The disgraced captain of the Costa Concordia told his passengers that the doomed cruise ship had simply suffered a ‘power cut’ moments after it had hit a reef and begun to sink. The disaster off the Italian Island of Giglio in January this year claimed the lives of 32 passengers including a five-year-old girl. Recordings retrieved from the ship’s ‘black box’ show how Captain Francesco Schettino deliberately misinformed both the passengers and the Italian coastguard to the true extent of the accident. (via Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino told passengers ‘it’s just a power cut’ after cruise ship crash | Mail Online)
- Seconds after the collision at 9.45pm he is heard saying: ‘Madonna what have I done?’
- He then calls down to the engine room and asks: ‘Are we really going down?’
- But three minutes later at 9.54, he instructs an officer on the bridge to tell passengers ‘there has been a blackout’.
- And at 10.02pm he calls the Italian coastguard saying: ‘We’ve had a blackout, we’re just evaluating… at most we’re going to need a tugboat.’
- He continued to resist calls from his officers to abandon the ship until 11.19pm.
- Capt Schettino escaped the 1,000 ft liner before all the passengers had been evacuated and later told magistrates he had ‘tripped’ into a life boat.
- As the evacuation of the 4,200 passengers and crew was under way, he telephoned his wife, Fabiola, to say everything was ‘under control’.