Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Italian Cruise Ship Tragedy!

I’ve been searching for peeves the past few days without one to be found, so I’ve basically been “phoning it in” (my daughter’s new term) until now!  I’ve heard about the Italian Crusie ship, but wasn’t paying enough attention to the details until a friend of mine insisted I Google it. She knew my search would be over after learning what happened.  Reading about the Costa Concordia tragedy got me all fired up again. 

Part of my intolerance is for stupidity, which run on a spectrum from slightly stupid to outrageously stupid, like the Anthony Weiner TwitterGate.  However, the tragedy that occur with this cruise ship is even beyond outrageous. At least, in the Weiner case, no lives were lost and the only person he hurt was himself and by extension his family. He has to pay for what he did by losing his once promising career and baring the public humiliation he brought upon himself. In the cruise ship case, Captain Schettino’s action caused many deaths and not all the bodies have been accounted for as yet. Chances of finding survivors are slim to none. The waters are frigid and the temperatures extremely cold. The ship is moving and has become too dangerous to even attempt rescue.

"Captain" Francisco Schettino crashed a huge cruise ship into the rocks close to Italy’s shore, with 4200 people aboard, all because he took the ship off course to say “hello” to his friend.  Actually they have spinned that “hello/wave” into a “‘salute of respect’ for a retired officer as well as to impress his head waiter’s family on shore.“ If that’s not bad enough, he abandoned his ship while panicked passengers were still being evacuated. An angry coast guard officer demanded and ordered him to get back on the ship. A phone call, that was released, revealed that he was making excuses when ordered to return to the sinking ship.  As of this writing, 11 people are dead and 29 people are still missing.  The real tragedy in all of this is that this was entirely preventable.  Schettino has been arrested and is being investigated for manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing a shipwreck. “He has also been accused of dining with beautiful women as the liner crashed into rocks and of raiding the safe before jumping ship.”  But he is now out of jail on house arrest. Nice!

In my opinion, he should be in prison and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. There is nothing that can excuse what he did. This was not a simple error in judgment. What he did was beyond criminally gross negligence. He knew the possible outcome of taking such a risk as to go veer off course and get too close to shore. He has been doing this for years, he certainly knew better. What possessed him to make such a fatal decision when he was responsible for the lives of 4,200 and the cruise ship itself? Maybe he was drunk? Whatever the case, he just compounded the degree of it’s severity by abandoning the ship and everyone on it to save himself. And yet the Italian police, in all their wisdom, have decided to put him on house arrest. They don’t think he is a flight risk? He jumped shipped, why not run from the law?  He should get the same treatment or worse that Amanda Knox suffered in the Italian legal system. If you’re familiar with her saga, you know that people prosecuted in Italy are basically guilty until proven innocent. In his case, a ship full of witnesses is more than enough to sink his whole stinking case.


  1. I agree with everything you've written except for maybe your criticism of the fact he was dining at the time. The captains of ships like that don't live with their controls 24/7. I'm not sure that fact he was eating dinner with a woman at the time really has anything to do with this.

  2. Thanks for commenting. That quote came from a news source and the reason I found it relevant is because after the captain gave instructions to veer off the charted course, instead of watching for possible trouble, which he should have anticipated, he was occupying himself elsewhere. Almost like giving a kid matches and then going to watch television while he plays with them?