18 January 2012

‘Costa Concordia’ Captain Says He Had No Choice but to Abandon Ship

ROME -- A profound sense of duty compelled Francesco Schettino to abandon his sinking cruise liner, the Costa Concordia, the ship’s captain told Italian authorities this morning, and his actions saved countless tiny, almost completely invisible lives.

Schettino has been criticized for allegedly fleeing the accident, last Friday, long before many passengers and other crew members. It is also alleged that he refused to return to the ship after being ordered to do so by the Italian coast guard; according to some sources, he either did not participate at all in the rescue effort or else hampered efforts by others.

“It was my duty as captain to oversee the evacuation and rescue of the most vulnerable passengers on board the Costa Concordia,” Schettino is said to have told investigators. “The Puffi are a tiny people who would have been crushed by others in the rush for the lifeboats. What is more, only I have the ability to see them. Had I abandoned them, they surely would have died, and casualties from this regrettable accident would have been much, much higher.”

Schettino “refuses to be the Gargamella in this case.”

Aboard the ship, the Puffi, tiny blue people who wear white stockings and caps, were mostly elderly (Grande Puffo), women (Puffetta), children (Puffo Bambino), or so incredibly brainy or handy that Schettino dared not leave them behind (Puffo Quattrocchi, Puffo Inventore). “Survivors of the wreck would need the Puffi skills these Puffi could provide,” Schettino reportedly said.

“You cannot imagine how difficult it was,” Schettino told Italian authorities, describing what he called a “Puffi’s Choice” as to “who would escape and who would stay to fight for their Puffi lives. But it was my duty as captain to act as I did.”

Among the disaster’s unreported casualties, Schettino said, were Puffo Goloso, Puffo Maldestro, and Puffo Brontolone, all of whom are missing and believed smurfed.

“I can understand that, since nobody else could see the lives I was saving, it may have appeared that I was a foolish coward, thinking only of myself. This is simply not the case.”

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