A Guest Post by Icepick
Never get out of the boat. Absolutely G*d-damned right. Unless you’re goin’ all the way.
This was a lesson NOT learned by Francesco Schettino, Captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia.
Authorities were holding Schettino for suspected manslaughter and a prosecutor confirmed Sunday they were also investigating allegations the captain abandoned the stricken liner before all the passengers had escaped. According to the Italian navigation code, a captain who abandons a ship in danger can face up to 12 years in prison.
The accounts so far don’t look good for the Captain’s future. He should have stayed in the boat – or hightailed it to Brazil.
Better still, never get IN to the boat.
For blogger/opinion writer Steve Sailer this brought to mind a similar incident. In 1991 the cruise ship Oceanos sunk off the coast of South Africa. What happened was covered by People Magazine:
On Saturday evening, Aug. 3, as a 50-mph gale buffeted their ship, passengers aboard the Greek cruise liner Oceanos gamely made their way to the main lounge for the evening’s entertainment. No sooner had they settled in than the lights went out. The 492-foot ship, suddenly without power, tossed in high seas off South Africa’s aptly named Wild Coast. For 361 weekend tourists, one of the most harrowing nights of their lives had just begun. The Oceanos was sinking.
Disgracefully, many of the 184 crew members clambered aboard the lifeboats ahead of some of the passengers and paddled to the safety of tankers and trawlers that had drawn nearby. At daybreak on Sunday, South African Air Force helicopters joined the rescue operation. But to the astonishment and anger of the 217 passengers still aboard, Capt. Yannis Avranias grabbed the second chopper off the ship. With no one clearly in charge, an unlikely hero emerged among the remaining crew: Robin Boltman, 31, the ship’s magician.
Giving the performance of his career, Boltman entertained and calmed passengers throughout the pitch-black night. In the morning he ascended to the bridge and maintained radio contact with rescuers. Finally, at 11:30 A.M., after all other passengers and crew had been removed to safety, Boltman was lifted from the ship by a helicopter. At 1:45 P.M. the luxury liner nosed into the Indian Ocean and disappeared under the waves.
I had seen Sailer’s excerpt earlier in the day and left it up. I wanted to read it to my wife when she got home, and did so. This caused her to say, “I think I heard of this guy recently, before this wreck in Italy.” So I hit Yahoo up for some search engine action, and found a story up near the top with an interesting headline:
DID OUR SINKING MAGICIAN GO DOWN WITH THE CONCORDIA?
It’s an article from the Daily News of South Africa, written by Barbara Cole, and starts off with
[M]any are asking whether Midlands magician Robin Boltman was on the doomed cruise liner Costa Concordia. Boltman has a knack of being aboard cruise ships that go to watery graves.
Um, what? He’s been on more than one? Yes, he has, although he wasn’t on this Costa Concordia. Besides being on the Oceanos on her final voyage, Boltman was also on the final voyage of the Achille Lauro back in 1994. In that incident the ship caught fire off the coast of Somalia and eventually sank. Here’s a tidbit from the Daily News story:
When fire broke out on the Achille Lauro, the captain Guiseppi Orssi called Boltman to the bridge and asked for his advice, telling him he did not want to make the same mistakes as the Oceanos captain.
“I told him he first had to sound the alarms,” he said.
“It is important to stay calm and collected. Passengers should also go to their cabins and get their life jacket and any medication.”
So score one for Captain Orssi for consulting an expert!
For those of you who think the Achille Lauro sounds familiar, that would be because of the high seas hijacking back in 1985. So add that to the list of reasons to NOT get on a cruise ship.
So here’s a partial list of reasons to not get on cruise ships: sea sickness, sickness (there’s a freakin’ CDC page for this!), terrorists, pirates, rocks, icebergs, storms, U-boats, rogue waves (two links), drunk captains, dare devil captains, incompetent captains, incompetent crew, too few life boats, Bond villains. Not to mention the strange men in blue boxes looking for some chap named Alonzo OR the freakin’ tigers that try to eat your ass (and presumably the rest of you) when you go looking for mangos!
Never get in to the boat!