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Tech high, morality low: cruise Captains 1st on run, abandon sinking ship&crew Vs Captains of 1852 HMS Birkenhead, 1912 Titanic


By WcP.Story.Teller - Posted on 28 April 2014



Above: 2 cruise ships, 2 captains on the run
Capt. Lee Joon-seok of the Sewol
Capt. Francesco Schettino who was in command of the cruise ship Costa Concordia


The heroes: when HMS Birkenhead, a British ship, began to sink off the coast of S Africa in 1852, there were not enough serviceable lifeboats for all the passengers, and the soldiers famously stood firm, allowing the women and children to board the boats safely.

The heroine: Park Jee Young, 22, who by witness accounts helped passengers escape the S. Korea ship Sewol, 102 years to the day since the Titanic sank in April 1912.

The hero: Capt. Edward J. Smith went down with the Titanic. The Cunard liner RMS Carpathia arrived on the scene where she brought aboard an estimated 705 survivors.


From S. Korea TV - astonishing video of final minutes of stricken ship Sewol. Heartbreaking tragedy.

(quote)

Abandon ship? In recent maritime disasters, captains don't hang around

When the HMS Birkenhead, a British ship carrying troops, began to sink off the coast of South Africa in 1852, the captain and military officers on board famously allowed women and children to board the lifeboats first. The captain and many of the troops stayed on the ship until the last, perishing in the ocean as the women and children made their way to safety. Their chivalrous act of self-sacrifice is considered to have helped set the standard for noble conduct at sea.

Other displays of courage by captains and crew members who put their passengers first have punctuated the decades since, like Capt. Edward J. Smith who went down with the Titanic.

But such bravery has been conspicuously absent from two major maritime disasters in recent times.

Capt. Lee Joon-seok of the Sewol, the South Korean ferry that sunk last week, has come under heavy criticism for abandoning the ship while hundreds of passengers remained on board. Dozens of them died and more than 200 were still missing Monday.

Lee's actions have prompted comparisons to those of Capt. Francesco Schettino who was in command of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which crashed into a reef off the Italian coast in 2012, killing 32 people.

Witnesses said Schettino jumped into a lifeboat to flee the ship, even though hundreds of passengers were still on board. In his trial, the captain said he fell into a lifeboat when the ship listed sharply.

Schettino is now on trial on charges of manslaughter, causing a maritime disaster and abandoning ship with passengers still on board. He denies wrongdoing.

The cases of the Sewol and the Costa Concordia have raised questions about a captain's obligations to passengers when a vessel runs into trouble.

Yes, It's Illegal for a Captain to Abandon Ship in South Korea

Actions of capsized ship's captain 'tantamount to murder' - S. Korea President Park

More than 300 people, most of them students and teachers on a field trip from the Danwon High School on the outskirts of Seoul, have died or are missing and presumed dead.

Incheon, South Korea (CNN) -- The number of crew members charged is rising, and so is the anger that families feel.

But there's one crew member they are leaving out: Park Jee Young, 22, who by witness accounts helped passengers escape and distributed life jackets -- one after the other to students -- as the stricken ferry began to sink.

When she ran out of jackets, she ran to the next floor to grab more.

When she was asked why she wasn't wearing a life jacket, Park said that crew members would be last and that she had to help others first, according to witness accounts to South Korean media.

Park's body now lies in a funeral home in the city of Incheon.

She is one of the more than 100 people dead; 215 remain missing.

The other day, a man with injuries to his head showed up to the funeral room where Park's memorial stands.

When asked by Park's family who he was, the man said that he had been injured in the ferry and that he was "indebted" to the young woman who placed a towel on his bloody head and helped him as the water rose.

"She was so responsible and so kind," said her grandmother, Choi Sun Dok, 75, who sat on the floor, slumped against a wall, no longer able to stand. Her family members kneeled with her, holding her hand and weeping together on the floor.

White mums and lilies, which signify death, poured in from strangers, covering the hallway leading to her memorial room. The flowers contain messages like "We will not forget your noble spirit." "We will always remember your sacrifice." "Hero." An online petition has gone up urging the government to award her a Good Samaritan award.

Her relatives say Park wanted to stay in college, but she felt responsible for supporting her family after her father passed away two years ago. So she dropped out and joined the ferry company in 2012. She was transferred to a bigger ship, the Sewol, about six months ago, because she had proved her capabilities, her relatives said.

'Teacher, please rest in peace': Students remember vice principal who took own life after ferry sinking

As the one in charge of the safety of the students, he was suffering from guilty feelings," another teacher had told Korean media. When some familes directed their anger at him, he became "brokenhearted."

Over 300 students from the school and their teachers were aboard the ferry. Some are confirmed dead and and hope is dwindling that any more survivors will be found. 174 were rescued. Hundreds remain missing.

Police have confirmed the contents of a note, which Kang left behind.
He wrote that it was his idea for the field trip and that the deaths of the students were his fault. He said he could not live not knowing where his students are.

Video claims to show inside sinking video

First distress call on S. Korean ferry from passenger, not crew, coast guard says Jindo, South Korea (CNN) -- The first distress call from the ferry Sewol came not from the crew, but from a boy who used a cell phone to contact emergency services from aboard the sinking ship, the South Korean coast guard confirmed to CNN Tuesday. CNN affiliate JTBC reported that the boy dialed South Korea's emergency number, telling dispatchers for a local fire service, "Help us. The boat is sinking." The boy's fate was not clear.

It was not until three minutes later, the coast guard told CNN, that the ship's crew made a distress call to maritime officials.
The revelation is likely to add to questions about the conduct of the crew, nine of whom are facing charges in last week's sinking.

Among other things, authorities have questioned why an inexperienced third mate was guiding the ship at the time of the accident, why so few of the ferry's life rafts were deployed and why crew members ordered passengers to don life vests and stay put.

At least 146 people are confirmed dead, according to the joint task force leading the search. Earlier, when the death toll was reported to be 128, authorities had said that 174 people were still missing.

The following is a partial transcript of communication between an unidentified crew member aboard the sinking South Korean ferry Sewol and local maritime traffic control centers on Wednesday.
The discussion lasts more than 30 minutes. For the first 11 minutes the Sewol communicates with the Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center. After that, the ship communicates with the Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center. There are references to other nearby ships, which are redacted.

Here's a look at major ferry and ship sinking disasters throughout history.

This timeline is not-all inclusive; various incidents with at least 1,000 fatalities are listed. Death tolls vary by source.

Timeline:
April 27, 1865 - The Mississippi River steamer Sultana explodes and sinks near Memphis, Tennessee, killing between 1,450 and 1,700 people. (Death tolls vary by source.)

June 15, 1904 - The General Slocum excursion steamer sinks in the East River in New York City, killing 1,021 people.

April 15, 1912 - The Titanic sinks in the North Atlantic Ocean after hitting an iceberg on April 14, 1912, killing 1,503 people.

September 28, 1912 - The Japanese steamer Kiche Maru sinks during a typhoon off the coast of Japan, killing more than 1,000 people.

May 29, 1914 - British steamer Empress of Ireland collides with the Norwegian ship Storstad in the St. Lawrence River, killing 1,014 people.

May 7, 1915 - The luxury liner Lusitania sinks off the coast of Ireland killing approximately 1,198 people after being torpedoed by a German submarine.

February 26, 1916 - The French ship Provence is torpedoed and sinks in the Mediterranean Sea, killing 3,100 people.

August 29, 1916 - The Chinese steamer Hsin Yu sinks off the coast of China, killing about 1,000 people.

December 6, 1917 - The French ammunition ship Mont Blanc and Belgian steamer Imo collide in Halifax Harbor; about 1,600 people are killed.

March 18, 1921 - A steamer named Hong Kong sinks in the South China Sea, killing approximately 1,000 people.

January 30, 1945 - The Wilhelm Gustloff sinks in the Baltic Sea after being hit by Russian torpedoes, killing over 9,000 passengers and crew members. No one knows for sure how many were on board.

February 10, 1945 - The Steuben, a German transport ship, is torpedoed in the Baltic Sea, killing 3,500 to 4,500 wounded soldiers and civilians. (Death tolls vary by source.)

April 16, 1945 - Between 6,000 and 7,000 are killed on Goya, a German ocean-liner carrying mostly German refugees is torpedoed by a Russian submarine off the coast of Gdansk, Poland. (Death tolls vary by source.)

November 1, 1948 - A Chinese merchant ship with as many as 6,000 passengers explodes and sinks off southern Manchuria, killing all aboard.

December 3, 1948 - Between 1,100 and 3,920 die when Kiangya, a refugee ship explodes after hitting a mine and sinks near Shanghai. (Death tolls vary by source.)

September 26, 1954 - The Japanese ferry Toya Maru sinks in Tsugaru Strait, Japan, killing 1,172 people.

April 22, 1980 - About 1,000 die when inter-island ferry Don Juan sinks off Mindoro Island, Philippines, after colliding with the Tacloban City barge.

Costa Concordia, operated by Costa Cruises, is one of the largest ships ever to be abandoned and she dominated international media in the days after the disaster. Schettino was arrested on preliminary charges of manslaughter in connection with causing a shipwreck, failing to assist 300 passengers, and failing to be the last to leave the wreck. He was later charged with failing to describe to maritime authorities the scope of the disaster and with abandoning incapacitated passengers.

HMS Birkenhead, wrecked on 26 February 1852 near South Africa. There were not enough serviceable lifeboats for all the passengers, and the soldiers famously stood firm, thereby allowing the women and children to board the boats safely. Only 193 of the 643 people on board survived, and the soldiers' chivalry gave rise to the "women and children first" protocol when abandoning ship.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy Reuters, ABC, AP, Wikipedia, and CNN

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