A Word with You - June 4, 2012


The Captain and the Crash

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"So are you planning to go on a cruise sometime soon?" It was the guy checking me out at the drugstore, and he was pointing to the newspaper I was buying and sort of asked that with a wry smile. Because on the front page was this haunting picture of that capsized Italian cruise ship that went aground a few months ago.

Here's a ship larger than Titanic eerily leaning into the sea and costing the lives of some of the passengers. And, of course, thousands of passengers are telling their stories of panic, and mayhem, and harrowing, uncoordinated escapes. And the captain? Well, under arrest, charged with the responsibility for that tragedy. Courts of law have to sort that out ultimately, but there are some troubling accusations: that he caused the collision by negligent, even criminal navigational decisions; that he abandoned his sinking ship and his desperate passengers. There are recordings of him openly defying official's commands to return to the ship. And there are reports that he had a history of disobeying orders.

© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
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Originally published June 04, 2012.