Ironically, perhaps, the mishap which has cost 17 lives at latest count since the horrifying events of January 14th this year came about almost exactly a century after the sinking of the RMS Titanic in the brutal North Atlantic
I hope I never am in such a situation. I don’t know if I ever want to be forced to test my mettle to that degree.
Needless to say, as is so often the case in such horrific situations, the ‘blame-game’ has been rampant and the arch-villain allegedly is the ‘cowardly’ captain Schettino, who was down in the bar playing snuggle-bunnies with a comely babe when those who thought maybe he should have been on the bridge taking extra precautions since they were passing sooooooooooo close to that island thought he was doing just that rather looking for nookie.
But, who am I to judge? A judicial inquiry will handle that stuff. And I am not about to be a hypocrite since I’ve been guilty of some questionable behavior myself in the past – though not when I was expected to be in charge of a mammoth cruise liner.
In the weeks that have followed the disaster involving a ship, the name of which translates to ‘Peaceful Coast’, in another irony, the mopping up is continuing and tales of both derring-do and disgracefully cowardly behavior on the part of assorted passengers have come to light. Some did all that protocols demanded – you know, the traditional women and children first – while others were simply: “I’m outa here, honey, so screw you and your bambino!” Some leapt into the water (at great risk, and others, tragically, ended up trapped in their staterooms as the listing became too pronounced and they were unable to navigate to the deck.
It has been reported that the ship listed too greatly too rapidly to effectively lower lifeboats, and what has astonished many cruise ship aficionados was how quickly the behemoth turned turtle. In the case of the aforementioned Titanic there were literally hours to sort things out.
But, for various reasons the Titanic’s toll was much greater and there, too, there were all the (by now legendary, and in some cases false) tales of craven cowardice and “me before the broads and brats” behaviors.
As I suggest, and I must be honest, I do not know how I might respond in such a situation. Nobly, I hope. But maybe don’t do a cruise with me, just in case.