The newspaper Corriere della Sera has posted online what it states is an audio recording and transcript of phone communications early Saturday morning between Schettino and the Coast Guard commander at the port of Livorno, who is heard pleading with the captain to return to his ship until all aboard had been safely evacuated.You can hear the audio here. If memory serves me right, a Captain who abandons a shipwreck in this manner in Italy can be sentenced to 12 years or more in jail; as it should be.
...Coast Guard: "Listen Schettino, there are people trapped on board. Now you need to go on your life boat, under the bow of the ship on the side. There is a ladder. You need to climb up the ladder and board the ship. Get on board and report to me how many people there are. Is that clear?. . . . "The Coast Guard said Schettino defied their entreaties to return to his ship as the chaotic evacuation of some 4,200 people was in progress.
Schettino: "At this moment the ship is tilted."
Coast Guard: "I understand. Listen, there are people who are coming down the ladder on the bow. Go back in the opposite direction, get back on the ship, and tell me how many people there are and what they have on board. . . . Tell me if there are children, women and what type of help they need. And you tell me the number of each of these categories. Is that clear? . . . Listen Schettino, perhaps you have saved yourself from the sea but I will make you look very bad. I will make you pay for this. Dammit, go back on board!"
Schettino: "Please . . . "
Coast Guard: "There is no please about it. Go back on board. Assure me you are going back on board!"
Schettino: "I am in the life boat, under the ship, I haven't gone anywhere, I'm here."
Coast Guard: "What are you doing?"
Schettino: "I am coordinating . . . "
Coast Guard: "What are you coordinating there? Go on board! Coordinate the rescue from on board! Are you refusing?"
Schettino: "No, I am not refusing."
Coast Guard: "Tell me the reason why you are not going back on board."
Schettino: "There is another life boat ... "
Coast Guard: "You go back on board! That is an order! There is nothing else for you to consider. You have sounded the 'abandon ship.' Now I am giving the orders. Go back on board. Is that clear? Don't you hear me?"
Schettino: "I am going on board."
Coast Guard: "Go! Call me immediately when you are on board. My rescue people are in front of the bow."
Corriere della Sera also reports that the crew mutinied, ordering passengers into lifeboats before the captain issued an abandon ship order.
UPDATE: Via SJS on FB;