Costa Concordia: Hairdresser Giovanni Di Mauro was last off the ship – Francesco Schettino lied?
JUST when you thought Captain Francesco Schettino of the Costa Concordia was looking the hero, we hear it alleged that he asked Roberto Ferrarini, Costa Cruises’ maritime operations manager in Genoa, to agree a cover story that the running aground was due to an electrical blackout. The alleged story would be that the blackout did not follow the disaster – the blackout preceded the disaster.
Roberto Ferrarini has put his report to the Italian Parliament:
“He asked me to agree the line to be taken with the authorities, who were evidently asking him what had happened. He said he intended to say that the ship first suffered a blackout after which it had hit the shoals. I immediately rejected any such possibility, warning him to describe exactly how events unfolded.”
It is alleged that at 9:57pm, Jan 13, Captain Francesco Schettino made his first call from the ship to Roberto Ferrarini:
“Captain Schettino told me that the ship had hit a rock, shallow water, off Giglio island while making a close passage that he had decided to do. In this first telephone call, he told me the ship had one flooded water-tight compartment, with the electrical propulsion motors, but that the vessel’s buoyancy was not compromised.”
The captain called again at 10:06pm. Schettino said the compartment containing the generators was flooded. This had caused a blackout:
“He assured me he had informed the passengers. On this occasion he again told me that the ship’s buoyancy was not compromised.”
At 10.16pm, 10.26pm and 10.33pm Captain Schettino made more calls.
At 10.35pm Captain Schettino told Mr Ferrarini he was abandoning ship:
“The decision to abandon ship took me completely by surprise. From the previous phone calls I had no clue that the situation was becoming so extreme. The captain never made clear to me the gravity of the situation, whether with his relatively calm tone or with his apparent certainty of his intention to anchor the boat. It was only later, around midnight, especially after what I learnt from the accommodations director aboard, did we realise that the situation had probably been grave since much earlier.”
Admiral Marco Brusco says the delay in making the oder to abandon shop was costly. He tells a paliamentary committee:
“If the captain had not lost a precious hour, [the evacuation] would have gone perfectly.”
Things are looking grim for the captain dubbed Captain Coward, who fell into a lifeboat. He wasn’t the last person off the ship. Who was? Answer: a hairdresser taking part in a TV reality contest. Il Messaggero newspaper says the hero and rightful captain is one Giovanni Di Mauro. He left the Costa Concordia at about 5am.
He tells media:
“I was there to help people. But at a certain point I thought I would die.”
So says the hairdresser. Make your own puns…