Captain Schettino Changes Course While Costa Concordia Trial Starts & Stops

The criminal trial against Captain Schettino finally started this week but, believe it or not, was suspended due to a national strike of lawyers in Italy.

Captain Schettino showed up for the first day at the theater in Grosseto where the trial will be held. The paparazzi photographed him wearing a snappy blue sports coat. No tie. An open collar shirt. Cool sunglasses. Tan. With his I'll-say-anything-attitude. This guy is too much. On trial for abandoning ship and manslaughter with 32 dead on his watch and he appears like a playboy vacationing on a yacht in Monaco.

All he needed to complete his image was his blonde former cruise ship dancer Moldovan paramour at his side.   

The Telegraph newspaper reports Captain Schettino's story changed. His lawyers stated that he really didn't abandon ship. He was "inadvertently thrown from the ship" is the latest excuse.

From "I-slipped-and-fell-into-a-lifeboat" whopper to "I-was-inadvertently thrown-off-the-cruise-ship" tall tale. Oh boy.

What a soap opera will unfold when the lawyers come back to work from their strike.

Captain Schettino - Costa Concordia Cruise Ship

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Photo Credit: AP / Giacomo Aprili via Telegraph

Captain Schettino to Tell "Shocking Truth" in New Book

Just when you'd think that the Costa Concordia story could not get any weirder, this week the infamous Captain Francesco Schettino announced that he is writing a book about the events surrounding the disaster. He promises to tell a "completely different story" than what has been reported to date.

So what is the "shocking truth" he teases the public about?

That "I am not captain coward."

Oh Lord save us all.  First we have him cavorting about the cruise ship with his blonde girlfriend. Then Captain Coward - Schettino - Chicken of the Seashe goes into a funk for an hour or two after he crashes the cruise ship into the rocks. When he returns to reality and tries to save his own hide from the sinking ship, he "slips and falls" into a lifeboat. When the Italian Coast Guard commander catches up with the fleeing captain, Schettino ignores the Coast Guard's order to return to the ship. He hires a lawyer and sues the cruise line for wrongful termination. He later says that he's really the hero for saving lives and, to top it off, says that the "Hand of God" touched him to navigate the ship to safety.

Oh Captain, may the hand of God be placed squarely over your babbling mouth!

Now we have a tell-all book from the Costa captain to look forward to.  Maybe a great Christmas present for your friends?

Let's hope that someone sues Schettino and obtains a judicial decree ordering all of the proceeds of the captain coward's book sales to go to the families of the people he killed. 

 

Thought for the day:  Will you buy the captain's new book? Vote on our facebook page

Six Months After Costa Concordia Disaster, Ship Remains Offshore

 

Video: CBS  "Captain Schettino remains the most reviled man in Italy." 

Captain Schettino: "I F---ed Up!" - Black Box Reveals the Truth

Yesterday, we discussed Captain Schettino's paid interview with an Italian news station where he blamed a junior officer for the Concordia disaster, claiming that he entered the bridge only after the cruise ship hit the rocks.  He says that he ordered the navigation to be manual in an effort to save the ship.

But today, investigators have leaked information to the Italian press which directly contradict Schettino's "I-didn't-do-it" excuse. The ship's "black box" shows that Schettino disabled the automatic pilot and took control of the ship at 9:39 PM that night - six minutes before the collision at 9:45 p.m. (photo shows Italian Coast Guard recovering black box from cruise ship). 

Costa Concordia Black BoxThe Corriere della Sera newspaper obtained the black box audio recordings which revealed panic on the Concordia's bridge.

According to the Vancouver Sun, an unidentified officer yelled: "Our ass is dragging along the seabed!." Schettino responded: "What did we hit?" to which the officer replied: "The reef."

Another officer said: "It was the salute that he wanted," apparently referring to the "sail by" Schettino tried to perform. At 9:56 PM Schettino telephoned Roberto Ferrarini, an officer at Costa Cruises:

"Roberto, I f-- up!" he said, according to the transcript. "Look, I'm dying here, don't tell me anything."

In the U.S., statements like this are called "excited utterances" and are admissible as evidence to show the defendant's state of mind at the time (before a defendant can begin to plot and scheme and come up with an excuse). 

A preliminary hearing remains scheduled for July 21, 2012 where additional technical information will be submitted to the presiding Italian judge.

 

Photo credit:  Reuters

Paid Over $60,000 for Interview, Captain Schettino Still Can't Offer Genuine Apology to Concordia Cruise Victims

The big news coming our of Italy as we approach the 6 month anniversary of the Costa Concordia disaster is an interview the infamous Francesco Schettino gave to an Italian television channel.

Now that an Italian court has released Captain Schettino from house release and lifted the gag order imposed on him in January, we have the first extensive interview of the disgraced captain since he ran the luxury cruise ship into the rocks and killed 32 passengers and crew members.

The interview was conducted by Italy's Canale 5, which is owned by controversial former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

From what I have read and listened to, it doesn't seem like Schettino has learned much during his sentence of house arrest Costa Concordia Captain Schettinoand 6 months of silence and self-reflection.  Yes, he eventually got around to an apology but it was mixed in with denials, excuses, a bruised ego, and a nervous eye twitch. The low points:

He said he was a "victim" claiming he was not in charge at the time of the wreck;

He claims he was distracted by a telephone call;

He claims that the rock the cruise ship hit was not charted; 

He says it was just an accident and not a crime; 

He does not regret delaying the deployment of the life boats; and 

His dinner companion blond hostess Domnica Cemortan was just a friend and did not enter the bridge.

Several news sources report that Schettino received 50,000 Euros (over $60,000) for the interview although the Italian news station denied paying him anything.

The U.K.'s Mail Online reports that after the interview aired, the news station's website was "bombarded with angry comments towards Schettino."  

One read: "I was on the ship that night with two children and they didn't let me onto a lifeboat. Schettino and most of the crew deserve nothing."  Another read: "Schettino you are a coward. A captain never abandons ship. Shame on you,"

 

 

Captain Schettino: The Most Hated Man in the History of Cruising?

Just when you thought this National-Enquirer-like story of the cowardly Costa cruise ship captain could not get any weirder, the Italian magazine Chi published a photograph of Captain Schettino and former cruise dancer/hostess Domnica Cemortan.  It seems like the love birds were eating oysters and crab legs at a restaurant about a month before married  Capitano Amore wrecked his cruise ship and killed over 30 passengers and crew while again dining with young Ms. Cemortan during the ill fated cruise.

The spectacle of this foolish captain cavorting with his mistress must burn a hole in the hearts of the families of the dead and missing.   

Captain Schettino - Domnica Cemortan


 

Story credit: DailyMail

Photo credit: Chi Magazine