Monday, April 21, 2014

Going Down With The Ship?

That ferry sinking offshore of South Korea is the second time in recent memory we've heard of a captain allegedly jumping ship and leaving the crew and passengers to fend for themselves. The other recent incident being that ship off Italy that ran into a reef and the captain was allegedly one of the first into the life boats.

Kinda burns you up, doesn't it? Hey, even if the captain yells, "FOLLOW ME!", as he leads the charge to the lifeboats he's at least showing some leadership. Apparently these last two didn't even seem to do that.

CNN takes a look at some of the ethics and laws involved. We'd like to think ship's Captains have passenger safety as their primary duty. If they don't, they should get some sort of punishment. As I read the CNN article it's more a matter of how different countries handle it.

A few years ago I was watching one of the home video shows on TV. They had one of a small cruise ship that was chartered by a scuba diving club. The ship got into some trouble in rough seas. The club members thought something might be wrong so at least one of them went to the bridge to check on the situation. 

The bridge was deserted. They look out the see the captain and crew in a lifeboat saving their own skins with no word of warning to everyone else on board. They basically deserted the ship.

The passengers made out ok. The video shows them in their scuba gear sliding down a rope to a nearby reef where they pretty much just floated around until rescued. The narrator of the video said nothing could be done about the captain and crew that abandoned the passengers. They'd apparently broken no law.

I don't recall what flag that ship sailed under, but nobody should be able to get away with that. At the very least, along with a lot of public humiliation, the captain should never be allowed any position in the command of a ship again. I don't have a problem with countries that would give prison time for such behavior, either.


At 11:49 AM, Anonymous MOLA:42 said...

In the 1980's (I think) a ship's band leader had that happen to him twice: He was a part of a ship's crew and during a crisis the mariner part of the crew took to the life boats and left their passengers behind (some 500+ per incident).

On both occasions he led the life boat drills, got off everybody he could (since the ship's crew took most of the lifeboats) and stayed with the others until he was the last one off.

I don't think there was a prosecution of the crew in either case (I think both incidents happened in the Mediterranean and both were Greek flagged ships).

If I were to go on board a cruise ship with this guy leading the ships band I think would be both relieved to see him and terrified at this guy's bad luck.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Yep, entertainers on ships are still considered crew. Local pianist, Mason Matteoli, did some cruises a few years ago as a band member. He was telling me he wasn't too fond of the few ship's duties he had to perform.

Starting off he had to help with lifeboat drills and demonstrate how to put on life vests. Also, when in port, the ship had to have a certain number of personnel on board in case there was an emergency to deal with. That's called Port Manning. You just hung around aboard ship instead of being able to go ashore. It was done on a rotating basis among the crew.

I don't think he liked that, either. Seems to me those duties would be a piece of cake, but then, that's Mason for you.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

I've posted what I hoped to be a thought-provoking topic on one of the Internet discussion forums I frequent.

I posted "What if Noah wasn't a hero at all but was really a rat leaving a sinking ship?"

I mean sure Noah warned everyone else but did he pick any floating survivors which there would have been millions of?
Nooooooooooooooo. That wouldn't make the point of obeying God or else! It would make a moral point of doing the right thing vs. obeying God as Fuhrer.

We need fewer of fuhrer types, even god ones..


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