Captain Gregorio De Falco and Francesco Schettino
The hero and the Coward

Francesco Schettino, the captain of Costa Concordia who reportedly loves to dine with young ladies, was complaining about his wet socks soon after he reached the shore, while his ship was sinking.

"He had to step over some to get to a chair but he never spoke to anyone. He said his feet were wet and could he borrow some socks. He just sat there all huddled up until someone said the harbourmaster wanted to see him," The Sun reported Liliana Di Paolo, the owner of the Bahamas Hotel, near the port as saying.

Schettino has the reputation of being a ladies' man and was often seen with young and attractive girls on board. He used to have lavish dinners with young girls regularly, which is normally not possible if you are not a very important guest.

"He had something of a playboy reputation on board. On the night in question he is said to have entered the dining room with a blonde on one arm and a brunette on the other," The Sun reported the employers of Schettino as saying.

Captain Schettino, who is currently under house arrest, has maintained that he "tripped," and fell into a lifeboat while his guests were struggling to save their lives.

Schettino even refused to heed the orders of the head of the coast guard, Captain Gregorio De Falco, to go back to the ship.

Coast guard tapes made public by Italian officials revealed that Captain Gregorio De Falco had a heated exchange of words to persuade Schettino to go back and co-ordinate the rescue operations.

According to latest reports, 11 of the 4,200 passengers on board were confirmed dead and 21 are still missing.

Costa Concordia, the 114,000- ton ship, was on a cruise in the Mediterranean on January 13, and tragedy struck the vessel just hours after it started sailing.

Investigating officials believe that the captain's dare devil act of offering a "salute," to the shore must have led to the sinking.

The search for missing persons which had been hit by inclement weather, resumed on Saturday morning.