Audio recordings uncovered from the Costa Concordia’s Voyage Data Recorder reveal that Capt Francesco Schettino knew exactly what lay ahead for his vessel just moments after hitting rocks on Giglio.
The recorded conversations, released Thursday by the Italian newspaper La Stampa, allegedly prove that Schettino knew the ship was going down, even though he relayed to the Coast Guard and passengers that it was just simple black out.
“Madonna, what have I done?” Schettino was recorded saying just minutes after running the vessel into rocks at 9.45pm. That comment was followed by a call to the engine room, when he allegedly asked “So are we really going down?”.
Just minutes later, Schettino assurred the Italian Coast Guard, “We’ve had a blackout, we’re just evaluating” and “at most we’re going to need a tug boat.” That quote mirrored one he supposedly told one of his officers to tell passengers. “Say that there has been a blackout.”
If true, this new information contradicts his own recollection of those crucial moments immediately following the initial impact. Schettino didn’t give the order to abandon the ship until 11.19pm.
Capt Schettino is faces charges of manslaughter, abandoning ship and failing to communicate with maritime authorities.