The absence of Captain Schettino from his damaged ship, the Costa Concordia, while some of the passengers were still on board, invites an inference of cowardice.    The captain seemed untroubled by being on one of the rescue boats rather than on his ship.

But what difference would it have made had Captain Schettino stayed with his ship?  Would the final outcome have been any different?  What exactly could  the captain have done by staying?

Retreat is not itself a proof of cowardice.  Great generals from Xenophon to Wellington have led skillful withdrawals.

Falstaff once said, “Discretion is the better part of valour.”  In other words, cowardice is prudence.

Is it likely Captain Schettino would have made any difference to the outcome had he stayed with his ship?

Is the captain a coward?


  1. 1

    Retreat to save your army,yes. But he was thinking only of himself. He might have been able to co-ordinate the mixed bag of crew members that they had. He was in charge. Full stop. So yes, he was and is a coward.

  2. 2

    He may or may not have been cowardly, but his duty was to stay on the ship, unless – as he is reported to have said – he could do something more effective on shore. I imagine his ability to communicate with people on shore or in his company was not affected by the original accident, so he should at least have reported to his superior before leaving.

  3. 3

    The latest thing I heard was that he was tossed into the water, and saved lives from that position…It would all come to light in the inquiry. Hundreds of people saw him in action, or not.
    I am curious to know how the pilots (Captains) of vessels of 5000+ passengers (or oil tankers) are trained and tested.
    It’s very rigorous and frequent for airline pilots & they carry far less of a passenger list.

  4. 4
    Ju Says:

    Apparently he ‘fell’ into the life-boat!!

  5. 5
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Yes, I also heard over lunch that he tripped and fell into the lifeboat which was held in place so he could not get out to lead the rescue.

  6. 6

    It’s far too early to be making any kind of final judgment on who did what and why. But here is a link to a transcript of the conversation (perhaps I should say shouting match, because when I heard it, they were pretty much screaming at each other) between Schettino and De Falco:

  7. 7

    It isn`t a retreat. it`s called desertion.

  8. 8
    Jim Says:

    Something is fishy. On a ship this size there are usually at least 4 crew on the bridge. The Captain, the First Mate, the Wheelsman, and the Lookout They have all sorts of alarms, such as Sonar, Long Range Radar,Short Range Radar, Harbour Radar. All of these scream at you if your in danger. And then there are the charts with the shoals marked. Were the crew being occupied by peeking into the Chart Room to see if anyone was going to get their jollies with the femme fatale?

  9. 9
    Jim Says:

    Punch up vimeo35351659, turn up your sound, scroll down on the ship’s chart to the bottom left corner were a triangle sits with a timer next to it which reads 14.32 . Click on the triangle. This is a description of the Concordia’s steering 15 minutes prior to the grounding. The ship’s Captain made some monumental decisions to save his ship. Alas…

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