Costa Concordia One Year Later – Why No Conviction?


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It seems incredible that one year ago, the Cruise Ship Costa Concordia hit a rock ledge and ended up on her side, where she still lies today.  The images of the passengers attempting to flee the ship down ladders in the dark, as she lists on her side, are unforgettable.  Thirty-Two people died in the shipwreck despite the fact the ship was not fully submerged.  The most important thing to remember on this anniversary, is those who lost their lives on what was supposed to be an enjoyable holiday cruise.  The second most important thing is to make sure that Captain, Francesco Schettini, serves a long prison sentence.  All those who lost lives their lives at the hands of an incompetent and cowardly captain, must find justice.  His actions that day were nothing short of despicable.  Schettini has been charged with multiple counts of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and leaving the ship before all passengers were evacuated.  Although he hasn’t yet been formally charged, (which is incredible in itself), he is living under court restrictions while the decision is being made whether to formally indict him.  There is no doubt that Schettini left the ship before all of the passengers, which is probably the single most horrific thing a sea-captain can do.  It not only violates maritime law, it violates the unwritten code of the sea.  It equates to murder with indifference.  Gregorio De Falco, the Coast Guard chief commandant was so enraged at Schettini’s actions that he tells him in the released conversation between he and Schettino, “Go Aboard! Go Aboard!  “You’ve abandoned ship. I’m in charge now,” he said. “You take that rope ladder, you go aboard and you tell me whether there are children, women or people needing assistance on board. Is that clear?  He continues angrily, “Schettino, you may have saved yourself from the sea, but I’m going to make you pay, I’m going to make you miserable. Get the (expletive) on board!!  Schettini offers a series of silly excuses as to why he’s not on the ship, he’s “helping out from his lifeboat; other lifeboats are blocking his way; the ship is listing too much to climb back onto.  But anyway one looks at this, Captain Schettini is guilty of all counts and should be indicted immediately.  What Italian prosecutors are waiting for, is anyone’s guess.  The Captain’s responsibility is not to save himself, but to ensure the safety of every single passenger on board the ship.  His abandoning ship is compounded by the fact his incompetence and stupidity, caused the accident.  He may not have been able to save those trapped below, but every single person should have been off that ship before he attempted to leave.  Anything but an indictment and conviction, will be a travesty.

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