Audio: Cruise captain pleaded not to reboard ship

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  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 3:47 p.m.


    Fine then. If you want to judge the man, go right ahead. All I'm saying is that I'm not. I don't really think others have a place to criticism me for saying so.

    And as far as reason goes, not casting the first stone is a technically a rational argument. I stated that while I can easily imagine the average person being afraid and doing the wrong thing, that I can't see myself wishing for a prison sentence. It might be wrong to make fun of the way someone looks, but it doesn't mean you put them in prison. This guy didn't help others out of fear for his own life. While I wouldn't call that the most noble thing in the world, even something that is morally wrong- I don't think it's just to put him in prison for 12 years. Maybe people think I'm extreme for not joining in on the cries for jailing him- but by all means I am using a rational argument, even one of the oldest and most famous comparisons we have a record of. Based on your screen name I hope you will now see the due credit my rational deserves.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    A Voice of Reason: Your response was more equivocation than reasoning. No matter what the sentence he cannot bring back the people. He signed on to be the captain and it was his responsibility to ensure as many passengers were able to get off before he ordered all hands to get off the ship. I have never heard of a fire chief leaving a building before he made sure all of his firefighters were out of the building. If the Captain wants to play with the big boys then he needs to act like a big boy and do the job he was hired to do.

    ShawnM750: I believe he was steering the ship close to shore to satisfy a crew member who lived near the ocean. I believe that crew member was on board.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    I don't believe the captain has to go down with the ship, but he should have stayed. With regard to A Voice of Reason's comment: soldiers, firefighters, police officers, etc. all go through extensive training so that they don't panic under pressure. The same goes for ship captains. All these professionals are entrusted with ensuring others' safety, BEFORE their own. It's a responsibility they all accept, to which almost all of them swear an oath. True, at the end of the day we're all human, and can't always get past natural instinct. But he's the one that piloted the ship into a reef to waive at a waiter, putting passengers and crew in harms way, and ultimately costing some of them their lives. Then he refused to go back aboard and do everything he could to make sure everyone was off the boat, and help rescue crews coordinate their efforts.

    This was a tragedy, but it's one he caused, and I believe he should pay for it with prison time.

  • Lyle Springville, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 12:22 a.m.

    The irony is that the ship did not completely sink. The captain could have stayed aboard. He might just as well still be sitting somewhere above water, having people supply him with cheeseburgers so he could remain in possession of the ship. Would fewer people have been lost if he had ordered all the passengers to the lifeboats as soon as it was torn open? No way to know for sure.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Jan. 17, 2012 11:47 p.m.

    What's not 'cut and dry' about this story? The Captain deviated off course in order to literally show boat, the $400 million ship ran aground, took on water and sank, 30 people drowned, and he abandoned ship.

    He is a coward who deserves to go to prison. For a long, long time.

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    Jan. 17, 2012 8:20 p.m.

    It is easy to make armchair quarterback comments, when we weren't there or know the full facts. The idea of the Captain going down with the ship originated with the Insurance comapanies in that if the Captain was still there, salvage was not cut and dry. I feel sorry for the loss of life. The Captain will have to live with those ghosts for a very long time.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 8:15 p.m.


    I agree.

    What I really want is that we aren't trying to destroy more lives. We should be trying to make the most good we can to come from this.

    I knew someone once who killed someone. It was all over the headlines. I had never known anyone who had done something so horrible. After seeing the animosity towards this person I was deeply affected by this. I realized that people shouting "hang them!", "throw away the key" etc. was a problem. Even though they did something so wrong, I didn't hate them. I still cared about them. I desire justice. Not all outcry for justice is hateful. But regarding the messages of hate that were published- I thought 'how can we add so much hate to something already so horrible?'

    I'm support accountability and responsibility, but this captain will already suffer enough without our involvement. If everyone hating him does anything at all, it gives him reason to live in denial and resist public outrage as people usually resist negative attention to themselves. If we hated less, I don't doubt he'd feel a deeper desire to try to do right about this and in the future.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 7:07 p.m.

    This guy bailed. I'm glad there is a recording of the coast guard communication. Every time I get on a plane, I hope for a 'captain sully'. A guy who does his best to stay out of trouble, and what to do when it arrives. If I ever go on a cruise, or even a small ferry, I hope for the maritime equivalent of a sully.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Jan. 17, 2012 6:48 p.m.

    When such tragic events occur, it is at least inspiring to hear of heroic tales surrounding the incident. I hope some might yet come out of this tale.

    Words of wisdom have been spoken here. "Prison" should provide some sort of rehabilitation and such would not be the case in this situation. Even so, there should be some 'restitution' made, and not necessarily money. Consider this, the captain may never be able to forgive himself. For his sake, he needs to offer some penance so that he can fill that he has paid a price that will enable him to continue on in life.

    I'm not talking about our revenge against him, but his offering in return, otherwise he may well become suicidal and that too would be a tragedy.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 5:52 p.m.


    You stated, "Yeah, the poor guy was petrified. Who wouldnt be? But anyone whos sailed long enough to be a captain knows the rules and traditions of maritime operations. We could make similar arguments for cops, firefighters, or soldiers, who are mostly younger with fewer years of experience. What if they all shrank from their duty from fear?"


    I agree. There is a clear problem there. I'm only saying that I don't feel right telling a soldier, cop, or firefighter who panicked that he has to go to prison for 12 years now. I believe in God. I believe God judges us by our intent as well as our actions. All I'm saying is that when someone is placed in this situation, unless they had ill-intentions, I don't know that I'd be so quick to judge them the way the masses usually do.

    I would certainly never let the guy have a responsible position again. I'm not saying he'd have to sweep cruise liner halls the rest of his life, but I'd rather place him in a more appropriate position- that's effective thinking. Prison time where rehabilitation isn't necessary is ineffective, probably even wrong.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    Jan. 17, 2012 4:12 p.m.

    Yeah, the poor guy was petrified. Who wouldnt be? But anyone whos sailed long enough to be a captain knows the rules and traditions of maritime operations. We could make similar arguments for cops, firefighters, or soldiers, who are mostly younger with fewer years of experience. What if they all shrank from their duty from fear?

    When I was very small, another Italian liner sank after a collision at sea. The captain of the Andrea Doria was another veteran mariner, Pietro Calamai. He and a few officers remained until everyone else was safely aboard the less damaged Stockholm or rescue ships. He wanted to surrender his vessel only to the Coast Guard, even refusing his officers pleas to abandon ship. They prevailed by refusing to leave him behind, then gave him the respect of letting him be the last off. The tragedy affected him so much that he never went to sea again.

    The Titanics master also never sailed again; Edward Smith perished with 1500 people whose lives had been in his hands.

    Im sorry for Francesco Schettino, for the unhappy footnote that his descendants will forever see by his name in maritime history record.

  • willow Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 2:59 p.m.

    He is a coward and should certainly have consequences to his actions. He deviated from the course and would not respond to commands.

  • awsomeron Waianae, HI
    Jan. 17, 2012 2:58 p.m.

    That is a great photo. This ship is still young a ships go but I would think it would be totaled.

    Damages should be paid just like if an Aircraft crashed, only less people where killed and it was Not in Deep Water. I will assume that a lot of I.D.'s,Passports and Wallets, Credit Cards and and such where lost. Lets Not forget the Casino Cash.

    I am sorry for the loss of lives.

    Crimes where committed and we punish that in our society with Prison Time, the Time depending on the Crime weighed with what happened. That is why we have a Trail Phase and a Sentence Phase. We also in many cases have minimums to keep money from buying freedom after a conviction.

    I like "A Voice of Reason" would not want to be on the jury.

    If people died because they went back into get stuff then that is not the Captains Fault.

    On the other hand I am in the Pool and the Ship starts sinking, I want my Wallet my, Passport and Life Partner be assured I am going back in.

    The ship is not supposed to sink.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 1:47 p.m.

    The sight of that ship positioned at that angle is absolutely sickening.

    Sorry for the poor souls who drowned.

    God bless the brave divers going into that hellish thing to look for the missing.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    These things aren't so cut and dry to me. While I agree that his responsibility was to the crew he's agreed to protect as best he can- I also very strongly believe that prison should primarily be used to rehabilitate. Does 12 years bring any lives back? No. Does it solve anything needing solving? No. Is it a means of making him pay for the consequences of his actions? Yes.

    While he acted in a way that was wrong, he didn't intentionally harm people. He acted in his own interest only. While I despise this idea, I don't know that I feel justified in severely punishing a man for what I think many others would have done in his place.

    If it were as easy as saying "He agreed to the responsibility when he took the job" then I'd understand completely. But where I'm not so sure that everyone fully comprehends the responsibility they accept, again I'm just not sure how to react.

    I don't like the idea of 'making him pay' as the coast guard captain wants. I only want justice with fair consideration. This is certainly not a case I'd envy having to rule on.