Costa captain thanks ‘divine hand’

//Costa captain thanks ‘divine hand’

Could the captain of Costa Concordia captain be about to submit a “guilty but insane” plea ahead of his scheduled court appearance on July 21? That’s the best explanation I can come up with for his claim that he was guided by a “divine hand” on the night his ship ran aground.
Francisco Schettino, charged with manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning his ship, has written to an Italian newspaper to give his version of the events which led to the loss of 32 lives when the vessel struck rocks and capsized off the island of Giglio.
He claims that far from being responsible for the tragedy, his nautical skills and quick-thinking saved many more lives.
Schettino says that it was only when he saw “white foam” that he realised how close the ship was sailing to the rocks.
“That was the sign that led me to give the order to steer starboard, by pure instinct. In that moment a divine hand no doubt rested upon my head. If I had continued on that path we would have hit the rocks with the bow. It would have been a catastrophe.”
“There are those who say the impact with the stern was caused because I was suffering from a hallucination. What hallucination! It was rather my instinct, my skills, the ability to know the sea and suddenly change direction,” he said.
How can he claim that what happened on the night of Friday January 13 was not a catastrophe? No doubt we can assume that it was the same “divine hand” which led him to trip and fall into a lifeboat, from which he was unable to return to his ship – as he has claimed in the past.
Prosecutor Francesco Verusio told an Italian news agency: “Schettino is playing his game, but it will be the judge to decide how things went that night.”
Schettino’s letter was published in Italy’s La Corriere della Sera at the same time as a judge released him from house arrest. He can now leave his home, but must not stray beyond the town of Grosetto, near Naples.
Further disclosures in the Italian media now claim the ship had been suffering from electrical problems shortly before it hit the rocks, and that its “black box” voyage data recorder was not working at the time of the collision. There are also allegations that the crew was relying on unauthorised maritime charts.
At the wreck site, work is proceeding on preparations to remove Concordia. Shipbuilder Fincantieri – who constructed the vessel – have been awarded a contract to build 30 giant steel boxes which will be used to refloat the hull.
“Once the ship has been stabilised, caissons will be fixed to the upper side of the hull and gradually filled with water as part of the operation to right the ship,” a Costa statement explained. “Righting will be performed using a system of ‘strand jacks’ — a hydraulic mechanism for pulling cables — fixed to an undersea platform.”
The caissons are not expected to be deployed until November, and the salvage work is likely to take at least 12 months.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:46+00:00 6 July 2012|Cruise News|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Carolyn 6 July 2012 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    This is a man that is clearly delusional . Which “divine hand” was it that led him to be so close to the island in the first place? I just thank my lucky stars I wasn’t on that ship.

Leave A Comment