Four NYers Among Survivors Of Sinking Italian Cruise Ship; Search Continues For Others

Audio: Cruise Captain Pleaded Not To Reboard Ship

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Four New Yorkers are safe following their evacuation from the cruise ship that ran aground in Italy.

Joan, Brian and Alana Aho of Duanesburg, New York, made it off the ship during Friday’s emergency. But they told a friend, Cheryl Ratner, that there was panic all around them. Another passenger ripped a life jacket out of Joan Aho’s hands.

Ratner tells The Daily Gazette of Schenectady her friends had trouble reaching the U.S. embassy to get replacement passports. They finally got plane tickets for Albany, Georgia, instead of Albany, New York.

Meanwhile, off the Tuscan island of Giglio, divers from the Italian Navy used controlled explosions to open parts of the Costa Concordia ‘s hull, according to CBS News correspondent Anna Matranga.

PHOTOS: Costa Concordia Runs Aground

“This route will allow us also to be faster to go and reach the single corner of the boat,” said Fire Captain Luciano Roncalli.

Crews are in the water searching the submerged part of the ship. They’re also navigating through upside down rooms and debris up top as they look for those missing, including a couple from Minnesota.

“We hope if someone is still alive, we can find them,” said Roncalli.

More than 4,000 people escaped the Costa Concordia Friday night after it hit a rock and started to tip. Infrared images show  passengers using rope ladders to climb down the side of the ship to safety in the dark.

The death toll nearly doubled to 11 on Tuesday when divers located five more bodies, all of them adults wearing life jackets, in the rear of the ship near an emergency evacuation point, according to Italian Coast Guard Cmdr. Cosimo Nicastro. He said they were thought to have been passengers.

Prior to the discovery of the five bodies, the coast guard had raised the number of missing to 25 passengers and four crew. Italian officials gave the breakdown as: 14 Germans, six Italians, four French, two Americans, one Hungarian, one Indian and one Peruvian.

There are also more questions about the behavior of the ship’s captain.

137061897 Four NYers Among Survivors Of Sinking Italian Cruise Ship; Search Continues For Others

Costa Concordia cruise liner captain Francesco Schettino (R) is escorted by an Italian policeman in Grosseto on January 14, 2012. (Photo credit: ENZO RUSSO/AFP/Getty Images)

In a newly-released phone call, Capt. Gregorio De Falco, an Italian Coast Guard official, angrily orders Captain Francesco Schettino, commander of the grounded Costa Concordia, back to the ship to help stranded passengers. Schettino was already in a lifeboat.

EXTRA: To listen to the audio in Italian, Click Here

Below is a translation of that phone call:

De Falco: “This is De Falco speaking from Livorno. Am I speaking with the commander?”
Schettino: “Yes. Good evening, Cmdr. De Falco.”
De Falco: “Please tell me your name.”
Schettino: “I’m Cmdr. Schettino, commander.”
De Falco: “Schettino? Listen Schettino. There are people trapped on board. Now you go with your boat under the prow on the starboard side. There is a pilot ladder. You will climb that ladder and go on board. You go on board and then you will tell me how many people there are. Is that clear? I’m recording this conversation, Cmdr. Schettino—”
Schettino: “Commander, let me tell you one thing—”
De Falco: “Speak up! Put your hand in front of the microphone and speak more loudly, is that clear?”
Schettino: “In this moment, the boat is tipping—”
De Falco: “I understand that, listen, there are people that are coming down the pilot ladder of the prow. You go up that pilot ladder, get on that ship and tell me how many people are still on board. And what they need. Is that clear? You need to tell me if there are children, women or people in need of assistance. And tell me the exact number of each of these categories. Is that clear? Listen Schettino, that you saved yourself from the sea, but I am going to—really do something bad to you—I am going to make you pay for this. Go on board, (expletive)!”
Schettino: “Commander, please—”
De Falco: “No, please. You now get up and go on board. They are telling me that on board there are still—”
Schettino: “I am here with the rescue boats, I am here, I am not going anywhere, I am here—”
De Falco: “What are you doing, commander?”
Schettino: “I am here to coordinate the rescue—”
De Falco: “What are you coordinating there? Go on board! Coordinate the rescue from aboard the ship. Are you refusing?”
Schettino: “No, I am not refusing.”
De Falco: “Are you refusing to go aboard commander? Can you tell me the reason why you are not going?”
Schettino: “I am not going because the other lifeboat is stopped.”
De Falco: “You go aboard. It is an order. Don’t make any more excuses. You have declared ‘abandon ship.’ Now I am in charge. You go on board! Is that clear? Do you hear me? Go, and call me when you are aboard. My air rescue crew is there.”
Schettino: “Where are your rescuers?”
De Falco: “My air rescue is on the prow. Go. There are already bodies, Schettino.”
Schettino: “How many bodies are there?”
De Falco: “I don’t know. I have heard of one. You are the one who has to tell me how many there are. Christ.”
Schettino: “But do you realize it is dark and here we can’t see anything—”
De Falco: “And so what? You want go home, Schettino? It is dark and you want to go home? Get on that prow of the boat using the pilot ladder and tell me what can be done, how many people there are and what their needs are. Now!”
Schettino: “—I am with my second in command.”
De Falco: “So both of you go up then — You and your second go on board now. Is that clear?”
Schettino: “Commander, I want to go on board, but it is simply that the other boat here — there are other rescuers. It has stopped and is waiting—”
De Falco: “It has been an hour that you have been telling me the same thing. Now, go on board. Go on board! And then tell me immediately how many people there are there.”
Schettino: “OK, commander”
De Falco: “Go, immediately!”

But it’s not clear if the captain ever returned. Schettino has come under heavy fire. The company that owns the cruise liner says he did not follow the approved route and human error likely caused the deadly accident.

A judge questioned the captain behind closed doors on Tuesday. Schettino faces several charges including causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship and manslaughter. He could face up to 12 years in prison on the abandoning ship charge alone.

What do you think? Sound off below in our comments section…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Military Man says:

    Female passengers stated that men especially large guys ran and pushed their way thru women and children. Not surprised with the way men are raised into cowards now a days.

  2. royallen says:

    The “Captain” should go to prison for manslaughter………did anyone give him a drug or alcohol test?

  3. bernadette says:

    hi is obviously a coward. and not professional by any means, does not qualify to be a captain of anything.

  4. Nick says:

    Schetinno should work for CHICKEN OF THE SEA.

  5. susan says:

    FROM REPORTS BY THOSE RESCUED, THERE WAS MASS CONFUSION BECAUSE EMPLOYEES ON THE SHIP DID NOT KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING..THAT WAS THE CAPTAINS RESONSIBILITY TO ADVISE AND HE DID NOT..INSTEAD HE “JUMPED SHIP”….SURVIVORS SAID ONE EMPLOYEE WOULD SAY STAY WHERE YOU ARE AND ANOTHER SAY GO THE THE LIFEBOATS STATION AND ANOTHER SAY IT WAS AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM…ACCORDING TO MARITIME LAW THE CAPTAIN IS THE PERSON WHO IS TO MAKE JUDGEMENTS AND THIS MANS “JUDGEMENT” WAS TO SAVE HIMSELF AND NOT COORDINATE WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CREW AND PASSENGERS..A SERIOUS INVESTIGATION NEEDS TO BE DONE AS TO WHY THIS EXTRE,MELY LARGE VESSEL WAS SO CLOS TO THE SHORELINE AND HIT THAT REEF..THERE ARE TOOMANY MODERN NAVIGATIONAL AIDS FOR THIS TO HAVE OCCURRED…

  6. Adem says:

    Absolutely it does 100% and I will tell you why….the ship had a predetermined route to take and the charts he used clearly show that route,however he decided to ignore the route and go closer to the shore which is why the ship hit the rocks and why many are dead and missing,had he stuck to the original route this incident would never have happened.there was no emergency that caused him to deviate from the route so he is Im afraid solely responsible and then to abandon ship leaving everyone on board is in my eyes totally unforgivable and they should throw the book at him.

  7. Steven says:

    The incident doesn’t soley rest on the shoulders of this captain, who should be arrested and left in jail forever. From reports so far, it sounds like the ship wasn’t prepared for an emergency of this type, nor any emergency for that matter. The thought that it took a few hours to realize they hit something and it wasn’t an “electrical problem” is quite hard to understand.

    1. Ziggy says:

      The captain panicked when he realized that his reckless actions damaged and caused the ship to take in water. He did not notify the Coast Guard, they found out when someone called the police about the damaged ship.
      The captain of a ship has tremendous and absolute power which has to be excercised promptly, professionally, and to protect lives – the captain failed on all accounts and he has violated long accepted maritine customs and laws.

      1. Ziggy says:

        The captain panicked when he realized that his reckless actions damaged and caused the ship to take in water. He did not notify the Coast Guard, they found out when someone called the police about the damaged ship.
        The captain of a ship has tremendous and absolute power which has to be excercised promptly, professionally, and to protect lives – the captain failed on all accounts and he has violated long accepted maritime customs and laws.

  8. CT Native says:

    Make the coward walk the plank. His own words condemn him!

  9. Ziggy says:

    The captain’s actions are unforgivable and seem very inconsistent with someone they entrusted with a $570 USD million dollar vessel.

  10. Ziggy says:

    The captain’s actions are unforgivable and seem very unconsistent with someone they entrusted with a $570 USD million dollar vessel.

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