After his silly excuse for abandoning ship, it's becoming impossible to trust what Captain Francesco Schettino says. So, we're finding it a bit difficult to accept the new transcripts of Schettino blaming an unnamed and unyielding manager for sailing too close to shore. Reuters has translated transcripts of a conversation between Schettino and an unknown person named Fabrizio that appeared in the Italian paper La Repubblica. "Fabri ... anyone else in my place wouldn't have been so nice as to go there because they were breaking my balls, saying go there, go there," Schettino says in the Reuters translation. (Sidenote: "Breaking my balls" is somehow not lost the translation). "The rock was there but it didn't show up in the instruments I had and I went there ... to satisfy the manager, go there, go there," Schettino adds. If that sounds familiar, it's because Schettino has already tried to blame Costa Cruises, the company which owns the Costa Concordia, in a similar manner--saying that they forced him to sail that route. In Schettino's defense, he didn't know about the taping (though we wouldn't expect anyone to fully claim responsibility for what's arguably 2012's biggest disaster, regardless of guilt). The prosecutor's office has confirmed that the transcript is genuine.
As for the ship, the official missing count remains at 16, and six bodies have yet to be identified. Officials have also begun the process of pumping the 2,300 tons of fuel from the ship's hulk which is set to start on Sunday, a sign, which we reported, that authorities have moved from a "rescue" to a "recovery" and salvage effort.