Report By: Nina Rai
Savona, Italy 20 Jan., 2012
Not many know that it is Captain Roberto Bosio who is one of the true but unsung heroes of the ill-fated Costa Concordia saga. He is believed to be responsible for saving the lives of dozens of women and young children at the cost of his own life, even as the ship's captain deserted the panic-stricken passengers.
45-year old Roberto Bosio, an off duty captain was on board the Costa Concordia at the time of the tragedy. He has now broken his silence to speak about the Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino who failed in making the crucial ‘Mayday’ call even as the cruise liner shifted violently after collision with a huge rock.
Check Pic - Roberto Bosio
Captain Bosio castigated Captain Schettino for his cowardly act. “Only a disgraceful man would have left all those passengers on board,” he pointed out. For Bosio the entire episode was the most horrifying experience of his life “A tragedy, a heartache that I will carry with me forever,” he states poignantly.
By now most are aware of Captain Schettino flimsy excuse about being in a lifeboat was because he “tripped’ even as thousands of terrified passengers and crews were trying to evacuate. It was indeed truly a blessing for the Concordia passengers that Captain Bosio happened to be on board the Costa Concordia ship.
Bosio happens to be the captain of one of the Concordia’s sister ships, the Serena. He is engaged and lives in Ventimiglia on the French-Italian border. It was just by chance that he happened to board the cruise liner in order to reach his home town of Savona, near Genoa. He was resting in his cabin when disaster struck. Despite not actually working for Costa Concordia, he took on the role of the de-facto captain.
Roberto Bosio is understood to have coordinated the entire rescue effort, working side-by-side with crew members all through the night, helping panic-stricken men, women and children into lifeboats. According to survivors, after this keen biker left his cabin on knowing about the disaster, he quickly began instructing every passenger he met, to put on a life jacket.
Captain Bosio actions and words were in shark contrast to that of Captain Schettino. After his heroic efforts, all that Roberto Bosio said was: “We managed to avoid the worse and have the world crash down around us. I just want to rest and forget.” Such is the humbleness of the man that he urged “Don’t call me a hero. I just did my duty, the duty of a sea captain – actually the duty of a normal man.”
According to Bosio, what he and others with him did was only their basic duty. At the moment of tragedy he says, they just looked at one another in the eye for a second and then got on with their job of evacuating thousands of passengers.
By now many may have read the transcripts of the ship's black box on how the Costa Concorda captain wasted precious time before raising the alarm with terrified passengers having to plead with the coast guard warning about the catastrophe. In this context it may be noted that it was actually Captain Bosio who took the decision to start evacuating the ship at 10.45pm, some 13 minutes before the actual Captain of Costa Concorda Schettino gave the abandon-ship instruction.
In addition to Captain Bosio there was one other Italian officer who stayed on board until the very last trying to bring some semblence of order to the chaos of the evacuation. His name is Giuseppe Girolamo, he is the long-haired drummer playing in the ship's band - Dee Dee Smith. According to witnesses he had got a place in one of the lifeboats, but in a humane gesture gave it up for a child. Sadly his is one of the names found in the list of missing persons from Costa Concordia tragedy informs the Guardian.uk.