Courage & dignity down with the ship
Jan 27, 2012 | 13878 views | 3 3 comments | 461 461 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor:

Apparently, many of the crew aboard the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which grounded off the coast of Tuscany, attempted to save their own lives without trying to help others. That sort of selfish conduct is in direct contrast to what happened aboard the RMS Titanic 100 years ago.

After that ship struck an iceberg, its captain ordered a woman and children-first evacuation policy, which the crew assiduously followed. And so did the passengers, who were on a ship with lifeboats that could accommodate only a little over half of those on board.

Benjamin Guggenheim spent his final hours changing into formal evening wear in order to die with dignity as a gentleman. Isador Straus (the co-owner of Macy's) was offered a chance to get into a lifeboat because of his advanced age, but he refused. John Jacob Astor IV helped load his pregnant wife onto a lifeboat and then stepped back to join the rest of the men on the Titanic's deck.

The crew of the ship also behaved courageously. The engineers and assistant engineers stuck to their posts and kept the power on and lights burning until almost the very last moment. All 34 of them perished.

The vessel's eight-man orchestra kept playing their music to keep the passengers from panicking, only stopping when the incline of the ship made further playing impossible. They also did not survive. And the Titanic's captain, in the great tradition of the sea, went down with his ship.

Courage and discipline were in great evidence among those on board the Titanic the night the ship took its final plunge. Sadly, these two character traits were in short supply in the Costa Concordia tragedy.


Martin H. Levinson

Forest Hills
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Bob Couttie
January 27, 2012
Not being familiar with wqhat happened on the Costa Concordia you correspondent has done a grave disservice to the crew on the vessel, in particular the Filipino staff who were subsequently commended by the passengers whose lives they saved and junior officers who stood by the passengers and helped them survive.

At the time of the incident around two thirds of the crew would not have been on duty and would have been in civilian clothes, therefore not recognised by most passengers as crew members.

Bob Couttie

Maritime Accident Casebook
prashant shetty
January 27, 2012
i think people need to read , what was written before, none of the passenger were following the instruction when the crew member had given, while abandon ship, mens were pushing all women and kids,

why always crew members are blamed for every thing , why crew members dont have life, they dont have their family, if crew member die, passengers are going to take the responsible of crew member, every body wants their life to be secure, crew member did their job well, but no one knew the ship will go one side and , never in entire past life, i think the ship went one side,

dont blame crew member,

January 27, 2012
iam proud for the costa concordia crew member, they did their duty and saved many passenger life, but even they have to save their life and no one come to save their life, when it is in danger