Tuesday 17 January 2012

Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino told he will 'pay for this' by coast guard


As the Costa Concordia cruise liner lay stricken on its side, and with people still scrambling to evacuate, an Italian Coast Guard chief raged at the ship’s captain to get back on board and direct the rescue efforts. But the captain, Francesco Schettino, who was in a lifeboat, refused to return to the ship. A partial transcript of the dramatic conversation between Schettino and Gregorio De Falco, the Coast Guard official, as released by newspaper Corriere della Sera. National Post CLICK FOR LARGER GRAPHIC Coast Guard: Listen, Schettino. There are people trapped on board. Now, you go with your lifeboat. Under the bow of the ship, on the right side, there is a ladder. You climb on that ladder and go on board the ship. Go on board the ship and get back to me and tell me how many people are there. Is that clear? I am recording this conversation, Captain Schettino. Captain: At this moment the ship is listing. Coast Guard: There are people who are coming down the ladder on the bow. Go back in the opposite direction, get back on the ship, and tell me how many people there are and what they have on board. Tell me if there are children, women and what type of help they need. And you tell me the number of each of these categories. Is that clear? Listen Schettino, perhaps you have saved yourself from the sea, but I will make you look very bad. I will make you pay for this. Dammit, go back on board! Captain: Please … Coast Guard: There is no ‘please’ about it. Get back on board. Assure me you are going back on board! Captain: I’m in a lifeboat, I am under here. I am not going anywhere. I am here. Coast Guard: What are you doing, captain? Captain: I am here to co-ordinate the rescue … Coast Guard (interrupting): “What are you co-ordinating there! Get on board! Co-ordinate the rescue from on board! Are you refusing? Captain: No, I am not refusing. Coast Guard: Are you refusing to go aboard, captain? Tell me the reason why you are not going back on board. Captain: “(inaudible)… there is another lifeboat … Coast Guard (interrupting, yelling): You get back on board! That is an order! There is nothing else for you to consider. You have sounded the ‘Abandon Ship’. Now I am giving the orders. Get back on board. Is that clear? Don’t you hear me? Captain: I am going aboard. Coast Guard: Go! Call me immediately when you are on board. My rescue people are in front of the bow. Captain: Where is your rescue craft? Coast Guard: My rescue craft is at the bow. Go! There are already bodies, Schettino. Go! Captain: How many bodies are there? Coast Guard: “I don’t know! … Christ, you should be the one telling me that! Captain: Do you realize that it is dark and we can’t see anything? Coast Guard: So, what do you want to do, to go home, Schettino?! It’s dark and you want to go home? Go to the bow of the ship where the ladder is and tell me what needs to be done, how many people there are, and what they need! Now! Captain: My second in command is here with me. Coast Guard: Then both of you go! Both of you! What is the name of your second in command? Captain: His name is Dmitri (static). Coast Guard: What is the rest of his name? (static) You and your second in command get on board now! Is that clear? Captain: Look, chief, I want to go aboard but the other lifeboat here has stopped and is drifting. I have called … Coast Guard (interrupting): You have been telling me this for an hour! Now, go aboard! Get on board, and tell me immediately how many people there are! Captain: OK, chief. Coast Guard: Go! Immediately!