Captain Gregorio De Falco

January 27, 2012 by staff 

Captain Gregorio De Falco, An Italian Police officer leaves Captain Schettino’s home. I told my husband that if he hadn’t had a full head of hair when I met him, I wouldn’t have married him. I also warned him that if he ever began to show signs of male pattern baldness, it might be grounds for divorce.

I was joking, of course (well, I probably would have made him sleep on the couch, but thankfully he still has a full head of hair.) Anyway, truth be told, I am usually not attracted to bald men—that is, until Gregorio De Falco, the 46-year-old commander of the Livorno Port Authority who reamed out Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia.

“Listen Schettino, perhaps you have saved yourself from the sea but I will make you look very bad. I will make you pay for this,” De Falco yelled in Italian, adding, “Vada a bordo, ca**o.” “Ca**o” is Italian slang for the male sex organ, but can also mean damn it. So since this is a family site, I’ll translate the phrase into, “Get on board, damn it.” Although I think the other interpretation is much better and more accurate.

After all, Schettino is accused of multiple manslaughters, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship.

At first when I listened to the tapes I was appalled by Schettino’s cowardice. Then when it was played over and over, I heard something I hadn’t heard in a long time—a man reacting to a situation with anger and instinct, rather than following some procedure, some guidelines, some protocol (I hate the word protocol). Too bad De Falco wasn’t the one on the ship. I’m certain the body count would have been much lower.

De Falco says he was only doing his job. Even his wife told the press that the notion of her husband as a hero is ridiculous.

“The worrying thing is that people like my husband who simply do their duty every day, immediately become idols, personalities, heroes in this country. That is not normal.”

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