ROME, ITALY – There’s more to being a ship’s captain than just a spiffy uniform.
It also helps if you have a backbone, which apparently the former captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship did not have.
Francesco Schettino is on trial for manslaughter and abandoning ship after 32 people died when the ship hit an outcropping and sank off the Tuscan island of Giglio in January 2012.
One of his stories is that he stayed with the sinking ship as it tipped over and dropped him over the side and into a lifeboat.
Not so, says a former crew member who was on the bridge when the accident occurred.
He crew member testified that he was right behind Schettino when the captain jumped into the lifeboat.
Schettino claims he wasn’t a cowardly captain, but, in fact, a hero who saved the lives of more than 4,000 passengers and crew.
But that defense may have been tossed overboard.