There were 296 Filipinos among the crew of 1000 on the ill-fated Costa Concordia that ran around in Italy two days ago, and the Philippine Embassy has reported that all are safe. Indeed, most of the articles that I’ve been able to find are focusing on that aspect of it — but I was curious, because some of the early reports said that it was the cooks and other crew (as opposed to ships officers) who helped save the day. I was chatting about this with Bob Couttie, and he came up with a French article in which survivors say: “Those who have helped us, they are the cooks, maids, all Filipino. They were roped together to help us get into the boats. We were able to get at the last moment before the ship goes down. People have jumped directly to water , others managed to climb onto the hull and then were airlifted, others pick up their children was the stampede” recounts Jessyca.
Separately, I’ve seen a few reports, one quoting a Filipino cook who noted that an hour and a half after the episode began, the Captain was demanding his dessert and seemed unconcerned.
Captain Ordered Dinner as Ship Sank (Click for full article at the Telegraph)
A Filipino crew member from the stricken cruise liner said the captain seemed unconcerned about the crash which happened around nine thirty on Friday night.
Rogelio Barista, a cook on board the Costa Concordia said: “The captain wanted us to cook for him around ten or ten thirty, and I saw him with a woman we did not recognize. I asked the other cook, Jason Velasco, what the captain was thinking. That time, everything was falling apart, including our cooking.
“I couldn’t believe what was happening. I’ve had plenty of experiences in my years as a cook with catastrophes like fires inside the ship, even inside Costa Concordia, and I willed myself not to get scared. I peered outside to see the captain and saw him still waiting for his drink.
“I asked myself why he was still there waiting for his companion’s dessert with what was happening.”
The captain, Francesco Schettino, was arrested and accused of manslaughter and abandoning his ship before all those on board were evacuated. Prosecutors say he also refused to go back on board when requested by the coastguard.