You would think that after banging your ship onto a rock while showing off to your mistress, bungling the evacuation and getting sixteen years jail for the manslaughter of thirty-two people in your care you would find a period of silence appropriate. Not the lovely Captain Schettino, he who caused the biggest shipwreck ever by sailing the cruise ship Costa Concordia too close to the Italian island of Giglio before slipping into a lifeboat in front of others. This week he launched a book giving what he claims is his side of the story, hitherto evidently ignored despite a lengthy trial and intensive press and other scrutiny.
La Verita Sommerse, which translates as The Truth Submerged, is 600 pages long written by an Italian journalist but over the name of Schettino. At a launch party in his home town, where he is at liberty pending an appeal on his conviction, he said the book was dedicated to those who lost loved ones in the disaster.
The book is a mishmash of reasons why Costa Cruises should have taken more of the blame for the accident, which cynics would point out, would mean them paying out more. In a country where a lot of people have already profited in one way or another from this very expensive accident and the world’s most expensive wreck removal, it is just one more example of unprincipled greed and powerful forces seeking cash with no shame.
The book is on sale in Italy for Euro16. No mention of what he will do with the profits – if anyone is daft enough to buy it. And some will, his timing is perfect. He has released the book just a week before the court which sent him down is due to publish the reasoning behind his sentence, thus ensuring maximum publicity.