The coast guard officer who has been made a hero for ordering the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship to "get back on board damn it!" has been further immortalized...on T-shirts.
Stefano Ramponi, owner of the Lipsiasoft web agency that is producing the T-shirts and selling them online for $16.63, told Reuters that they had already become an instant hit both in Italy and abroad.
"We have had a lot of requests from all over the world, from Brazil, Hong Kong, also from Germany and France, the UK. Everyone is asking us for it," he said.
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Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia, has been accused of causing last week's shipwreck, as well as abandoning the liner and refusing to go back inside to help with rescue efforts. Schettino is currently under house arrest for manslaughter and abandoning his ship.
Coast guard officer Gregorio De Falco has been made a national hero for shouting at Schettino to return to the wreck, which left 11 people dead.
Though there is a full transcript of the discussion between Schettino and De Falco, the phrase "get back on board damn it!" really stuck.
"We liked this phrase a lot because it was said by Captain De Falco in an extremely difficult situation, it really impressed us," Ramponi, the T-shirt's creator, told Reuters. "We wanted to... distribute it en-masse...particularly to all the people in Italy who don't concentrate on their jobs, who don't give their all and do harm to Italy in this time of crisis, difficulty and economic hardship."
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Not surprisingly, copycats of the T-shirt have already popped up all over the internet.