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“Vada A Bordo, Cazzo!” (English: “Get on board, dick!”) is a quote that stems from an audio recording of an emergency exchange between Italian coast guard captain Gregorio De Falco and Francesco Shettino, the captain of Italian cruiser vessel Costa Concordia which ran aground off the coast of Isola del Giglio in January 2012.
On January 13th, 2012, the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia ran partially sank after hitting a reef off the coast of Isola del Giglio in Tuscany, Italy. Out of 4,200 passengers and crew on board, at least 11 people were killed, including ten passengers and 1 crew member. The ship’s captain Francesco Schettino and first officer Ciro Ambrosio were arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter after sailing much closer to the shore than permitted and abandoning ship before the passengers’ evacuation was completed.
On January 17th, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera released a leaked audio recording of a radio conversation between the ship’s captain Francesco Schettino and Coast Guard Captain Gregorio De Falco, in which De Falco can be heard scolding Shettino for abandoning the ship and telling him to return aboard:
Schettino: “Commander, right now the ship is skewed.”
De Falco: “Understood. Listen there are people going down from the prow using the rope ladder; you take that rope ladder on the opposite side, you go aboard and you tell me the number of people and what they have on board. Is that clear? You tell me whether there are children, women or people needing assistance. And you tell me the number of each of these categories. Is that clear? Schettino, maybe you saved yourself from the sea, but I’ll make you pay for sure. Go aboard.”
Schettino: “Commander, please?”
De Falco: “Please, now you go aboard.”
Stories about the shipwreck and the arrest of Captain Schettino dominated the Italian news media throughout the week and grabbed the attention of many foreign publications. Upon the release of the audio recording on January 17th, the phrase “Vada a bordo, cazzo,” which translates to “get on board, dick” in Italian, was quickly turned into a t-shirt slogan based on the “Keep Calm and X” template and a trending hashtag (#vadaabordo) on Twitter.
In addition, the Facebook page “Vada a bordo, cazzo” was launched on the same day, featuring links to “Vada a bordo, cazzo!” t-shirt product pages and images poking fun at Schettino. As of January 19th, the page has gained over 10,000 likes. There is another Facebook page with the same title that was launched on the following day, which has accrued over 4,800 likes in the first 24 hours.
A wide array of photoshopped images and image macro parodies have emerged in both Italian and English on Facebook, as well as on internet humor blogs and caption generator sites like Memegenerator, Quickmeme and Memebase.