National News

Furor after Concordia captain gives seminar

By The Associated Press

ROME - A Rome university professor is facing a disciplinary hearing after inviting the captain of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner to lecture students on emergency procedures, officials said Wednesday.

The dean of Rome's Sapienza University, Luigi Frati, on Wednesday expressed anger at the professor's decision to invite Capt. Francesco Schettino to give a seminar, calling it an "inappropriate and unworthy choice." Frati said he was turning the matter over to an ethics committee.

Schettino is being tried for manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship over the January 2012 capsize of the Concordia, in which 32 people died.

The university in a statement said that the fact Schettino was ordered back onto the ship during the evacuation of passengers in a now-infamous call leaked to the media "would be enough to brand the initiative as void of any academic purpose." It also dismissed "pathetic excuses" offered by the professor, Vincenzo Mastronardi, when confronted by the dean.

Italy's education minister called the news "disconcerting," while the prosecutor in Tuscany who is arguing for Schettino's guilt expressed indignation also at reports that Schettino had been awarded a diploma.

"What did the young people get out of this?" asked Francesco Verusio, according to Italian news agency ANSA. "I hope they made fun of him."

The Florence daily La Nazione reported that Schettino gave a nearly two-hour lecture to criminal science masters candidates last month, including reference to panic management. Passengers have described a chaotic evacuation of the Concordia.

Schettino, through his lawyer, defended the seminar, saying it was "a technical intervention on the basis of my knowledge and professionalism acquired over many years of service."

Schettino's lawyer, Cataldo Calabretta, criticized "an unacceptable attempt to discredit Schettino, who has been subjected for a long time already to unmerited media attacks."

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

One last holdup on B.C. railway tracks
 
LNG tax reflects softer gas market
 
EK P.A.R.T.Y. Program is gearing up for its children’s shopping party
Petition urges reinstatement of Nelson bus service
 
Columbia Basin Broadband sets November deadline
 
Nelson council drops everything and reads
Emission limits set for B.C. LNG producers
 
Burn Fund Centre breaks ground
 
Save On Foods raising funds for child centre

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 16 edition online now. Browse the archives.