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Francesco Schettino Petition: Group Aims To Stop Costa Concordia Captain From Getting Back Pay

10/25/2012 02:49 EDT | Updated 10/25/2012 02:52 EDT
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He's being blamed for a cruise ship tragedy that claimed 32 lives, but Captain Francesco Schettino still wants to be paid.

The creators of an online petition, however, are trying to prevent the disgraced Costa Concordia captain from ever seeing a red cent.

The petition, posted by ForceChange, a site that publicizes protests from smaller groups, wants to stop Schettino from getting his job back or be paid the back pay that he is apparently requesting, according to an article in The Daily Telegraph.

"With his fate still unknown and the damage still so shocking, Schettino must not be rewarded compensation for his work," writes Kelly Hamilton, who posted the petition.

More than 4,000 passengers were on board the Costa Concordia when it crashed into rocks off the Italian island of Giglio on Jan. 13. While rumours have swirled as to Schettino's actions before, during and after the tragedy, he's now accused of causing the crash, manslaughter and abandoning the ship, according to Reuters.

During a pre-trial hearing in Grosseto earlier this month, it was learned that Costa Cruises, who owns the ill-fated ship, fired Schettino in July, reports The Daily Telegraph piece.

"Costa Crociere confirms that it has concluded the disciplinary procedure against Schettino, following the sinking of the Costa Concordia, ordering his dismissal," the company said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Schettino reportedly acknowledges making mistakes but refuses to take sole responsibility for the disaster. He claims the death toll could have been much higher if he didn't steer the vessel into shallower waters after impact.

But evidence against the captain has been damning. It's alleged he abandoned the ship before all of the passengers and crew members disembarked and hailed a taxi home. That's when he reportedly had a heated exchange with an Italian Coast Guard captain, who told him to, “Get back on board, for f****’s sake.”

Laurence and Andrea Davis of Calgary were among 12 Canadians who survived the crash by swimming to shore. They were having dinner when they felt the impact and as the situation quickly turned chaotic, they sought out a lifeboat.

"I just saw water starting to cover my shoes and I just looked at Andrea and I said this is it — we've gotta swim or we're going to die," Laurence told The Canadian Press. "So we just jumped into the water and we just carried on swimming."

Nine months later, the Concordia wreckage remains in the water off Giglio Island. According to The Christian Science Monitor, a team of 450 specialists are working to remove the vessel from the water, but it may take up to eight months and cost at least $400 million. Weighing 114, 500 tons, the Concordia is reportedly twice as heavy as the Titanic.

Costa Concordia Disaster