Allegedly, the Costa Crociere vessels had done such a salute several times in the past without accident, but on January 13 Schettino steered the liner too close to shore, striking rocks and ripping a huge gash in the hull.
"Maro' ch'aggio cumbinato,"("Madonna, what have I done"), Schettino is heard saying - again in Neapolitan - at 9.45 p.m., just after the collision.
A series of frantic calls then followed. At 9:51 p.m., Capt. Schettino called Giuseppe Pillon, the officer in command of the ship's engine room, asking: "So are we really going down?"
Three minutes later, at 9:54 p.m., he ordered an officer not to tell passengers what really happened. "Say that there has been a blackout," he was heard saying.
At 9:56 p.m., Capt. Schettino called Costa Crociere's fleet crisis coordinator, Roberto Ferrarini.
"Roberto, I f-– up!," he said.
Schettino hesitated in either launching a distress call and giving the order to abandon ship.
At 10:30 p.m. officers on the bridge asked him in panic: "Captain, shall we give the general emergency signal? Shall we order to abandon ship?"