What Happened to the Captain of the Concordia Cruise Ship?

By Michael Ferguson

On the night of 13 January 2012, the Captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, Francesco Schettino, steered his ship too close to the island of Giglio in Italy. As a result of this maneuver, the ship struck a submerged rock and began taking on water.

The Island’s port captain coordinated with Schettino in order to evacuate all 4,229 passengers and crew from the sinking vessel. In spite of his efforts to save lives, Schettino was criticized for abandoning his post before all passengers were evacuated.

Schettino faced a number of charges related to his role in the disaster, including multiple counts of manslaughter and causing a shipwreck. In addition, he faced charges for abandoning his post while passengers were still on board and for providing false information regarding what had happened on board. Italian prosecutors also argued that Schettino had steered too close to Giglio in order to show off for friends who were onboard.

In July 2015, after two-and-a-half years of legal proceedings and appeals, Schettino was found guilty on all counts. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison for manslaughter and causing a shipwreck; five years for giving false information; one year for abandoning his post; and three months for failing to report an accident. In addition, he was ordered to pay damages totaling 10 million Euros.


Francesco Schettino was convicted on all charges related to his role in the Costa Concordia disaster and sentenced to 16 years in prison as well as ordered to pay 10 million Euros in damages. Despite his efforts at saving lives during the incident, he was ultimately held responsible for abandoning his post before everyone had been evacuated from the sinking vessel.