Dick of the Month: Capt. Francesco Schettino

Anybody who has ever been on a cruise knows the deal.  You go to the port, get on the boat, and have a week or so of pure, unobtruded luxury.  The biggest fear you have is that your spouse will kill you in your cabin.

But now we have to worry (I say we, like I have the money to go on a cruise…haha) about Captains who don’t know how to pilot boats.

Such is the case on the Carnival Cruise Line’s subsidiary company Costa Cruises in Italy.  The captain of the Costa Concordia was one Capt. Francesco Schettino.  And apparently he was a pretty schetty captain.  He brought the vessel too close to the shoreline so that the crew could wave to family and friends on the island.

Or is Schettino actually a pretty good captain and he’s just getting the short-end of the stick?  That’s the question we’re going to try to answer here.

Spoiler Alert: We're pretty sure he's a shitty captain.

So the ship sailed too close to the island, and struck a projection of rocks.  Schettino then pulled a hard turn and ran the ship aground to keep it from sinking or capsizing, giving the people on board enough time to get off the ship.

He then abandoned ship and left his unprepared and uninformed crew to handle things without him.  Although Schettino said that he fell into a lifeboat.  But during a wiretapped phone call to a friend he admitted that when he realized how bad the situation was…he decided to get the hell out of there.

Schettino seems to be mostly looking at manslaughter for the deaths of the people trapped on board, abandoning ship during an evacuation, and some other general malfeasance stuff.

But the people who survived are looking at about $1,400 in compensation for lost luggage and emotional distress.  A group of passengers have already started a class-action suit seeking damages of about $460 million, though.

If we assume the lawyers will get 50% of that, there’s between 6 and 10 plaintiffs for the suit.  So that’ll give them all about $29 million apiece.  But if we add in half of the 4,000 passengers to make it a worthwhile class-action suit, then we’re looking more at about $115,000 per person.  That’s a pretty acceptable amount, to me.

All in all…I’d say that Capt. Schettino should definitely some good charges.  His captain’s licensing should be revoked, some jail time, some fines, maybe even restrict him from even being allowed to get a fishing license.

Why should he go through all these things?  Because he’s a Schett-head, but mostly because he’s a really bad captain.  And although it has no legal bearing on anything…I’ve still adopted Capt. Francesco Schettino as the January Dick of the Month.

~RCS

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