Schettino said that according to navigation charts, there was plenty of water beneath the ship when they hit a rocky spur of the reef at cruising speed and he was on the bridge when the accident took place. The statement clears up rumors that Costa Concordia lost power due to an electrical problem, as many say the captain announced during later supper service. As a result of the loss of power, the ship drifted into shore, snagging the reef.
However, other reports say the ship was off course, several miles closer to the coastline than it should have been. Costa denied that report, saying the Costa Concordia was on course, when she ripped open her hull on the reef. Costa Cruises has stated that once Schettino realized the ship was sinking, he did what all good captains would do, head to shore to beach the ship, instead of letting her sink at sea. The move is typical for experienced captains trying to save human life, the vessel and an environmental disaster. It explains why Concordia came to rest where she did instead of the ship off course theory.
Then, other details emerged that portray Schettino as a Class A, heartless, coward. The preliminary Italian Coast Guard investigation began before Schettino was interviewed. The facts had been lined up and anything Schettino would say during the initial interview, subsequent interviews or a trial would mean nothing. By Sunday, all investigators wanted to know would come from the recovered black box.
Cruise Bruise has learned that a passenger was frightened as she was in the darkened ship, wearing her lifevest with the ship beginning to list. She called her daughter who was terrified and instantly tried to get more information from local officials. The daughter called the Port Authority of Savona because the mother had said the ship was dead between Civitavecchia and the Ligurian port.
The police in Prato trying to figure out what was going on with the ship, called the Port Authority of Livorno. Livorno began trying to located the ship's Automatic Identification System in order to check out the report that a ship was in trouble.
Once Concordia was located the harbor operations room called the cruise ship and simply asked, "Costa Concordia, okay?". After all, Concordia had not put out a mayday, but a passenger had reported she was in the dark, in her lifejacket, in a massive listing cruise ship. The ship replied, "Yes, Compamare Livorno, only a technical failure." Still puzzled, wondering why a technical failure would require lifevests, the port operator queried further, "Costa Concordia, are you sure that is a technical failure. We know that there are passengers on board with life jackets. " The ship replied, "Compamare, confirm: it is a technical failure."
The port operations room operator is still not satisfied. He queries further,
"Clarify: I'm sorry, Concordia, but then why do passengers have a jacket?" Sparing words Concordia reports again the same response, "Confirm, technical failure."
When the port authority and Italian military became further concerned, they sent a small patrol boat out to Concordia. When the patrol boat arrived, the officers held to their claim of technical failure then requested the little boat to hook up a tow line so Concordia could be towed to shore, a move that would have been disastrous had it been possible. About 20 minutes later, the captain finally gave the order to evacuate. Port officials say that had the passenger's daughter not sent out the alarm, many more crew and passengers may have been lost as the officers on Concordia continued to delay rescue operations.
What happens next, stunned everyone. Captain Schettino jumps into a lifeboat and heads to Giglio, one of the first to arrive there. Much of his crew have also left, leaving, as we later find out, the Purser behind to become the hero of the day.
The Cafe Ferraro on Giglio reopens offering shelter for survivors and a taxi driver is at the harbor as the first survivors arrive. Schettino arrives with his white dress uniform on, still dressed for the gala dinner and boards the taxi. he tells the taxi driver, "Take me away from here." "Commander," replied the driver, "I can bring you to my house, the island is deserted during the winter. " So the taxi driver takes home the captain and prepares him a cup of coffee.
Soon after the Port of Livorno calls Captain Schettino, in fact they call him three times. The port officials are clearly confused, the man on the phone says to him, "As captain, you are not on the ship?". Schettino replies, "No, I'm not going back on the ship." The captain's phone rings a second time, . "Captain, my superior orders me to say that you must report back on your ship." The captain replies, "Not going back." The third phone call the two men are screaming back and forth, the captain refusing to go back to his ship. He eventually takes a boat to the mainland.
The day after the accident, Schettino is held in the police station at Orbetello. The prosecutor ordered Schettino detained, just based on the word of the port officials and the taxi driver coupled with the fact that passengers were still leaving the ship for several more hours after Schettino was already sipping coffee at the taxi driver's home, screaming on the phone with personnel from the port of Livorno, refusing to go back to the disable ship to assist with the evacuation. He's was transferred to the prison in Grosseto, Italy awaiting trial.