Franscesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship at the time of a tragedy that claimed 32 lives seeks media appearance fees. Should he be allowed to profit from death?
The Costa Concordia cruise ship incident claimed the lives of 32 innocent people. The captain of the ship, one Franscesco Schettino is likely to face charges of multiple homicide, failing to assist the victims, abandoning his ship and failing to communicate with maritime authorities. Such grave accusations are not stopping the good captain Schettino from profiting from the tragedy though.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Captain Schettino are saying their client is prepared to appear on television – are touting for an appearance fee of around €50,000 a time. This figure may well increase if a kind of bidding war starts between media hungry for an exclusive.
The Concordia incident was a tragedy, but it is also a story which is attracting enormous media attention and can generate plenty of income for whichever publication or broadcaster runs anything about it.
Adding further insult to death, Schettino is also lining up a book deal.
Ethically, this Stinks
But should someone who is clearly involved in the deaths of 32 people be allowed to profit from the misfortune of others? The number could easily have been much, much higher, Yes, Schettino will be facing enormous legal fees, but so would anyone facing such grave charges, and he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, but he was the captain at the time of the disaster. Think of it this way, would it be right for murderers or terrorists to sell their stories and enrich themselves? While it may be acceptable legally, ethically, it stinks to high heaven, and one is certain the victims of any crime would agree. Crime should not pay, but, alas, it appears that it can, and pay very well too.
Perhaps the lawyers representing the victims, both living and dead, should request an order from Italy’s courts that any and all fees Schettino receives for television appearances, books and any other media attention, be paid into a fund to be distributed to the families of the 32 victims, regardless of whether he is found guilty or not.
Thirty Three Undeniable Facts
The undeniable facts are that Franscesco Schettino was the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship at the time of the accident and that 32 people died. As captain, Schettino is responsible for their deaths, although it is not clear he accepts such responsibility.
Although I’m not a lawyer, I wonder whether from a legal viewpoint Schettino’s media appearances could prejudice the compensation claims of the victims. This would be another good reason to prevent Schettino from making media appearances.
Does the man have any respect for those who lost their lives, or for their families? It appears not.
I would never sail in any ship captained by Franscesco Schettino. Would you?
If Schettino is paid for media appearances and for the rights to a book, then this will further damage the already tarnished image of the Costa cruise line, so maybe their lawyers should have a few words with Schettino too.
Photograph of Costa Concordia wreck by Rvongher