We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As a frequent ship passenger, I can say that that means nothing. On large ships, it's not like the Captain is at a steering wheel. Departing the ship before all customers are off is another matter. Still, it seems odd to me that they cut so close to shore. As they say in the Navy, "We don't want Captains with bad luck."
I'm surprised that there wasn't a "second" Captain onboard. Most cruise ships I've been on have two Captains - Senior and seconded Junior. Seconded Junior meaning "co-pilot". Usually, the second is responsible for ship handling and navigation. The Captain is more of an administrative post.
In any case, dereliction of duty in particular by leaving his command in a crisis. That is just despicable.
Skyscrapers As Spaceships
Beato makes one mistake - these buildings are not "self-sustained". They are dependent on supplies of energy, food, replacement parts - in short everything needed to keep the building working. To be self-sustainable, all that has to be done within the confines of the building.
Merchant captains are more administrative but that does not relieve them of the responsibilities of operating the ship. They are the final word, they are the ones who must rise when subordinates fall, they are the ones who take the have overall responsibility. As a captain, you must go from deep REM sleep to complete command of a crisis situation in less than 2 minutes from bunk to bridge. You train your officers to call early to avoid that situation. You remain at your post until all those on your ship, passengers and crew, are off and safe as possible. That is your responsibility. It is not transferable, not debatable, there are no exceptions.
This guy apparently liked the privileges of command but not the responsibility.
General international rules in ships over a certain tonnage (usually 1600 Gross Tons) require two qualified command officers. Now they may be called Co-Captains, Senior/Junior, Captain/First Officer - both have to be qualified for the type of work the vessel does. Individual countries can vary the specific requirements a little bit - there is some leeway, but the general requirements have to be adhered to.
I looked up the Italian Coast Guard requirements and they are almost exactly the same as the USCG requirements - minimum four years as a deck officer (that could include anything by the way - a deck officer isn't just solely restricted to the mechanicals - bursar, security, etc.) as a current license holder at that tonnage - just about the same. Captain Schettino's license is Open Oceans - Any Tonnage (unlimited) so he had to have some experience.
In case you're interested, my license is 100 ton Open Oceans with Near Shore/Inland endorsements. What that means is that I can operate as a Master Mariner a vessel of 100 tons capacity or less anywhere in any waters in the world.
I guess I was under the mistaken impression that cruise lines had 'social' captains that were for show, say at the posher wine & dines at the 'captain's table' and photo ops while strolling on deck so that touristas could be flattered to the max by the 'captain's' solicitude and charm. I supposed there was a real 'skipper' doing the real work.
The SEIU is always geared up for thuggery... they have equal parts of slugs and thugs in their corner of society. I'm considering hiring a bodyguard when I go to vote this fall, since I am a] white; b] elderly but still have all my marbles; c] handicapped, which limits my ability to run fast. Fortunately, Texas believes in carry permits. I don't have a carry permit since firing my side arm would be difficult while I'm using a cane, but there are quite a few Texas citizens who do have carry permits, and the great thing is, criminals, and wannabe criminals don't know who is armed and who is not.
Can't remember who said, "an armed society is a more civil society," but he/she was right. And i think that we can thank our present Administration for the revival of thuggery as a solution.