by Geraldo Rivera | Jan 20, 2012
Having run aground literally scores of times in dozens of countries over the last half century, I know that mistakes happen at sea. But aside from the old days, before electronic navigation made sailing safely a no brainer, every time I’ve hit bottom since has been because I wasn’t paying attention to where my vessel was at the time; or, importantly, I was in a state of altered consciousness (i.e., drunk or recklessly showboating).
There is simply no excuse for the captain and crew of a modern vessel to smash into a prominent rock that is certainly on the both the electronic and paper charts the Costa Concordia is legally required to have on her bridge. No excuses. No explanations. There are no uncharted rocks of the size that vessel hit in the Mediterranean Sea. Those waters off the coast of Tuscany have been precisely marked for two hundred years at least.
That bum of a captain and his accomplices were recklessly showboating. Worse, they were stupid about it. How dare they drive that gigantic ship around like it was a flashy sports car they wanted to parade for the cute girls on the shore. And after the disaster, worst of all, to leave the stricken ship before all of the passengers are safely ashore is a black mark that stains the ancient and noble seafaring tradition of the Italy. They are cowards and traitors to their country and to the memory of every seafarer who has sacrificed himself to save his passengers and crew. The murderer should have gone down with the ship and passengers he so blithely wrecked.