Captain of ill-fated ship sparks outrage after university lecture
The captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia has sparked outrage after giving a lecture to university students on “panic control”, despite still standing trial for wrecking the cruise ship.
Francesco Schettino, who was dubbed Captain Calamity in Italy after steering the Costa Concordia onto rocks, gave a two-hour talk to students as part of their criminal science masters course, Sky News reported. He was then awarded a diploma.
This was in spite of the fact that he is currently facing charges of abandoning ship, causing a disaster and multiple manslaughter in a tragedy that led to the deaths of 32 people.
It is understood that Schettino had been invited to speak by professor Vincenzo Mastronardi at La Sapienza University’s faculty of medicine in Rome, although the professor reportedly said afterwards that Schettino had turned up “completely by surprise”.
Following a 3D reconstruction of the sinking of the Concordia off the island of Giglio in 2012, which was screened to the students, Schettino told the audience that what had happened to him was “only an accident”, omitting to mention how he had told investigators he had “tripped and stumbled into a lifeboat” on the night of the disaster.
“I had to illustrate how best to control panic management – or better still show how a human being behaves in situations of that nature,” he said. “I have voyaged across all the oceans of the world. I know how to react when these situations arise and how to react when you have an ethnically diverse crew. Every choice I made had a fundamental human component.
Mastronardi has been referred to the university’s ethics committee for a disciplinary investigation. But he said, “I did not invite Schettino, he just turned up 10 minutes before the lecture started completely by surprise.”
[pictured: The Parbuckling Project, which raised the Costa Concordia]