Crying Captain Schettino Shows No Remorse: Sentenced to Sixteen Years

After a nineteen month long trial, the three judges presiding over the Costa Concordia trial sentenced Captain Francisco Schettino to sixteen (16) years in jail for manslaughter, causing the disaster and abandoning ship. The sentence was broken down as follows; ten (10) years for multiple counts of manslaughter, five (5) years for causing the shipwreck, and one (1) year for abandoning ship. Schettino was also sentenced to one month for making false communications to maritime authorities after the shipwreck.

During closing arguments, breaking down in tears, Schettino demonstrated little concern for the consequences of his recklessness other than feeling sorry for himself, saying that three years ago "I died along with the 32 others." Schettino's defense lawyer said: "In these three years, Schettino has suffered the same as a 30-year sentence." His legal counsel argued that he was made a scapegoat by Francesco Schettinothe cruise line Carnival-Corporation-owned Costa Cruises.

The prosecutor described Schettino as an "idiot" and a "coward."

Costa paid a relatively small fine of 1.1 million dollars to avoid a criminal trial.

The prosecution sought 26 years in jail for Schettino. The defense requested a maximum of 5 years. The judges essentially split the difference with 16 years. Schettino is entitled to an automatic appeal of the sentence and is likely not to serve time in jail during the appeal.

The stock of Costa's parent company, Carnival Corporation, is up today.

You can read our first article about the disaster here: Passengers Panic As Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Begins to Sink.

The question which I keep asking myself is what does the brother and parents of Costa crew member Russel Rebello think of the verdict

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Photo Credit: Reuters

News Channel 7 Investigates "Captain of Controversy" Francesco Schettino - Coward or Scapegoat?

Miami news station WSVN - 7 aired an interesting interview with Francesco Schettino last night and asked: Is he a coward who caused 32 people to die the night his ship the Costa Concordia capsized? Or is he is a professional who did all that he could to avert disaster due to mistakes by his crew? 

An Italian judge is in the process of considering evidence whether criminal charges should be filed against him and other Costa employees. 

Schettino blames his bridge team for navigating off-course towards the island and then failing to properly conduct the course change he ordered. He calls the incident an accident and questions why the prosecutors are trying to turn the incident into a crime.

The helmsman, from Indonesia, left the jurisdiction and will not return to Italy for trial if one is ordered.

Channel 7's investigation does not address the events which followed the cruise ship striking the rocks.

WSVN-TV -

Costa Concordia's Captain Schettino Returns to the Sea

The Sun newspaper in the U.K. published a photo this weekend of disgraced Costa Captain Francesco Schettino aboard a power boat in the Mediterranean. 

The Sun reports that Captain Schetino "wore swimming trunks as he took to the waves near his home in Sorrento, Italy."

A friend of his was at the helm for a while, according to the newspaper, and then handed control of the recreational boat over to Schettino.

Apparently, nothing prevents the former Costa captain from operating pleasure craft even though he sailed a $500 million luxury liner into a reef earlier this year and killed 32 of his passengers. 

Images like this of the captain must make the families of the victims blood boil.

Costa Concordia Captain Schettino - Chicken of the Seas

The captain always goes down with the ship, the saying goes. 

Or at least the captain is the last to leave a sinking vessel.

But not on the Costa Concordia.

Passengers aboard the stricken Costa cruise ship say that they observed Italian Master Francesco Schettino draped in a blanket aboard a lifeboat heading to safety as the vessel's crew and passengers struggled for their lives.  There is also talk that the captain intentionally deviated from course to "buzz the island," which if true takes this case from sinple negligence to recklessness or intentional misconduct.   

Arrested in Rome for manslaughter and abandoning ship, Captain Schettino talked about "lateral projections of rocks" and other phantom rubbish, rather than his own foolishness, which tore the hull apart and doomed his cruise ship.  He boasted that he saved lives and was the last to leave the vessel, apparently forgetting about his chief purser who was trapped aboard the ship.  

The captain of a vessel is the supreme master of his ship at sea.  The captain is ultimately responsible not only for the safe navigation of the vessel, but for the discipline and order of the crew and the safety of all crew and passengers.

Initial reports suggest that Captain Schettino failed on all accounts.  In an unregulated industry which looks for a scapegoat, the cruise line will focus on an irresponsible and renegade captain as the sole cause of the disaster which unfolded this weekend.

If passenger accounts are correct, Captain Schettino will long be considered a coward who abandoned his responsibilities and duties after wrecking the Concordia and killing scores of innocents in the process.      

  

Francesco Schettino - Costa Concordia Captain - Abandon Ship

 

Photo credit:  Enzo Russo / EPA