters to rescue many people and to the pilots and crew of the helicopters dont remember any awards being given to them, also of interest is there is a mythical hole in the sea where the Oceanos had problems and many others ships have disapeared. what it was doing so close inshore remains to be answered.

  • Adair - 2012-01-15 12:20

    The Greek captains are also notorious for this.

  • Larry - 2012-01-15 13:01

    No such thing as "Women and Children first" with these guys.

  • Deon - 2012-01-15 13:01

    See this link for a report from a (seemingly) South African passenger:

  • Pixie86 - 2012-01-15 13:07

    i swear! This is the stuff movies are made of!

  • Cousin Jorge Mike - 2012-01-15 13:12

    why should he wait to sink ?

      Ian - 2012-01-15 13:57

      maritime law the captain does not leave the ship until the rats start swimming!

      Mike - 2012-01-15 14:20

      My cousin, take as a contrast the behaviour of the airline captain Chelsey Sullenberger, the pilot of the US airways flight that crashed in the Hudson river. He reportedly personally searched the aircraft twice after everyone was evacuated to ensure that nobody was left behind. These are the hallmarks of a person that takes upon themselves the responsibilites of command, something this Italian captain clearly lacked.

      Irene - 2012-01-15 15:36

      Honour. Do you know what the word means?

      Irene - 2012-01-15 18:45

      What a wuss you seem to be !! Surely old people, women and kids should be saved before he got his incompetent backside off the ship !! I presume you can't ever become a captain of a ship, hope you only play with yellow plastic ducks in the bath !!

      Mike - 2012-01-15 19:26

      @Ian: I do not believe that it IS indeed a law - merely a custom.

  • Mike - 2012-01-15 15:19

    This is becoming more and more astonishing. I served years at sea under very professional and committed Captains; including Italians - I do not think a single one of them would have been so coward to leave its vessel, passengers and crew. The more I read the more I really wonder what happened on that bridge and how many stuff ups rolled along to create this disaster. Shocking!

      hadedah - 2012-01-17 10:02

      Hi Mike, I too have many years at sea only difference was the disipline on the ships I served on all Navy. Just a thought perhaps the cost of overhauling the ship that size in a dry dock would cost millions if not billions.looking at the course steered to port of the course laid down, Perhaps may have been by intent, Just a thought Salvage Money as many of the life boats could not be lowered. According to an interview by BBC of one Passenger who swam ashore as the life boats could not be released??? why poor maintenance??

  • Vivian - 2012-01-15 15:57

    Throw the book at the coward, deserves to rot in jail for acting like this

  • Lorna - 2012-01-15 17:52

    is this not common? other captains of these cruise ships have done the same.

  • Gerda - 2012-01-15 17:54

    New rules when boarding a ship...... everyone bringing their own lifejackets and inflatable dinghy.

  • Peter - 2012-01-15 19:22

    There was another Italian ship that caught fire and had to be abanonded in haste off Africa. Italians are Greeks are not very good sailors;all charm and no expertise. Look out for fantastic specials from Starlight Cruises (all the operating crew are Itilian)!!!

      Peter - 2012-01-15 19:33

      The ship that caught fire was the Marco Pollo.The evuaction was handled by the South African entainers on board.The captain had left!!

      Hector - 2012-01-15 20:29

      Peter Leave your Dad's laptop and stick to the PS3 / Xbox ... Oceanos... ring a bell ?? and there was no fire .. hey just read some of the replies above and you will see it ... "Italians are Greeks are not very good sailors;all charm and no expertise. " Huh ? did you mean and rather than are ? I assume so .. even then your verbal leakage is just just BS .. now wipe your chin with some toilet paper .. You are confusing yourself with what comes out what end of your body ...

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