PLEDGE NOW
O Captain! My Captain!

Captains and their ships. The ones who stayed, the ones who fled.

This Jan. 17, 2012 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, which ran aground on Friday, Jan. 13, lying on its starboard side just off the tiny Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy. As the ship keeps shifting on its rocky ledge, many have raised the prospect of a possible environmental disaster if the 2,300 tonnes of fuel on the half-submerged cruise ship leaks. Satellites are used to monitor the area while authorities are preparing to remove the fuel from inside the vessel. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)

This Jan. 17, 2012 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, which ran aground on Friday, Jan. 13, lying on its starboard side just off the tiny Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)

Whoever heard of the Costa Concordia? Now, we all know its name. And the infamy – so far – of its “I’m out of here” captain, Francesco Schettino.

The captain who tripped and fell in a lifeboat. Chicken of the sea, they’re calling him. The captain who did not go down with his boat. Who did not say women and children first. Who was not the last man off the ship. He’s in trouble now. And already part of a long history. Of disgraced ship’s captains who bolted. Of honored captains who stood firm.

This hour, On Point: Captains and their ships. The ones who stayed. The ones who fled.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guest

Stacy Meichtry, Rome correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

William Fowler, a professor of history, he teaches courses on maritime history at Northeastern University.

Sam Willis, naval historian and author of 8 books on ships, their crews and captains. He’s the author of Shipwreck: A History of Disasters at Sea.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post “Audio of the captain of a stricken cruise liner arguing with the Coast Guard was made available Tuesday, and five more bodies were found in the vessel grounded off the Italian coast.”

BBC “The captain of the Costa Concordia, which crashed into rocks off the Italian coast and capsized, has been criticised for allegedly leaving the ship while passengers were still on board. Is a ship’s captain legally required to be the last one off?”

Video: Sinking of Costa Concordia

This video shows the stricken ship Costa Concordia, which was carrying 4,000 passengers when it ran aground off the coast of Italy on Friday Jan. 13.

Video: Cruise Ship Oceanos Sinks, Captain Flees

This video shows the Greek cruise ship, Oceanos, sinking off the South African coast on Aug. 4, 1991. The captain and numerous members of the crew fled the vessel, with hundreds of passengers still on board.

Video: Captain Kurt Carlsen

This video shows Danish sea captain Kurt Carlsen who stayed on his sinking freighter the Flying Enterprise for 13 days, before it finally plunged under the ways off the coast of Corwall, England. Carlsen was given a ticker-tape parade in New York City on Jan. 17, 1952.

 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
RECENT
SHOWS
Jun 9, 2016

Newly-minted college graduates on the job hunt. We’ll look at who’s hiring, starting salaries, and strategies for landing that first job.

 
Jun 9, 2016

Europe, India and China, are taking on American tech giants over privacy, monopolies, and more. We’ll look at the global technology pushback against the U.S.A.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Jessica Valenti: ‘Objectification Is About Dehumanizing People’
Wednesday, Jun 8, 2016

“There is some power in laying claim to the word victim.” — Jessica Valenti on the Stanford sexual assault case, and the importance of language.

More »
Comment
 
Why The ‘Roots’ Remake Matters (And What Stays The Same)
Tuesday, Jun 7, 2016

The recent remake of “Roots” on the History Channel makes important changes, Morehouse College’s Stephane Dunn argues. But it also holds true to the original story.

More »
Comment
 
Former Trump Advisor Roger Stone: ‘Trump’s Going To Be The Next President’
Monday, Jun 6, 2016

Longtime political consultant Roger Stone apologizes for his “two martini tweets,” even as he predicts Donald Trump will be the next U.S. president.

More »
Comment