Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Should Captain Coward be the only one in hot water?

All of us would like to think that when faced with crisis and emergency we wouldn't accidentally fall into life's lifeboat. That we'd come up with the goods and do the heroic thing.

But would we really?

The captain of the Costa Concordia has hardly covered himself in glory with his behaviour in the aftermath of his ship hitting a rock and his performance beforehand is being blamed for the disaster in the first place.

Lives have been lost. He should certainly be made to pay for his terrible mistakes and his cowardice.

But is he the only one?

Captain Francesco Schettino, who is now described as the most hated man in Italy, if not the world, has been tried and found guilty by the international court of Facebook.

But was this terrible tragedy really, entirely down to just one man? Is Captain Coward the only party who should be facing public opprobrium?

I just wonder how, in this day and age when public safety is a matter of check and counter-check, he was able to steer so single-handedly to disaster.

I cannot think of any other form of public transport - with so many lives potentially at stake - where a single man in charge is seemingly able to take it upon himself to follow whatever dangerous course he chooses.

The full truth sadly, will emerge too late for those poor souls who lost their lives.

But I just can't help feeling that the cowping of the Concordia may be a bit more complex than the global media lampooning of Captain Coward might suggest.

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