10 years ago, the cruise ship Costa Concordia crashed off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio, with over 4,000 on board. people. 32 people were killed and over 60 injured. The cowardly behavior of the captain of the unit, Francesco Schettino, who quickly left the deck, which he later made curious excuses for, has gone down in disgraceful history.
The enormous cruise ship Costa Concordia approached the island of Giglio, deviating from the standard course to perform the gesture used there, known as a “bow”, or greeting a picturesque place considered to be the pearl of the area. The 290-meter-long vessel hit the sea rock as it approached the island.
A 70-meter long hole was formed in the hull, through which water began to pour in.
Costa Concordia’s captain Francesco Schettino initially tried to conceal the scale of the disaster and downplayed it in his contacts with the captain’s office. He quickly left the deck breaking all the rules of sailing. Chaos delayed the start of the evacuation. The ship heeled and then ran aground.
A few days after the tragedy, the recording of the conversation between Captain Gregorio De Falco from the port of Livorno and the commander of the sinking ship, made on the day of the disaster, was released to the media. In it, De Falco repeatedly said that Schettino should come back on board. The latter, already on the lifeboat, argued that he could not come back because the ladders were blocked by the rescue units.
Schettino – although he was the captain of a cruise ship – learned about the first deaths from a port representative. His translations were bizarre – on the one hand, he assured that he would stay on the spot and coordinated the action, and at the same time justified his inactivity with the fact that it was dark and he couldn’t see anything.
And what are you going to do about it, Schettina? Come back home? It’s dark, so will you go home? Go back to the bow of the ship and tell me what to do. How many people are there and what do they need. Currently! – Captain De Falco disciplined Schettino from the port of Livorno. Costa Concordia’s captain did not return to the ship, however.
The prosecution later cited other bizarre translations of Schettino – he allegedly claimed that after the crash he did not escape from the ship, but slipped and fell into a lifeboat.
In the Costa Concordia crash, 32 people died and over 60 were injured. Captain Francesco Schettino was then sentenced to 16 years in prison.
People came to me and said that there had been a sea catastrophe and that people were coming to the shore; I went to the church and opened it to the survivors – this is how in an interview with PAP the Costa Concordia catastrophe on the shores of the Giglio island, the then pastor of the local parish, Father Lorenzo Pasquotti.
As he emphasized, helping hundreds of wet and cold people who reached the shore by lifeboats and hosting them in the Church of San Lorenzo and Mamiliano near the port on the island was something completely natural for him.
I put them everywhere I could, on the floor and benches, we gave them warm clothes, shoes, blankets I had; everything we could do together with the people of Giglio – added the clergyman.
I opened the church and we welcomed the arrivals ashore; there were many Italians, but also foreigners from different parts of the world. Suddenly in our church there was a crowd of people from such distant places and in the same situation – they were cold, terrified, worried about other passengers, soaked on a cold January night – reported Father Lorenzo Pasquotti. They all ended up on a small island that had never experienced such a crisis before – added.
We didn’t feel like heroes by any means, I want to make that clear. We did something normal; what should have been done at that moment – the 71-year-old priest remarked. He mentioned that many Giglio residents participated in the rescue operation and brought warm clothes, drinks and food to the parish.
There were even those who boarded a tilting and drawing ship to help people get off it. These are beautiful gestures, but also something that had to be done. There are people in need, you need to meet them right away, not think about it. You do not say at a moment like this: this is not my job, you are going to help and that’s it Father Pasquotti said. After all, I have done little – added.
The clergyman admitted that in the first years after the disaster he had contact with survivors who found shelter in the church. Some even went back to the island, came to church. They gave us the shoes and clothes that we gave them back then. They also brought us sweets – he told.
As we gave them biscuits and warm food in the church, they repaid by bringing us delicacies from their homeland – he reported.
I would never want to be the Captain of the Titanic who sailed across the ocean between the icebergs. I believe that thanks to preparation, a person can cope with any situation and prevent any problems. Passenger safety is our top priority – such words from the interview given by captain Francesco Schettino a year before the catastrophe were recalled by the Czech media after the tragedy off the coast of Giglio. As emphasized, they were grossly contradictory to the man’s behavior in a crisis situation.
In the conversation, Schettino emphasized that everything in the work of a ship commander depends on experience. I get up every morning between 5 and 6 am. If the weather is bad, I don’t sleep because I have to stand on the captain’s bridge. Whenever the situation requires it, the captain must have everything under control, be where it is needed he said.
After the Costa Concordia disaster, a team was formed, which in the following months worked on the preparation of the procedure for removing the shipwreck. The largest such operation in the world, followed by all media, was led by Nick Sloane from South Africa. There was uncertainty as to whether the wreck could be lifted and the hull would fall apart.
The action ended successfully in September 2013. After that, the wreckage was towed to the port of Genoa. Its disassembly lasted until 2017.