Who would have thought the Italians would have a law against abandoning ship

There is an old saying about the best rifles to buy are Italian rifles….they’ve never been fired and only dropped once….and then there is the one about the thinnest book in the world…the book of Italian war heroes. The Italian captain of the run aground cruise ship seems to have abandoned his post with alarming alacrity:

Francesco Schettino had been held in jail in Grosseto, Tuscany, since Saturday but an investigating judge, Valeria Montesarchio, ruled that he should be allowed to remain under house arrest as he awaits trial on accusations of multiple manslaughter and abandoning his ship.

He lives with his wife and daughter in Sorrento, near Naples.

Capt Schettino, 52, attempted to defend his actions at the court hearing yesterday, insisting he did not flee the Concordia and claiming his actions saved “thousands of lives”.

However, the transcript of an extraordinary exchange between Capt Schettino and a port official on the night of the disaster appeared to show that he did leave the ship while passengers were still trapped on board. When asked how many people were on the Costa Concordia, he initially replied “40”, when there were hundreds still at risk. When questioned further, he admitted he was not even on the ship.

Capt Schettino is accused of steering the cruise ship too close to the island of Giglio so that his head waiter could see his family home.


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  • Agent BallSack

    And now, because the captain wanted sexual favours from the ‘head waiter’, many people won’t see their families home.

  • Anonymous

    The Duke of Plazatoro comes to mind – the one who led his army from the rear – so he could retreat first.

  • Ploughman

    The Kiwi forces in WW 2 recognised the average Italian soldier as being extremely brave since they had to fight with inferior equipment and were lead by self-indulgent idiots (much as the British were during the early stages of the war).   And the last to give up in North Africa were the Italians – Germans gave up early and surrendered well before Italians. Read the NZ account of the battle at Cape Bon.  So lay off the denigration of Italians.   
    The other captain on the ship, Captain Roberfo Bosio, who had hitched a ride to get back home,  showed true Italian spirit and courage.  He saved many lives and is more typical of Italian seamen.  Schettino was probably overwhelmed at the result of his incredibly stupid actions.

    • Roger

      Out of deference to our italan colleagues I’ll mention the Renault tank instead of the Fiat. The Renault had four reverse gears and one forward in case they were attacked from behind.

  • Rockyr

    Kinda reminds me of Captn Alberto Bertorelli  in Allo Allo

  • Lofty

    I like Italians!!!

    Great food
    Lovely people
    Beautiful country
    Super vino
    Sexy language

    You could liken old Schettino to any number of gutless people of all nationality types.

    • Gazzaw

      Most of us like Italians Lofty. Cowards like Schettino exist in every race. It’s unfortunate that the myth has spread amongst Kiwis, Aussies & Brits that the Italians lack what it takes when it has anything to do with things martial. It all stems from WW2 when the last place the Italians wanted to be was fighting for Mussolini in North Africa. Check out their record in WW1, they were pretty tough roosters fighting on their home turf in Northern Italy. Their ancient legacy isn’t too bad either – the Roman Empire ruled all of the known world and the Legions were pretty nigh unbeatable for several hundred years.  

    • EX Navy Greg

      ” even the bravest of men can lose their steelly gaze under the most unimaginable circumstances”

  • Blair Mulholland

    Napoleon was from Corsica, so ethnically Italian.  Garibaldi was pretty awesome, but not sure if he counts since he was technically fighting other Italians, albeit under foreign rulers.

  • Lass

    Phhh learn some history, get a new brain and then come back. You are a waste of CO2 Brainoil.