A WOW!!! moment ending in tragedy…

A Cruise Liner departs from Venice

The tragedy of Costa Concordia

To some this moment was predictable, but the world appears shocked by the sinking of the Costa Corcordia – 11 casualties, 28 people missing, an environmental disaster poised to occur, and all this for a foolish gesture. Obviously, no one seriously considered what a curtsy (“inchino” in Italian) or “showing off” can cost families, an entire country, a big industry, and the environment. Capt. Schettino offered the curtsy to the island and to the tourists sailing on the Costa Concordia liner.

The “inchino” was a practice well known to the Costa Co. management. They boasted in a blog posted in September 2010 “tutto ciò grazie al Comandante Francesco Schettino, di Meta di Sorrento,” (“All of this compliments of Comandante Schettino from Meta di Sorrento.”

“Curtsy Schettino” was appreciated for his “audacity” in making these narrow passages in the most troubled spots of the Mediterranean Sea full of dangerous and spectacular places. Among the show spots are: Procida, Island of Giannutri, Capri Island Faraglioni, Venice-St. Mark’s basin, the Giglio Island, all with a myriad of photo ops and “WOW” moments for an unforgettable “Profumi del Mediterraneo” cruise that gave Capt. Schettino a chance to show off his bravura at the controls.

The tragedy is profoundly sad for all of the innocent victims and their families. Of course, it’s logical to place blame on Schettino for abandoning the ship ahead of its passengers, but it is also time to look beyond Schettino, a coward in his own right, to all those Armani suits above him who should be charged for the same crimes for which Francesco Schettino is charged.

Obviously the unloading of responsibilities has already begun; home detention for the Captain indicates that the maneuvering is underway. Wait for the trial to start; it will be interesting to see and hear what these people will say, the same ones who praised the commander for his antics.

Perhaps something can be learned from this tragedy. Let’s make a real effort to ensure that these fragile places are kept free of senseless commercialism and that they are preserved for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.

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