The Sea Is A Cruel Mistress

Normally, when one reads about a ship running aground or colliding with another ship, a mariner will think something along the lines of "There but for the grace of God go I".

The wreck of the Costa Concordia off the Italian coast does not seem to be one of those times, and serves once again as a reminder that a well-trained crew and well-maintained ship are the best defense against the dangers of the sea. I'm sure the inquiry will provide more information about how exactly the crew screwed up, but initial reports sure make it seem like this tragedy could have easily been avoided.

Update 17 Jan, 1523: It looks like there's proof that the "captain" left the ship before the evacuation was completele and, basically, behaved like a complete coward. I'm normally not a fan of piling on, but if it turns out this guy did what they're claiming he did, I'd be all for the maximum public humiliation. A ship's captain gets a lot of nice things, but it comes at the price of possibly having to stay with your sinking ship if there are people still onboard. Someone who voluntarily signs up for the bennies without being willing to pay the possible piper is among the lowest of the low in my book.