As the doomed Costa Concordia began to slide under the water, Captain Schettino argued with with Captain De Falco of the Italian coastguard over whether he should return to the ship he had apparently abandoned. Read the transcript below.
De Falco:" Hello, this is De Falco from Livorno, am I speaking with the Captain?"
Schettino: "Yes, good evening Captain De Falco"
De Falco: "Tell me your name please."
Schettino: "I am Captain Schettino, Captain De Falco."
De Falco: "Schettino? Listen Schettino. There are some people trapped on board. Now you go with your lifeboat under the fore of the boat on the right side. There is a Jacob's-ladder. You have to go up that ladder and get on board, get on board and report to me how many people are on there. Is this clear? I am recording this conversation Captain Schettino."
Schettino: "Captain, let me tell you something ..."
De Falco: "Speak louder. Put the hand in front of the microphone and speak louder, is it clear?"
Schettino: "Captain right now the ship is inclined ..."
De Falco: "I understood. Listen: there are some people coming down from the fore ladder. You need to go through that ladder on the opposite direction, get on board and tell me how many people are on the ship ! Is it clear? You have to tell me if there are children, women or people in need of assistance and you tell me how many are there in each category. Is it clear. Listen Schettino, you maybe saved yourself from the sea, but I will make sure you will look very bad. You will pay for this. Vada a bordo, cazzo!"
Schettino: "Captain, please ..."
De Falco: "No, you need to get on board. Assure me you are on board."
Schettino: "I am going here, with the lifeboat, I am down here, I am not going anywhere, I am here."
De Falco: "What are you doing, Captain?"
Schettino: "I am coordinating the rescue."
De Falco: "What are you coordinating there? Go on board. Coordinate the rescue from the ship. Are you refusing?"
Schettino: "No, no I am not refusing..."
De Falco: "Are you refusing to go back on board, Captain?"
Schettino: "No, no ... "
De Falco: "Can you tell me the reason why you are not going?"
Schettino: "I am not going because the other lifeboat stopped."
De Falco: "Go on board, it’s an order. You don’t need to do any other assessment. You declared to have abandonned the ship, now I am the one commanding. Go on board. Is it clear?"
Schettino: "Captain ... "
De Falco: "You can’t hear me? Go, and call me from there. My areal rescuer is there."
Schettino: "Where is your rescuer?"
De Falco: "My rescuer is on the fore of the ship. Come on. We already found some bodies Schettino. Come on Schettino."
Schettino: "How many bodies?"
De Falco: "I don’t know … I know of one. I heard of one. You’re the one who is supposed to tell me how many bodies there are, for Christ’s sake!"
Schettino: "Do you realise it’s dark here and I can’t see anything … "
De Falco: "Do you want to go home? It’s dark and you want to go home? Get on board through the ladder and let me know what we can do, how many people are there and what they need. Now."
Schettino: "Captain, I am with the Second Captain."
De Falco: "Get on board both of you then. How is the Second called? You and your second get on board now. Is it clear?"
Schettino: "Captain, I want to go on board, but there is the other lifeboat here … there are other rescuers, it stopped, and I called other rescuers."
De Falco: "It’s an hour you have been telling me this. Now go on board, go on board. And tell me how many people there are."
Schettino: "All right Captain"
De Falco: "Go, right now!"