Tonight on AC360: Captain abandons ship?
January 17th, 2012
07:10 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Captain abandons ship?

Tonight, evidence that the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy abandoned the ship.  Below are several portions of recordings between authorities and the captain published by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and translated by CNN's Hada Messia. Tune in to AC360 at 8 and 10 p.m. ET for more from the recordings and insight into what happened immediately following the incident. Also, an update on the risky mission to find the missing passengers.

De Falco: "I’m giving you an order captain. You need to send someone on board."

Schettino: "We are going on board to coordinate."

De Falco: "Exactly. You need to get on board to coordinate the evacuation. Is that clear?!"

Schettino:  "But we can’t get on board now…the ship is now…(hard to understand)..."

De Falco: "Why did you tell them to get down?"

Schettino: "What do you mean get down? We abandoned the ship…the ship turned ..."

De Falco: "...and with one hundred people on board you abandon the ship? (expletive)"

Schettino: "I did not abandon any ship with 100 people…the ship (hard to understand)...we were catapulted into the water..."

De Falco: We’ll see later what happened. OK? Now tell me everything that takes place. Everything. Get under with the lifeboat (not very clear at this point). Don’t move. Clear?"

Schettino: "Commandant..we are here…we are here..."


Port authority: "You must return on board. Climb the ladder (rope ladder), return to the fore (stem) and coordinate the work."

Schettino does not reply

Port authority: "You must tell us how many people are on board, how many women, how many children. You have to coordinate the rescue operation. Commander, this is an order. Now I’m in charge, you have abandoned ship and now you are going to go to the stem and coordinate the work. There are already dead bodies."

Schettino: "How many?"

Port authority: "You should be the one telling me this…What do you want to do? Do you want to go home?...Now go back on the stem and tell me what to do.."


Italian Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco: "Listen, this is De Falco from Livorno. Am I speaking with the captain?"

Schettino: "Yes."

Italian Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco: "Tell me your name."

Schettino: "This is Captain Schettino, commandant."

De Falco: "Listen Schettino, there are people trapped on board. Now, you have to go with your lifeboat and go under the boat stem on the straight side, there is a ladder there."

De Falco: "Get on board on the ship and tell me, you tell me how many people there are."

De Falco: "Clear? I’m recording this conversation, Captain Schettino."

Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Emmi

    I guess times have changed, and the captain is the first off the ship.

    July 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  2. Jill Connolly

    The piece on how the cruise ship will be moved or toed was crazy. His opening on "first you have to get passed the human tragedy " was so non empathetic. The use of the screen w all the photos was like a tech love fest gone awry. That was pretty unimpressive for such a quality show. Left scratching my head.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  3. Beatrice Coles

    Wow is this really happening or Im dreaming !!!!!

    January 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  4. Lee

    ARE YOU KIDDING- Yes , the Captain IS the last one off but , sadly , there is Not a cruise ship out there that can get people off a Ship in a controlled organised Manner. I am not a psychiatrist but finding one that will commit to saying that getting 4000 panicked people off a ship in a controlled , organised manner is possible , is ... not probable. Add fire, rushing rising water, tilted hallways, sliding tables chairs and lights out...... aint gonna happen. People act "astounded" that the crew didnt seem to be in control of the situation. REALLY. You know why....CAUSE THEYRE NOT.....Take a cruise, its every man for himself.....Deal with it

    January 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  5. Rossi

    Can you display, publicly, the detailed chart of the scene and their intended track line? I've seen plenty of drama and reactionary wrongdoing by the Captain, but can we shoot for the root? Have you gained access to their ECDIS and paper chart, and the laid out intended track lines...?
    I am a licensed American 3rd officer in the merchant marine (with a coveted position) and would like to see the "obvious" broadcast on your program of what went wrong....which in this case is as simply as where the "track line/ course" was laid out in comparison to the paper chart and the the electronic chart, and why this decision was made, and by whom....

    January 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  6. Kenny

    My only question is this if all these authorities knew of dead bodies why did they not help the captian. It is like they were just watching and reporting that bad things were happening and didn't do nothing besides demand a captian around.

    January 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  7. Karin

    Listening to this tape, has left no doubt in my mind that this captain had no regard for his ship or the people on board. He should be charged to the fullest. I also see that none of the staff had any experience in on board drills, in case of emergency..I hope the cruise line will be charge with fines and that they make it mandatory the staff learn safety procedures. Perhaps Cruise Line International should have regulators on these ships watching how safety is taught on board.

    January 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  8. Tesfaye K

    hei Anderson,
    the accedent is very terrible,but my question is that,is the ship not equiped with electronics that can tell before the ship hits the rock?

    January 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  9. Lorraine Betts

    Anderson, this is not hte first Captain to abandon ship and leave all his passengers in a perilous situation!
    Cap-tain Avranas – Greek ship OCEANOS Epirotiki Lines, abandond ship in rough seas in 1991 leaving several hundred passengers behind. MY QUESTION : What about teh Staf fCaptain, 1st officer and so on.. These bridge officers all hold Captain's certification. WHERE WERE THEY?

    Lorraine Betts
    Cruise Director Oceanos when she sank 1991

    January 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  10. Jaker, Dublin, Eire

    It's easy to judge in hindsight! Anyway, the captain alone with his crew alone know how the accident happened & what action he had to take to control the situation...also most experts are saying, if it weren't for his judgement it could have been another Titanic in the making. (It's 100th anniversary is this year 2012) And it is all right everybody saying how he should have done this, done that, but I say, "There but for the Grace of God, go I".

    Let the inquiry do it's work & judge every event for what it's worth & then we can talk about it. But for the moment, media & everyone else, go & hold your counsel till then. "Judge ye not, lest ye be judged".

    To the victims, my condolences, to the families & friends, my sympathy's & to everyone else "shh! for now.

    January 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Glenn

      You have to be an idiot to not see the problem with the captain being off the ship before passengers and refusing to return...no need to wait and see. dereliction of duty and cowardice are not hard to spot here. I hope you are never in need of command performance from someone and they react in this manner...then I wonder if you will say let's just sssh!

      January 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  11. yolanda smith

    I cruise alot and when a ship is near a port, the port authority will have a pilot board the ship and will pilot the ship on the right course. Why was there no pilot on this ship. I have heard nothing about a pilot on this ship.

    January 17, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Andrew Pierce

      A pilot is used for going into and out of a port. The Captain chose to go off course, and go closer to the Island.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:41 am |

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