“The Current Made Me Do It” – Cruise Ship Captain

Sea Diamond SinksThe captain of the sunken cruise ship Sea Diamond, charged with negligence by Greek authorities, is blaming strong currents for the disaster.

“I felt the ship, which had been on a normal course, slip to the right because of sea currents,” NET quoted him as saying. “I gave the order for a full turn left. But there was not enough time for the ship to respond.”

The captain was indicted along with five other crew members on blanket charges of causing a shipwreck through negligence, breaching international shipping safety regulations and polluting the environment, the Cyclade islands public prosecution office said. All have been released pending further testimony.

Whether this argument will hold water remains to be seen. Presumably, cruise ship captains are supposed to be familiar with currents and ensure that they give underwater hazards a wide enough berth. European legal authorities tend to be a bit stricter on personal responsibility issues of this type; in the U.S., we rely more on the civil court system to produce judgments against negligent parties. I’m sure too that the Greek authorities want to reassure the thousands of cruise ship passengers that visit daily that they take these matters very seriously. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in court.

We can expect more bad cruise ship PR when they find the bodies of the two missing passengers. Raising the sunken cruise ship should provide some great photo opps if they decide to resurrect it.

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