NEWS
18/01/2012 10:26 GMT | Updated 18/01/2012 10:41 GMT

Costa Concordia Tragedy: Italians Rage Against Shamed Captain With 'Get Back On Board, For F***'s Sake' T-shirts (Audio, Pictures)

Italians are venting spleen against Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino with T-shirts, Facebook pages and Twitter hashtags urging him to “Get Back On Board, For F****’s Sake”.

The command, made via telephone by a furious Italian Coast Guard official has come to symbolise the entire disaster which has seen 11 people lose their lives, the Telegraph reported.

Gregorio De Falco shrieked the order – “Vada a bordo, cazzo” – as Schettino scrambled to safety, leaving his passengers and crew to fend for themselves.

The legend has now been printed on T-shirts, which are on sale for €12.90, although there is no mention of any proceeds going towards the rescue effort.

The phrase has now gone viral among Italians, with the country’s media declaring the men “the two faces of Italy”. The hashtag #vadaabordocazzo continues to trend on Twitter.

La Republica said of the audio recordings: “His decisive tones recalled black and white war films and comic book heroes.”

During the recording, Schettino begun by claiming everything was fine, shortly before the ship keeled over off the Tuscan coast with 4,200 on board.

At 9.49pm he was asked by a port official over the ship radio: "Concordia, is everything OK?"

The response from the ship was "positive", Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

But five minutes later the operations room at Livorno port was said to have contacted the liner again after a passenger had allegedly reported a problem and mentioned the word "shipwreck".

The inquiry was reportedly again met with the response: "It is just a technical problem."

By 12.42am, the captain was said to have claimed there were only about 40 people missing and said he was not on board.

The recording of his conversation with Captain De Falco indicated his response was met with fury and an order that he return to his ship.

"You go on board and then you will tell me how many people there are," Capt De Falco reportedly shouted. "Is that clear?"

But Schettino resisted, saying the ship was tipping and that it was dark. At the time, he was in a lifeboat and said he was co-ordinating the rescue from there.

Capt De Falco shouted back: "And so what? You want to go home, Schettino? It is dark and you want to go home? Get on that prow of the boat using the pilot ladder and tell me what can be done, how many people there are and what their needs are. Now.

"You go aboard. It is an order. Don't make any more excuses. You have declared the abandoning of the ship, now I am in charge."

Schettino, 52, was finally heard agreeing to reboard but it was unclear whether he did so.

He could face up to 12 years in prison if found to have abandoned his ship, before any other wrongdoing is taken into account.

Schettino appeared before a judge in Grosseto yesterday, where he was questioned for three hours.

The judge ordered that he be held under house arrest, and Italian media later said he had returned to his home near Naples.