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The Fame Of Man Named Francesco

There we were late Saturday night, settling in to watch the late news, and along comes Francesco…again. If you don't know who "Francesco" is just Google the name and chances are you'll discover he's one of the four most famous Francescos in the world, according to Google.

The last name is Schettino and if that doesn't ring a bell then you haven't been paying attention. He was the last captain of the Concordia (a name likely never to be used Francesco Schettinoagain for a cruise-ship christening) and he has been charged with manslaughter over the deaths of 32 passengers. Yesterday, hours before the start of the Concordia's final journey — from the Italian island of Giglio to Genoa, where it will be dismantled — the ex-captain spoke publicly about the disaster when he was interviewed by Italy's consumer protection agency.

He laid responsibility at the feet of the helmsman, although this was hardly newsworthy since it was the same thing he said, in court, some months ago. He admitted that he took the Concordia off course, but the helmsman made a right turn instead of a left, and that's why the ship crashed on the rocks. There was no mention of why the captain abandoned ship.

There are lots of people who'd like Francesco Schettino to go away, which he could do for decades, and not all of them are victims families looked for closure or cruise-line officials looking for a merciful end to an accident that haunts the industry.

Some of them are just people lying in bed on a Saturday night, watching the news.

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: Carnival, New Orleans make a deal

Sapphire Princess
17 nights
September 3, 2014
ShanghaiNagasakiBusanTaipeiHong KongDe NangHo Chi Minh CityBangkokSingapore
Inside: $1,199
Cost per day: $70

The Bizarre World of Captain Schettino

While it's possible that Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino will be convicted of manslaughter over the death of 32 cruise ship passengers, it's also important to remember something about a rush to judgment.

The respected news agency Reuters carried a story headlined "Italy cruise ship's captain tells survivors: I'm sorry". In the story, there is one line about the apology: "Two German survivors who attended the hearing said Schettino had shaken their hands and said he was sorry."

The headline makes it sound that Schettino apologized for what he did. Are we to believe that he would say that during a preliminary court appearance regarding his guilt or innocence? Is it possible that what Schettino simply said was he was sorry about what happened, no matter who was to blame?

Sometimes it seems the world is so anxious to convict the guy that it can't wait for a fair trial.

You don't think so?

In another report, carried by CNN, a lawyer said when Schettino appeared in court this week he looked "like he walked straight out of a GQ Magazine." And this has what to do with his guilt or innocence?

As if the entire proceedings aren't bizarre enough, here's another one:

Schettino, alleged to be the principal perpetrator of a crime by everyone from his own cruise line to the Italian Coast Guard to surviving passengers, has sued Costa Cruises for wrongful dismissal?

Like his guilt or innocence, that will also be determined.

In time.

Sun Princess
14 nights
December 30, 2012
Brisbane (return): Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Fiordland National Park                           
Inside: $1,597
Cost per day: $114

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