As the Costa Concordia sank on January 13, 2012 – the captain of the ship had to make many split second decisions. He had to determine what was going to be the best way to evacuate the ship. He had to decide, in an instant, how to tell the passengers that the ship was damaged, without causing a panic. He had to remember to follow all the emergency procedures exactly. In these ways the captain - Francesco Schettino – failed. Instead he ordered the crew to announce that there had been a balckout.
In recordings which were released on Thursday, the captain spoke to an engine room officer soon after striking underwater rocks off the Italian coast. He knew there was trouble. ”So are we really going down?” he asked. Within minutes the captain made an announcement to the bridge -”Say that there has been a blackout,” he ordered. The captain had just ordered that the fact that the ship was sinking be hidden from the passengers.
32 people died in the sinking of the Costa Concordia, including 2 Americans. No one will ever know what would have happened should the captain have decided to follow the proper emergency procedures from the beginning. What is known, however, is that it is never acceptable for a cruise ship captain to lie to the passengers, as the ship sinks. An interesting fact is that this very same captain can be heard on another recording being ordered back to the ship by the Italian Coast Guard. He had decided to abandon ship and save himself.