Cruise Ship Captain Responsible for 32 Deaths Delivers Impressive Non-ApologyS

The captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which cost 32 passengers their lives when it capsized back in January (allegedly because the captain was literally showboating for a friend on the shore) gave his first full interview about the accident Wednesday. He's way less sorry than you might expect.

Which is not to say he's not sorry at all – it's just that his messages seems to be "I'm sorry you're upset" and "I'm sorry that this happened" rather than "I'm sorry for what I did."

Part of the issue might be with translation. Francesco Schettino gave his interview to an Italian TV station, so when the BBC quotes him as reciting a bizarrely robotic "It is normal that I should apologize" non-apology, it could be that that sounded a little less harsh in his original phrasing:

"When there's an accident, it is not just the ship that is identified or the company, the captain is identified and so it's normal that I should apologize as a representative of this system."

Schettino also described the tragedy as "a banal accident," made worse by fate and human error.

An Italian transcript of the interview is here.

Some of the captain's claims appear to contradict directly with evidence recovered from the ship's black box recorder, audio of which was leaked Wednesday.

For instance, in the interview, Schettino claimed that another officer was in charge of the ship when it ran aground because he was above deck (he blamed himself for being "distracted" by a phone call). The Telegraph reports that data gathered from the recorder show that the captain disabled the ship's automatic pilot function and took control of it himself six minutes before the collision.

Twelve minutes after the collision, Schettino phoned an officer in the emergency unit of his cruise ship's home company and said "Roberto, I fucked up! Look, I'm dying here, don't tell me anything."

Schettino allegedly removed the ship from its charted course to perform a sail-by for Mario Polombo, a retired captain who lived on a nearby island. He denies that that's the reason he sailed too close to the island, though audio taken from the black box suggests otherwise.

"It was Palombo who said to me 'pass close by, pass close by'. I did pass close by and I hit shallow water with the stern. I did it to keep him happy. I'm really devastated."

The captain is under investigation for multiple counts of manslaughter, abandoning his ship before it had been completely evacuated and failing to communicate properly with the maritime authorities.

He has been under house arrest since January, though this was lifted last week on the condition he not leave his hometown while under investigation.

[BBC // The Telegraph // Image via AP]