So much for the Captain off last

Reuters reports:

Italian coastguards pleaded angrily with the captain of a stricken liner to return to his ship, according to recordings released overnight as divers found five more bodies in the half-submerged wreck of the . …

At an appearance before a magistrate, Schettino said he believed he should be credited with sav’ing “hundreds, if not thousands of lives” because he brought the ship close to shore after it hit a rock, lawyer Bruno Leporatti said.

I’m really not sure being arrogant and boastful is the right strategy for the captain. I’d advise contrition.

Schittino also claimed that he did not abandon the ship while passengers were still aboard.

But newspaper Corriere della Sera released what it said was a recording of ship-to-shore radio communications in which the enraged coastguards repeatedly order him back on board.

“Listen Schettino, perhaps you have saved yourself from the sea, but I will make you look very bad. I will make you pay for this. Dammit, go back on board!” one coastguard says.

Speaking by radio from a lifeboat, Schettino pleads: “Do you realise that it is dark and we can’t see anything?”

The coastguard shouts back: “So, what do you want to do, to go home, Schettino?! It’s dark and you want to go home? Go to the bow of the ship where the ladder is and tell me what needs to be done, how many people there are, and what they need! Now!”

I would have thought that the company would have very precise procedures for evacuations, and that the captain would have explicit instructions about over-seeing the evacuation, rather than beating the passengers into a lifeboat.

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